The History of Lead Paint in the U.S.

Peeling PaintIf you have rented or purchased a home in Arizona in the past decade than chances are you have signed a piece of documentation called a lead paint disclosure. Since 1996 any landlord or home seller that utilized lead-based must disclose this information to their prospective buyers/tenants.

In 1978 lead paint was deemed a harmful environmental pollutant and was banned for residential use in homes. Lead paint has been shown to cause nervous system damage, stunted growth, kidney damage and delayed development. It is particularly dangerous to children because of the paints sweet flavor which encourages children to eat paint chips.

So how and why did lead paint become the standard for American homes throughout the first half of the 20th century?

Here is the history of lead paint in the U.S.

Lead based paint was the preferred paint in the U.S. during the early 20th century because of its aesthetic and practical advantages. Lead was often added to paint to expedite drying, increase durability, produce a fresh, bright appearance and resist moisture that causes corrosion.

Lead-based paint is notably brighter and more vibrant. Taking a look at 1950’s interior design it’s no surprise that lead paint was popular.

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In fact U.S. Departments of Commerce, Interior and Agriculture recommended the use of lead paint from the early 1900’s through the late 1970’s.

It wasn’t until the 1950’s that industry funded research found that children exposed to lead paint in their homes were at risk of developing lead poisoning.

It took nearly 20 years in 1971 for the U.S. Surgeon General Jesse L. Steinfeld stated that, “Lead-based paint was commonly used for interior purposes until the 1940s, when it was largely replaced by titanium-based paint; therefore, children living in dilapidated or obviously deteriorating houses built prior to that time are to be given particular attention.”

Finally, in 1978 the use of lead paint in residential and commercial properties was banned across the United States.

Arizona and Phoenix in general have a wealth of homes built in the 1950’s and 60’s. If your home has was built before 1978 than chances are that lead paint was used in some capacity for your home. Give AZ Hydro Pro a call today to measure your exposure to lead paint.