1. History of Lead-Based Paint
2. Hazard of Lead
3. Regulations and Definitions
4. Do I have lead-based paint in my house?
History of Lead-Based Paint
Lead oxide is a white pigment used since ancient times; it was used rather than any of the many other white mineral pigments because of its greater hiding power. Prior to 1940, lead was in almost every paint. As titanium dioxide, a white pigment of hiding power superior to lead oxide, became economic, the use of lead oxide diminished. By 1978, when regulations limited the allowable lead in paint were implemented, the use of lead oxide had all but stopped already.
Lead chromate pigments in colors of yellow, orange or green (when mixed with a blue pigment) were also quite prevalent during the same period of use as lead oxide. Lead chromate paint is still used for safety paints, such as the paint on traffic lines or fire hydrants.
Lead was burned in leaded gasoline from the 1930’s to 1970’s, and much of this lead still lies in the soil adjacent to major roads.