Thallium Element Number 81 Tl

Thallium is a silvery metal in the same group as Boron, Aluminum, Gallium and Indium.  Thallium is extremely toxic and must be handled with extreme caution. Thallium is a soft metal and can be cut like Indium. Thallium will corrode rapidly in air, and will create Thallium hydroxide in water.

Thallium, like Arsenic was used in many criminal plots, and once called "inheritance powder".  Thallium was once used in insecticides and rodent poisons, because of Thallium's toxic nature it has been prohibited. Skin contact is enough to poison a person.

Thallium can be found in hutchinsonite, and crookesite, the element is also found in Manganese pellets that occur on the ocean floor. Thallium is generally a byproduct of Lead and Zinc ore smelting, also a residue of sulfuric acid production.

Thallium has uses in glass manufacture, super conductors, bolometers, radiation detectors, and low temperature switches. Thallium was used in some medicines, and also as a radio cartography isotope  in nuclear medicine.

Thallium was banned in the US as a pesticide in 1972 to prevent the metal from poisoning the environment and people. Thallium pollution is sourced from coal fired plants, and cement factories. Thallium can leach into the environment because of the water souable nature of the element. Thallium is a dangerous sample to collect, and if collecting this element please keep it under lock and key, and be safe!

Thallium is a very dangerous metal, as it is a very deadly poison. This very small piece is kept in the original vacuum sealed wrapper under oil. The sample is still metal, but has suffered some heavy discoloration from oxidation. owning this sample means keeping it under lock and key.


Lead Element Number 82 Pb 


 These tiny pure Lead pellets are the contents of a target load 12 gauge shotgun shell. Lead bullets are a source of Lead pollution in the environment.

The strange photo below is a close up of the surface of a Lead ingot that slow cooled, There is a defined structure on the surface, showing some interesting crystalline patterns. The other photo is 10 pounds of Lead

 Lead is a very soft dense metal that has a low melting point. Lead is also a toxic element, which can cause mental development issues in children. Lead is a nice color when freshly poured but soon turns a dull gray. There are many uses for Lead, and many more uses have been obsolete because of Leads toxic nature or less expensive alternatives.

Many people will think of Lead in bullets of fishing weights, these items are sources of lead in the environment. Lead is also found in car batteries, car tire balance weights, flashing on roof seems and vents and some solders.

I am old enough to remember the ban on Lead paint, and the commercials on TV about the issue. I  also have worked in old buildings with Lead pipes still inside walls, and strange glass bulbs filled with fire extinguishing materials. These bulbs used Lead strips that melt when hot allowing a spring to snap and shatter the bulb.

Lead has been used in glass some old glass had more than 10% of Lead oxides. Ceramic glaze and face paints from Japan. dive weigh belts have Lead blocks, Lead was used in boats as ballast. Lead was used in artist paints, household and commercial paints, and special marine paint called anti fouling paint on boats. small boats now use copper based poison paints, but very large ship may still use Lead

Lead was used as a anti knock additive in gasoline, for young people, that is why there is "unleaded" gas, but no "Leaded" gas at the pumps, I havent seen Leaded gas for over 14 years or more.  Lead is of course still used in X ray and radiation sheilding. I demolished a building with a lead core door once, that door was heavy!

Lead is found in a mineral called galena in as much as 85%, Lead also is found in ores bearin ZInc, Copper and Silver. much of the world is recycling Lead and like Iron Lead is a major industrial metal, and it is believed 8Kg of Lead is used for every person on the planet!

Lead is a common final product of heavy element decay chains. Polonium decays to Lead 206