Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Geochemistry

Part of the series Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series pp 1-3

Date: Latest Version


  • Dominique WeisAffiliated withPacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical; Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of British Columbia Email author 

Element Data

Atomic Symbol: Pb

Atomic Number: 82

Atomic Weight: 207.2 g/mol

Isotopes and Abundances:204Pb 1.4 %,206Pb 24.1 %,207Pb 22.1 %,208Pb 52.10 %

210Pb traces, radioactive (t1/2> 22.3 yr)

205Pb synthetic

1 Atm Melting Point: 327.5 °C

1 Atm Boiling Point: 1749 °C

Common Valences: 2+, 4+

Ionic Radii: 116 pm and 129, in 6-fold and 8-fold coordination respectively

Pauling Electronegativity: 2.33

First Ionization Potential: 715.6 kj/mol

Chondritic (CI) Abundance: 1–2.4 ppm

Silicate Earth Abundance: ~0.1–0.2 ppm

Crustal Abundance: 14 ppm

Seawater Abundance: 0.03 ppb

Core Abundance: ~0.5 ppm


Because it has a “magic number” of protons (82), the lead nucleus is particularly stable and is the end product of three separate radioactive decays. The most common valence state of lead is +2, with the +4 valence state being less stable.

Lead belongs to group 14 in the periodic table that together with C, Si, Ge, and Sn shows different chemical properties.

Lead can be sometimes found free in nature, but is ...

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