Lead sulfide

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Lead sulfide is found naturally occurring as metallic crystals called Galena. Galena is the primary source for metallic Lead. When crushed, lead sulfide is a black powder. Lead sulfide can also be made synthetically by reacting a soluble lead salt with Hydrogen sulfide or Sodium sulfide. Lead sulfide is used in ceramic glaze and as a source for the production of Lead sulfate. It is also used as a sensor in infrared detectors.

Synonyms and Related Terms

galena; plumbus sulfide; leaded bisilicate ash; lead sulphide (Br.); sulfure de plomb (Fr.)


  • Toxic by inhalation or ingestion.
  • Skin contact may cause irritation or ulcers.
  • Carcinogen, teratogen, suspected mutagen.
  • Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in nitric acid and hot, dilute hydrochloric acid. Insoluble in water.

Composition PbS
CAS 1314-87-0
Melting Point 1114 C
Density 7.13-7.7 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 239.28

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 443
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993 Comment: mp=1114C
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 5445
  • Susan E. Schur, Conservation Terminology: A review of Past & Current Nomenclature of Materials, Technology and Conservation, Spring (p.34-39); Summer (p.35-38); Fall (p.25-36), 1985
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979

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