What Is Pencil Lead Made of?
Even though pencils are called lead pencils, they do not contain lead. The common name “pencil lead” is due to an historic association with the stylus made of lead in ancient Roman times.
The writing material in a pencil is actually a mixture of the mineral graphite and clay combined with certain chemicals and wax. As you write, tiny bits of the soft pencil lead are rubbed onto the paper, creating words and pictures.
Colored pencils are usually made of clay and wax mixed with coloring materials called pigments and dyes, rather than graphite. All pencils normally contain graphite, which is a form of carbon and it is considered non-poisonous.
Pencils acquired the name black lead due to the fact the earliest graphite to be discovered was black-lead. Did you know that the average pencil has enough pencil lead to draw a line at least 35 miles (56 kilometers) in length?