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red lead

red lead, bright red to orange-red powder, also called minium, that is used in the manufacture of storage batteries, lead glass, and red pigments a paint made with red lead is commonly used to protect iron and steel from rusting. Chemically, red lead is lead tetroxide, Pb 3O 4, a water-insoluble compound that is prepared by the oxidation of metallic lead or of litharge (lead monoxide) the commercial product sometimes contains litharge as an impurity.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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