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featured Wiki of the Day Episode 114
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Sun, 2017-Aug-27 00:50 UTC
Length - 3:29
Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.
The featured article for Sunday, 27 August 2017 is Lead.
Lead is a chemical element with symbol Pb (from the Latin plumbum) and atomic number 82. It is a heavy metal with a density exceeding that of most common materials; it is soft, malleable, and melts at a relatively low temperature. When freshly cut, it has a bluish-white tint; it tarnishes to a dull gray upon exposure to air. Lead has the second-highest atomic number of the classically stable elements and lies at the end of three major decay chains of heavier elements.
Lead is a relatively unreactive post-transition metal. Its weak metallic character is illustrated by its amphoteric nature (lead and lead oxides react with both acids and bases) and tendency to form covalent bonds. Compounds of lead are usually found in the +2 oxidation state, rather than the +4 common with lighter members of the carbon group. Exceptions are mostly limited to organolead compounds. Like the lighter members of the group, lead exhibits a tendency to bond to itself; it can form chains, rings, and polyhedral structures.
Lead is easily extracted from its ores and was known to prehistoric people in Western Asia. A principal ore of lead, galena, often bears silver, and interest in silver helped initiate widespread lead extraction and use in ancient Rome. Lead production declined after the fall of Rome and did not reach comparable levels again until the Industrial Revolution. Nowadays, global production of lead is about ten million tonnes annually; secondary production from recycling accounts for more than half of that figure.
Lead has several properties that make it useful: high density, low melting point, ductility, and relative inertness to oxidation. Combined with relative abundance and low cost, these factors resulted in the extensive use of lead in construction, plumbing, batteries, bullets and shot, weights, solders, pewters, fusible alloys, and radiation shielding. In the late 19th century, lead was recognized as highly toxic, and since then it has been phased out for many applications. Lead is a neurotoxin that accumulates in soft tissues and bones, damaging the nervous system and causing brain disorders and, in mammals, blood disorders.
This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:50 UTC on Sunday, 27 August 2017.
For the full current version of the article, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead.
This podcast is produced by Abulsme Productions based on Wikipedia content and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Abulsme Productions also produces Curmudgeon's Corner, a weekly current events podcast where the hosts discuss whatever is hot in the news each week. Check it out in your podcast player of choice.
This has been Kimberly. Thank you for listening to featured Wiki of the Day. If you enjoyed this podcast, you can find our archive, and our sister podcasts popular Wiki of the Day and random Wiki of the Day at wikioftheday.com. Subscribe and tell your friends to listen as well!
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