Lead Uses - Statistics

Lead is integral to our modern lifestyle. Whilst its malleability and corrosion resistance still make it useful for roof flashings and cladding, the main benefits are derived from harnessing lead’s chemical properties.

Its incredible density provides unrivalled protection from radiation and is essential to staff working in hospitals, dental surgeries, laboratories and nuclear installations. Lead stabilisers are added to some PVC products to improve durability, and the metal protects thousands of kilometres of underwater power and communications cables.

Keeping the world on the move in so many ways wouldn’t be possible without the lead used in battery technology. Lead acid batteries are the mainstay of storage technologies for renewable energy sources, such as solar cell and wind turbines and are used to power cars, trucks, buses, motorbikes, electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles. Furthermore, lead acid batteries are vital as a back-up emergency power supply in case of mains power failure in hospitals, telephone exchanges, mobile phone networks, public buildings and for the emergency services.

Today, lead is truly a modern metal, supporting a modern world.

Principal Uses worldwide 2012

Consumption by Product - Annual Amount (thousand tonnes)

(Hover over the pie charts for totals)

Cars on motorway Solar panels Underwater cables

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