when did lead paint first come into use?

I've read it was banned in 1978, that levels were higher prior to 1950, but I can't find any info that discusses when it was first used. Many of the houses around here date back to the 1700s and have original windows and trim. Was lead paint in use in the 1700s? 1800s? Thanks!
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I know it was use in the early 1900's. Don't know about previous.
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The lead paint on an old house is probably covered by coats of newer paint. If it is covered or not covered, don't eat it and you'll be OK. It's not like asbestos. If it is flaking off because now is the first time that the house fell into disrepair, now you have an immediate concern, which it to not let toddlers into the house. -B

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This may not be true. Paint dust can be on the surface and when kids touch a surface and put their fingers in their mouth they are eating lead. That is why there was a recall of some vinyl blinds a few years back. The paint problem is so big no one wants to touch it. Kind of like old wiring in old houses. Another problem that no one wants to think about.

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The one time I tried to research this the best answer I could find was that lead has been used for centuries.
Colbyt
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Yeah, the Romans used it in plumbing
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Hopkins ( snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com) said...

From what I've heard, they also used lead acetate as a sweetener (while the peasents used honey). Of course, we now know what that can do to you.
--
Calvin Henry-Cotnam
"Never ascribe to malice what can equally be explained by incompetence."
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http://www.freep.com/news/childrenfirst/lhist21_20030121.htm
The above link says lead was used in paint as far back as 1884, but I've seen other mentions that say accounts of childhood lead-paint poisoning were already known by that time.
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RobR wrote:

http://www.website101.com/Health_Insurance/Lead-Poisoning-Workers.htm
R
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Amazing that it took from 1910 to 1977 to get it out of household paint.
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White lead in linseed oil or red lead in linseed oil have been the standard white or dull red paints for centuries. Way before the 1700s.

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According to my encyclopedia, the ancient Romans are believed to be the first to use white lead as pigment in paint, in the 400s B.C.
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Japanese used white lead on timber ends in traditional builtings - houses and temples. I'm not sure when it was first used but some temples go way back. TB
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