Lead was added to paint to accelerate drying, increase durability, maintain a fresh appearance, and resist moisture that causes corrosion.

Lead in paint becomes an issue and the paint becomes especially hazardous when it begins to deteriorate, chips, flakes or dust from scraping or sanding are released into the air. Everyday activities that cause friction on surfaces, such as opening windows or doors, may also release lead dust.

“A lot of people don’t really know how dangerous it is,” said Arlie Lindsey, program coordinator, at Wyandotte County Unified Government Department of Community Development.

Lead-based paint was certainly durable.

“It had nice bright colors and it stayed on the walls. It was great,” said Lindsey. Except for the fact that it was toxic.

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