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Why was lead used in paint?

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asked Sep 26, 2015 in Home Improvement by anonymous
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Lead was used in paint for several reasons, one of which is that certain types of lead compounds provide pigment for the paint. White lead and vivid yellow lead chromate are two examples. White lead paint was formerly used to paint wood surfaces in homes. Its insolubility in water made paint that used it as an ingredient a durable, washable surface. White lead also neutralized the acidic properties of some of the other ingredients in paint, providing a durable coating that resisted cracks. [1] Paint containing lead also dries quickly. [2]


The United States has banned lead paint in household paints since 1978, but lead paint is often still present in homes that were painted prior to that date. Ingesting the paint can lead to damage to the nervous system and kidneys, stunted growth and delayed development. Because the paint chips have a sweet taste, they are particularly dangerous for children, who are likely to eat them. Another danger that lead paint presents is a reduction in sperm count in men, leading to decreased fertility. Lead is also most likely a carcinogen. [2]





1. http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2007/August/21080701.asp

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_paint

answered Sep 26, 2015 by jems (19,790 points)
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Lead has been used in everyday objects since the Roman era. It was used in makeups, and as an additive in food and wine. This inexpensive metal was used in pipelines that transported water in the Roman Empire. Lead compounds are added to pain as a pigment. It creates a specific color to the paint depending on the compound used. Lead II carbonate or white lead gives the paint a cream or white color. On the other hand, lead tetroxide gives the pain a bright red color. The additive will decrease the amount of time that the pain takes to dry. It also makes the paint more durable while causing it to be more moisture resistant. This is why lead has been used in paint in the past.




answered Sep 27, 2015 by nilupa1973 (35,290 points)

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