Lead paint or lead-based paint is paint containing lead. As pigment, lead(II) chromate (PbCrO4, "chrome yellow") and lead(II) carbonate (PbCO3, "white lead") are the most common forms. Lead is added to paint to speed up drying, increase durability, maintain a fresh appearance, and resist moisture that causes corrosion. It is one of the main health and environmental hazards associated with paint. In some countries, lead continues to be added to paint intended for domestic use, whereas countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. have regulations prohibiting this, although lead paint may still be found in older properties painted prior to the introduction of such regulations. Although lead has been banned from household paints in the United States since 1978, paint used in road markings may still contain it. Alternatives such as water-based, lead-free traffic paint are readily available, and many states and federal agencies have changed their purchasing contracts to buy these instead.
Lead paint is especially hazardous to children under age six, whose developing bodies are susceptible to lead poisoning. It causes nervous system damage, stunted growth, kidney damage, and delayed development. It is particularly dangerous to children because it tastes sweet, encouraging children to put lead chips and toys with lead dust in their mouths. Lead paint is also dangerous to adults and can cause reproductive problems in both men and women.[not in citation given]
A myth regarding lead-based paint claims that children must eat lead-paint chips to develop lead poisoning. In actuality, ingestion of lead dust, which can be dislodged from deteriorating paint or can be generated during painting, also occurs when children get lead dust on their hands and then touch their mouths.
||The examples and perspective in this section deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (May 2012)|
The European Union has passed a directive controlling lead paint use.
The United States' Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned lead paint in 1977 (16 Code of Federal Regulations 1303), along with toys and furniture containing lead paint. The cited reason was "to reduce the risk of lead poisoning in children who may ingest paint chips or peelings." For manufacturers, the CPSC instituted the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which changed the cap on lead content in paint from 0.06% to 0.009% starting August 14, 2009.
In January 2011 the US Environmental Protection Agency required that all renovators working in homes built before 1978 and containing more than six square-feet of lead paint be certified. EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule) lowers the risk of lead contamination from home renovation activities. It requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978 be certified by EPA and use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices. 
Lead paint in art 
Oil paints 
In art, white lead paint is known as "flake white" or "Cremnitz white". It is valued for the ease of handling and resilience the lead confers to oil paints. Lead white paint dries relatively quickly to form a strong, flexible paint film. Lead-based white is one of the oldest manufactured pigments. It was the only white pigment available to artists in appreciable quantities until the twentieth century, when zinc-white and titanium-white became available. Industrially produced lead white, the typical pigment from the 19th century until its ban, was thought to be inferior to traditionally fabricated forms, which had larger "flake" particles that conferred ease of handling.
Titanium and zinc whites are far less toxic than lead white and have largely supplanted it in most fine arts applications. Safety regulations have also made lead white more expensive and difficult to obtain in some regions, such as the EU. However lead white oil paints are still produced and in use by artists who prefer their unique handling, mixing, and structural qualities.
Flake white has various drawbacks, including a tendency to become transparent over time. It also blackens in the presence of certain atmospheric pollutants, although this can be reversed.
Water-based paints 
Lead is not a traditional pigment in water mediums, as zinc is superior for works on paper, as is calcium hydroxide (slaked lime) for frescos. Lead-based paints, when used on paper, often cause the work to become discolored after long periods of time; the paint's lead carbonate reacts with hydrogen sulfide in the air and with acids, which often come from fingerprints.
Paint manufacturers have replaced white lead with a less toxic substitute, titanium white (based on the pigment titanium dioxide), which was first used in paints in the 19th century. Titanium dioxide is considered safe enough to use as a food coloring and in toothpaste. It is also a common ingredient in sunscreen. When used in paints today, it is often coated with silicon or aluminum oxides for durability. Titanium white has far greater opacity and tinting strength than lead white, and it can easily overpower most other pigments if not mixed carefully. Titanium white has been criticized for leading to "chalkiness" in mixtures, and for allegedly decreasing the permanence of organic pigments mixed with it due to its high refractive index.
Zinc white is less opaque and weaker in tinting strength than either titanium white or lead white. It is commonly used to lighten mixtures subtly while maintaining transparency. Although zinc white is the standard white in watercolors, its structural soundness in oils has been debated. Zinc white dries slowly and creates a relatively inflexible paint film. Critics of the pigment argue that its use leads to excessive cracking and delamination, even when used sparingly.
See also 
- Environmental issues with paint
- Lead-based paint in the United Kingdom
- Lead-based paint in the United States
- Lead tetroxide
- "Lead-laden paint still widely sold around the world". Reuters. 25 August 2009.
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (August 2007). "ToxFAQs™ for Lead". Center for Disease Control.
- "Frequently Asked Questions About Lead". U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 7 October 2011.
- "Poison Myths". The University of Kansas Hospital.
- Office of Information and Public Affairs (2 September 1977). "CPSC Announces Final Ban On Lead-Containing Paint". U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- "U.S. EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Program".
- Mayer, Ralph (1991). The artist's handbook of materials and techniques (5. ed., rev. and updated ed.). New York City: Viking. ISBN 0670837016.
- Claire L. Hoevel (1985). "A Study of the Discoloration Products Found in White Lead Paint". The American Institute for Conservation: Book and Paper Group Annual 4.
- "Zinc White – Problems in Oil Paint?". Natural Pigments LLC.
Further reading 
- Rutherford J. Gettens; Hermann Kühn; W. T. Chase (1967). "Identification of the Materials of Paintings: Lead White". Studies in Conservation 12 (4): 125–139. JSTOR 1505410.
- Gifford, Donald G (2010). Suing the Tobacco and Lead Pigment Industries: Government Litigation as Public Health Prescription. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-11714-7.