What is the white powdery substance that has formed on lead airgun pellets stored in an oak cabinet for 35 years? How can it be removed safely? The lead could possibly be alloyed with some antimony, the cabinet and pellets have been in a damp basement for over 35 years. The cabinet appears to be made of oak (perhaps the tannins from the oak acted on the pellets). Here is a picture of the pellets in increasing degree of "corrosion." What is the white substance and can it be safely removed? Thank you!

3 pairs of airgun pellets in increasing degree of "corrosion"

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    $\begingroup$ I would guess it is lead oxide. It is dangerous, but so is lead itself. Get rid of it completely. Bring it to a local business which can safely dispose of it. $\endgroup$ Nov 12, 2022 at 13:08
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    $\begingroup$ It is probably lead carbonate $\ce{PbCO3}$, because it is white, and lead(II) oxide is yellow, and lead(IV) oxide is brown $\endgroup$
    – Maurice
    Nov 12, 2022 at 17:48


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