Antimony vs. Lead

What's the Difference?

Antimony and lead are both metallic elements that belong to the same group on the periodic table, but they have distinct differences in their properties and uses. Antimony is a brittle, silvery-white metal that is commonly used in alloys to increase hardness and strength. It is also used in flame retardants, batteries, and semiconductors. Lead, on the other hand, is a soft, dense metal that has been used for centuries in a variety of applications, including construction, batteries, and ammunition. However, lead is highly toxic and poses serious health risks, whereas antimony is considered less harmful. Overall, while both elements have their own unique characteristics and uses, lead is more widely known for its negative environmental and health impacts compared to antimony.


Atomic number5182
Atomic symbolSbPb
Atomic weight121.76207.2
Boiling point (°C)15871749
Melting point (°C)630.63327.5

Further Detail

Physical Properties

Antimony and lead are both metallic elements that belong to the same group on the periodic table, Group 15. However, they have distinct physical properties that set them apart. Antimony is a silvery-white metal with a bluish tinge, while lead is a dull grey metal. Antimony has a higher melting point of 630.63°C compared to lead's melting point of 327.5°C. Additionally, antimony is a brittle metal, while lead is more malleable and ductile.

Chemical Properties

When it comes to chemical properties, antimony and lead also exhibit differences. Antimony is a metalloid, meaning it has properties of both metals and nonmetals. It forms compounds with both metallic and nonmetallic properties. Lead, on the other hand, is a true metal and forms compounds that are typically more metallic in nature. Antimony is known for its ability to form alloys with other metals, while lead is commonly used in the production of batteries due to its high density.


One of the most significant differences between antimony and lead is their toxicity. Lead is a well-known toxic metal that can cause serious health issues, especially in children. Exposure to lead can lead to developmental delays, learning disabilities, and even death in severe cases. Antimony, on the other hand, is considered to be less toxic than lead. While antimony can still be harmful in high doses, it is not as widely recognized for its toxic effects as lead.

Common Uses

Both antimony and lead have a variety of industrial applications due to their unique properties. Antimony is commonly used in flame retardants, as it can inhibit the spread of fire. It is also used in the production of semiconductors and as an alloying agent in lead-acid batteries. Lead, on the other hand, is widely used in the construction industry for roofing, piping, and soldering. It is also used in the production of ammunition, radiation shielding, and as a stabilizer in PVC.

Environmental Impact

When it comes to the environmental impact, both antimony and lead can have negative effects if not properly managed. Lead is a well-known environmental pollutant that can contaminate soil, water, and air. It can bioaccumulate in the food chain and pose a risk to wildlife and humans. Antimony, while less studied in terms of its environmental impact, can also be harmful if released into the environment. Both metals require careful handling and disposal to prevent harm to the environment.


In conclusion, antimony and lead are two distinct metallic elements with unique properties and characteristics. While they share some similarities as members of the same group on the periodic table, they differ in terms of physical and chemical properties, toxicity, common uses, and environmental impact. Understanding these differences is crucial for ensuring the safe and responsible use of these metals in various industries.

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