Lead Acetate

Lead acetate is a commercially important water soluble salt that can be made by dissolving the lead oxide litharge in acetic acid. The common trihydrate form of lead acetate is a white crystalline substance utilized for a variety of purposes, most notably as a drying agent in paints and as a mordant for dyeing and printing fabrics. The substance can also be used to produce certain other lead compounds. Unlike most other salts, this type of lead acetate has a sweet rather than a salty taste, resulting in its sometimes being called sugar of lead and its use in ancient Rome as a wine sweetener. Consumption of lead acetate and other varieties of lead is extremely dangerous, however, and some scholars believe that lead poisoning may have contributed to the mental deterioration and madness experienced by a number of Roman emperors.


© 1995-2013 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, software, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Tuesday, Jan 06, 2004 at 10:48 AM
Access Count Since September 19, 1995: 23504
Microscopes provided by:
Visit the Nikon website. Visit the Olympus Microscopy Resource Center website.