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Chemical symbol Pb. Very soft, bluish white metal; highly malleable and ductile; poor conductor of electricity, but good noise dampening material; resistant to corrosion and radiation. Obtained from galena ore. Major end use is storage batteries, which accounts for 60% of world lead consumption. Also used ammunition, but has declining use in paints, plumbing equipment and cable coverings because of its toxicity. Metal also used to dampen noise in containers for corrosive liquids and as radiation shields for x ray and nuclear reactors.