A ferrous metal, lead is a very soft and malleable metal. When cut, solid lead can have a bluish-white colour that soon tarnishes into a dull grey colour due to exposure to air. When liquefied, its colour is a shiny chrome-silver. Though it should not be ingested, as it and any of its compounds act as a highly poisonous neurotoxin, harmful to both animals and humans, it possesses many useful characteristics that make it one of the most commonly used metals in the world.

It is mostly used in building construction, batteries, bullets, weights, as well as many alloys and radiation shields. Its high density, low melting point, ductility, and inertness against oxygen attacks make it a very solid and reliable mineral, which is why it has become one of the most basic components of construction structures.