When Did They Stop Using Lead in Paint?

calander Jul 8 , 2023 user-icon Nash Painting

When did they stop using lead in paint?

You may have wondered when lead-based paint was no longer used in homes and other structures, especially if you own an older property. Lead-based paint was once a common component of many homes and buildings, but concerns about its health risks led to significant changes in regulations.

In this blog post, we'll explore the origin of lead-based paint and its journey to being phased out. We will examine early medical concerns about lead-based paints that sparked public health investigations leading to legislation. You'll also learn about initial bans on local levels before federal actions were taken against using such dangerously toxic metal in house paint altogether.

We won't stop there though; despite these regulations, the issue of lead exposure persists today. We'll explore how elevated lead levels occur particularly in pre-1960 buildings and what hazards renovation workers face when dealing with them. Finally, we will shed light on current legal obligations regarding testing for toxins like lead intended for childhood poisoning prevention and precautions necessary when dealing with potentially contaminated surfaces.

So let's dive right into understanding: when did they stop using lead in paint?

Table of Contents:

The History of Lead-Based Paint

Doctors started noticing that kids living in homes with lead-based paint were feeling a little off. Fatigue, tummy troubles, and slow development became the norm for these unfortunate little ones. Check out the evidence.

The Ban on Lead-Based Paint

Despite the earlier extensive utilization of lead-based paint, increasing awareness about its health perils resulted in a progression of legislative measures. The journey to ban lead paint was gradual but firm.

Initial Bans on a Local Level

In 1960, New York City took a groundbreaking step in protecting children's health by banning lead-based paint. This local action paved the way for more extensive regulations across states and eventually at a federal level. You can learn more about these early efforts from this historical review.

Federal Actions Against Using Lead-Based Paints

Ten years after NYC's initial ban, New York State prohibited using lead paints statewide. In 1971, federal legislation followed suit by banning usage in public housing through an amendment to the Lead-Based Poisoning Prevention Act (LBPPA). By 1978, private homes and buildings were also included under this prohibition.

Changes in Permissible Levels Over Time

Apart from outright bans, permissible levels of lead within house paints have been successively lowered over time as well. Initially set at 0.5% by weight in dried film by LBPPA amendments in 1971; it was further reduced to just trace amounts (0.06%) post-1992 revisions.

This history serves as a reminder that when it comes to painting services or renovations involving older structures with potential traces of lead-based paint still present - homeowners need not only be aware but proactive too.

"Lead-based paint was gradually banned due to health concerns. Learn about the history and why homeowners should be proactive in dealing with it. #leadpaintban #healthrisks"Click to Tweet

Persistent Perils Despite Regulations

Even though lead-based paint use has been significantly curtailed, dangers still lurk. Older homes and buildings, especially those constructed before 1978, may harbor layers of this toxic paint beneath newer coats.

When Did They Stop Using Lead in Paint?

Risks of Aging Structures

Homes built prior to the lead-based paint ban can pose serious health hazards. The EPA warns of possible developmental issues in children and cardiovascular problems for adults if exposed to lead-based paint, making it essential for homeowners or buyers of older properties to consider this when planning renovations. This is why homeowners seeking painting services or potential buyers considering older properties should take this into account during renovation planning.

Dangers for Renovation Workers

Renovation projects involving these older structures are not only perilous for residents but also hazardous for workers who may disturb old layers during refurbishment. The dust created when sanding or scraping off old paint can contain lead particles, which, if ingested or inhaled, can cause severe harm. OSHA stresses the necessity of utilizing suitable security measures, including donning individual defensive gear (PPE) and adhering to particular work practices.

"Did you know that even though lead-based paint use has been reduced, older homes may still have layers of this toxic paint? Stay safe during renovations and protect your health. #LeadPaintDangers #HomeRenovationSafety"Click to Tweet

Testing & Safety: A Must in Today's World

Testing for toxins is essential when dealing with lead-based paint, especially for homeowners looking to have painting services done or those interested in buying older properties.

Legal Obligations: Testing for Toxins

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has strict rules for landlords. They must disclose any known information about lead-based paint or hazards in the dwelling and provide tenants with an EPA-approved pamphlet on lead poisoning prevention. Get the details on the EPA's Real Estate Disclosure page.

Precautions: Dealing with Contaminated Surfaces

  • Hire Professionals: Always go for certified contractors who can handle and remove hazardous materials.
  • Safety Gear: Ensure workers wear proper protective equipment like gloves, masks, and coveralls during renovations.
  • Dust Control: Implement measures like wet-sanding to minimize airborne particles that could be ingested or inhaled.

If you're planning renovations on older homes, it's crucial to test for toxic substances like lead beforehand. Always prioritize your wellbeing and safety above all else.


Did all paint in the 1950s contain lead?

No, not all paints in the 1950s contained lead, but many did for that extra durability and vibrant colors.

Why did they stop putting lead in paint?

Lead was removed from residential paints because it poses serious health risks, especially for kids. Learn more about the dangers of Lead Poisoning.

Would a house built-in 1979 have lead paint?

There's a chance that a house built before 1978 might have some layers of lead-based paint. Read up on homes with potential lead hazards.


Be aware, be vigilant, and be careful. Especially if you live in an older Nashville home, take the potential presence of laid paint seriously.