A dark brown or black solid with a rutile lattice, PbO2, which is insoluble in water and slightly soluble in concentrated sulphuric and nitric acids; r.d. 9.375; decomposes at 290°C. Lead(IV) oxide may be prepared by the oxidation of lead(II) oxide by heating with alkaline chlorates or nitrates, or by anodic oxidation of lead(II) solutions. It is an oxidizing agent and readily reverts to the lead(II) oxidation state, as illustrated by its conversion to Pb3O4 and PbO on heating. It reacts with hydrochloric acid to evolve chlorine. Lead(IV) oxide has been used in the manufacture of safety matches and was widely used until the mid-1970s as an adsorbent for sulphur dioxide in pollution monitoring.