What is lead?
What Does lead Mean
Lead (from the Latin plumbum ) is the chemical element with atomic number 82 , whose symbol is Pb . It is a metal found in cerussite, anglesite, and galena, but is rare in the earth's crust.
Lead is soft, malleable, and resistant to corrosion. It is among the heavy metals, it is ductile and melts at low temperatures. Among the various uses of lead, there is the manufacture of pipes and shields, as well as various uses in the arms and chemical industries .
There are many types of lead, among which is, for example, the so-called short lead, which is one that is mixed with arsenic. The result is a product that is used in the production of pellets.
There is also what is known as rich lead, which is one that has significant levels of silver, and poor lead, which has very low levels of silver.
It is important to note that lead is toxic . The poisoning produced by this metal is known as plumbosis or lead poisoning . When lead enters the body through ingested water, it is called water poisoning .
Lead poisoning produces anemia, alters oxygen transport, causes neurological damage to the brain , generates hallucinations and makes the patient aggressive due to metabolic changes. The composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven and the painter Caravaggio suffered from this disease.
Sources of lead poisoning include certain paints, toxic fumes from factories or vehicles, pipes with lead solder, and lead-sealed canning cans.
In addition to all the above, we have to emphasize that precisely one of the most important children's stories in universal literature of all time includes the term in question in its title. We are referring to "The Lead Soldier", which was made in 1838 by the author Hans Christian Andersen, also creator of other important stories such as "The Red Slippers", "The Ugly Duckling" or "The New Suit of the emperor".
In this particular tale, the story is told of a little tin soldier who is mutilated. He will fall madly in love with a dancer and that will lead him to suffer different tragedies until in the end he can join her forever.
In colloquial language, the notion of lead is used to name the bullet of the firearm and the person or thing that is heavy and annoying . For example: "They found the butcher with three leads on his head" , "Lautaro is a lead, he's always talking about soccer" , "The truth is that this job is a lead, but I need the money . "
Likewise, we cannot ignore the existence of a series of colloquial expressions that make use of the word that we are analyzing. One of those is the verbal phrase “plummeting”, which is used to refer to something or someone having fallen with the full weight of their body. An example: "The worker plummeted from the scaffolding on which he is standing."