What are the 8 countries that produce the most lead in the world? We are glad you asked. Lead is a highly malleable metal, with many applications. Lead has four isotopes, where the isotope called Lead-208 is extremely stable and is also known as the heaviest stable nuclide.
Lead has a variety of extremely important uses and is one of the most popular and in-demand metals. Lead is used in lead-acid batteries, construction of buildings, shots, bullets, weights, fusible alloys, solders, pewters and is often used in radiation shields as well.
One of the most controversial topics regarding lead is the fact that it is poisonous. If lead is either inhaled or even ingested, the compounds are poisonous to both animals as well as humans. This is beacuse lead is actually a neurotoxin which can accumulate in bones as well as soft tissues, which can often result in brain disorders as well as significant damage to the person’s nervous system. If there is an excessive lead in the body of a person, blood disorders can also occur, even though this has only been documented in mammals.
Due to the fact that lead is so highly malleable, it has been one of the mankind’s most favorite metals, having been used for several thousand years, dating back to 7,000 B.C. In fact, it is believed that lead was the first ever metal to be smelted in history. Another reason lead was so popular was due to its link with silver, which was obtained by the burning of galena, which is a lead mineral.
Lead is used in places which need some of its properties, such as its low melting point, high density and ductility. Lead has always been a popular metal used in bullets since its low melting point means it can be easily cast.
Lead is also used as the ballast keel in sailboats, because it is resistant to rust and corrosion, and also because its density, as mentioned earlier, is extremely high. Since its density is so high, it can avoid the effect of the wind in the sails of the boat, while also taking up a minimal volume, thus reducing underwater resistance. These are also the same reasons why it is used in scuba diving weight belts.
Of course, most of lead is used in automobiles; more precisely, it is used in the lead acid batteries as electrodes and is most often used as car batteries. Furthermore, lead is also used as electrodes for electrolysis. It is further used a solder in electronics, which is decreasing with time because countries are reducing this practice in an effort to avoid hazardous waste.
Lead has also been used in lead-based paints throughout history. However, lead is no longer used in paints due to the aforementioned effects of lead poisoning. Furthermore, lead was used as paint on toys as well, but this was also banned due to the fact that children tend to put everything and anything in their mouth, which resulted in lead poisoning in children. Another item whose production causes controversy is leather. For more information, you can visit the 8 countries that produce the most leather in the world.
In fact, lead has recently caused a huge panic in the United States regarding the Flint water crisis. After the town changed its water source, lead contamination occurred, and tens of thousands of people have been affected by this issue.
We tried to determine the 8 countries that produce the most lead in the world by obtaining details regarding lead production in the Mineral Commodities Summary 2016 report, prepared by the U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey. Without further ado, here is our ranking, starting from number 8: