lead sulfate

Lead(II) sulfate

Lead (II) sulfate (sulphate in British English) (PbSO4) is a white crystal or powder. It is also known as white lead, fast white, milk white, sulfuric acid lead salt or anglesite.

It is often seen in the terminals of car batteries, as it is formed when the battery is discharged (when the battery is recharged, then the lead sulfate can be transformed back to metallic lead and sulfuric acid on the negative terminal or lead dioxide and sulfuric acid on the positive terminal). Lead sulfate is poorly soluble in water.

Toxicology

Lead sulfate is toxic by inhalation, ingestion and skin contact. It is a cumulative poison, and repeated exposure may lead to anemia, kidney damage, eyesight damage or damage to the central nervous system (especially in children). Some lead salts may cause reproductive defects and cardiovascular disturbances. It is also corrosive - contact with the eyes can lead to severe irritation or burns. Typical threshold limit value (above which the substance is harmful) is 0.15 mg/m³.

Mineral

The naturally occurring mineral anglesite, PbSO4, occurs as an oxidation product of primary lead sulfide ore, galena.

Basic and hydrogen lead sulfates

A number of lead basic sulfates are known: PbSO4·PbO; PbSO4·2PbO; PbSO4·3PbO; PbSO4·4PbO. They are used in manufacturing of active paste for lead acid batteries. A related mineral is leadhillite, 2PbCO3·PbSO4·Pb(OH)2.

At high concentration of sulfuric acid (>80%), hydrogen lead sulfate, Pb(HSO4)2, forms.

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