Antimony is a metal high levels of which can be toxic. Antimony occurs naturally in the earth. Antimony ores are mined and then mixed with other metals to form antimony alloys or combined with oxygen to form antimony oxide. Antimony breaks easily, but when mixed into alloys, it is used in lead storage batteries, solder, sheet and pipe metal, bearings, castings, and pewter. Antimony oxide is added to textiles and plastics to prevent them from catching fire and is also used in paints (especially enamels), ceramics, and fireworks. Antimony is released into the environment from natural sources and industry.