What is Lead Based Paint?

Federal Standards define lead based paint as any paint or surface coatings that contain lead equal to or in excess of 1.0 milligram per square centimeter or more than 0.5 percent by weight.

Paint with concentrations of lead lower than the definition above can still cause health problems. Even paint with a small amount of lead can account for a lot of lead in airborne or settled dust. Because some states and localities regulate paint with lower concentrations of lead, you should always check with your state and local health departments to see if they have requirements that are more stringent than the Federal requirements.

Lead use in paint dates all the way back to Colonial times when it was added for color and durability. Lead was also added to some other surface coatings, such as varnishes and stains. Lead based paint was banned from residential use in 1978 by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Lead Based Paint

Lead Based Paint

For more information on the banning of lead based paint, we recommend this post from our blog: The Banning of Lead: When and Why?

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