Lead(II) nitrate is the inorganic salt of nitric acid and lead. It is colourless crystal or white powder and a strong, stable oxidizer. Unlike most other lead(II) salts, it is soluble in water. Its main use from the Middle Ages under the name plumb dulcis, has been as raw material in the production of many pigments. Since the 20th century, it is industrially used as heat stabilizer in nylon and polyesters, and in coatings of photothermographic paper. Commercial production did not take place until the 19th century in Europe, and in the United States until after 1943, with a typical production process of metallic lead or lead oxide in nitric acid.
Lead(II) nitrate is toxic and probably carcinogenic to humans. It should therefore be handled and stored with the appropriate safety precautions. Ingestion may lead to acute lead poisoning: symptoms include intestinal malfunction, strong abdominal pains, appetite loss, nausea, vomiting and cramps, while longer-term exposure may lead to neurological and renal problems.
When lead(II) nitrate is heated, it decomposes to lead(II) oxide, accompanied by a crackling noise referred to as decrepitation. Due to this property, lead nitrate is sometimes used in pyrotechnics such as fireworks.
Wikipedia:WikiProject Chemicals/Data is a collection of links and references that are useful for chemistry-related works. This includes free online chemical databases, publications, patents, computer programs, and various tools.
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