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U; S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
ROYAL MEEKER, Commissioner

BULLETIN OF THE UNITED STATES\
BUREAU OF LABOR ST A T IST IC S/ * * '
INDUSTRIAL

ACCIDENTS

AND

HYGIENE

(WHOLE 1Q Q

1NUMBER 100
SERIES:

No.

8

REPORT OF BRITISH DEPARTMENTAL COM­
MITTEE ON THE DANGER IN THE USE OF
LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS




MARCH, 1916

WASHINGTON
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
1916




CONTENTS.
Page.

Preface................................................................................................................
5-8
Introductory........................................................................................................ 9,10
Meetings of committee..................................................................................
9
Witnesses called by committee...................................................................
9
Witnesses submitted by white lead corroders’ section of London Chamber
of Commerce...... ........ .............................................................................. 9,10
Summary of evidence........................................................................................11-112
Dr. Legge...................................................................................................... 11-13
Master House Painters and Decorators in England...................................... 13-30
Master House Painters in Scotland........................................ ..................... 30-34
National Amalgamated Society of House and Ship Painters.......................35-38
Scottish Society of House and Ship Painters.............................................. 39,40
Color, paint, oil and varnish trades associations.......................................... 40-45
Other manufacturers of paints or paint materials........................................45-58
Chemists....................................................................................................... 58-62
Sir Henry Cunynghame, K. C. B ......... ......................................................63,64
H. M. office of works.....................................................................................64-69
Royal Institute of British Architects........................................................... 69,70
Messrs. Cadbury Bros. (Ltd.)....................................................................... 70,71
Statistical evidence...................................................................................... 71-73
Ship painting..................................... .......................................... , ............. 73-77
Bridge painting............................................................................................. 77,78
White lead corroders’ witnesses.................................................................. 78-112
Analysis of evidence.......................... ............................................................. 113-121
Extent of lead poisoning evil................................. .................................. 113-121
Deaths from lead poisoning................................................................ 113-119
Estimate of number of nonfatal cases................................................ 119-121
Action taken by foreign governments....................................................... 122-124
France................................................ ..................................................
122
Austria...................................................................................................
122
Germany................................................................................................
122
Belgium.................................................................................................
123
Holland.............................................................................................. 123,124
Switzerland............................................................................................
124
Methods of dealing with lead poisoning.................................................... 124-152
Regulations........................................................................................ 124-135
Prohibition or restriction of use of lead............................................... 135-147
Adequacy of supply of leadless materials for paints.............................147-150
Restriction of the use of lead to not more than 5 per cent of soluble
lead................................................................................................. 150-152
Recommendations............................................................................................152-154
Memorandum by Mr. W. G. Sutherland..........................................................155-184
Notes on Mr. Sutherland’s memorandum................................................ 183,184
Tabltfof information supplied by users of leadless paints............................... 186-199
Appendix......................................................................................................... 200-202




3




BULLETIN OF THE

U. S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.
WHOLE NO. 188.

WASHINGTON.

MARCJH, 1916.

REPORT OF BRITISH DEPARTMENTAL COMMITTEE ON THE DANGER
IN THE USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.
PREFACE.
The extent of lead poisoning among industrial workers has iongbeen
the subject of serious concern to the factory inspection authorities
in Great Britain. By the Factory Act of 1895, regulations effective
January 1, 1896, were introduced in Great Britain, requiring re­
ports of lead poisoning in a list of factory industries and endeavoring
to control the use of lead so far as practicable in order to safeguard
the health of the workers. As a result of these regulations, the num­
ber of cases of lead poisoning has been greatly reduced, so that the
average annual number reported in the five-year period, 1910-1914,
was less than one-half the number annually reported in the five-year
period, 1896—
1900.
Owing to the difficulty of securing reports of cases of lead poisoning
occurring outside of factories, information at all complete has been
lacking as to the extent of load poisoning among painters employed
on buildings. On January 20, 1911, in response to a long-continued
and insistent public demand, the Home Secretary appointed two
departmental committees to study the danger attendant on the use
of paints containing lead to tho health of persons engaged in painting,
and to consider and report what should be done to obviate or reduce
tho danger. To one of these committees was assigned the study of
tho painting of buildings, and to the other the painting of coaches and
carriages. The report of the first committee, made after extensive
investigations, was issued on May 5, 1915. The report, however,
bears the date of November, 1914.
Besides the chairman, the committee consisted of two members
of Parliament, the medical inspector of factories, and two representa­
tives each of employing painters and of working painters. The
appointment of this committee was prompted by the numerous cases
of lead poisoning among painters and the belief that much of it could




6

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOK STATISTICS.

be prevented by the same careful regulation or restriction which has
proved effective in preventing lead poisoning in factories.
The committee's report is based upon the evidence of 118 witnesses,
of whom 93 were selected by the committee as representatives of
employers, painters, paint and paint material manufacturers, con­
sultants to paint makers, chemists, architects, physicians, and others
with special knowledge of ship and bridge painting and lead poisoning.
The remaining 25 witnesses were brought forward by the white lead
corroders’ section of the London Chamber of Commerce, and included
a certain number from France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Holland,
and Switzerland. The report is printed in a volume of 134 pages,
summarizing and analyzing the evidence and presenting the recom­
mendations of the committee. A second volume giving the testi­
mony of the witnesses in full is yet to be issued.
The enactment of a law prohibiting the importation, sale, or use
of any paint material containing more than 5 per cent of its dry weight
of a soluble lead compound is the principal recommendation of the
committee. The committee recognized that in connection with such
a restriction as it recommends it would be necessary to exempt specifi­
cally certain classes of colors, such as those used by artists, and that
it would be desirable to authorize the granting of exemptions appli­
cable only to special branches of the painting industry, where it could
be shown to the satisfaction of the Home Secretary that the use of
lead paints containing more than 5 per cent of soluble lead can not
as yet be dispensed with. In such cases it is considered desirable
that the Home Secretary be given power to enforce adequate precau­
tionary measures, namely, abolition of dry rubbing down, provision
for overalls, lunch rooms, cloak rooms, elevators, medical examina­
tions, and the like, all of which should be made compulsory and should
be enforced by adequate inspection. The supplying of lead materials
to any user granted such exemption could be controlled by permitting
paint manufacturers to supply the materials in question only on
condition that they submit in writing to the proper Government
department the name and address of the customer.
To give adequate time for paint makers and others to arrange for
supplies of nonpoisonous materials and also to facilitate the intro­
duction of modifications in painting methods, where special work
necessitates such changes, the committee recommends that the
restriction of the amount of lead in paints to not more than 5 per
cent of soluble lead should not be enforced until three years after
the publication of its report.
Attention is directed to the possible dangers to health arising from
the vapors of linseed oil and turpentine or turpentine substitutes
used in all paints whether compounded with lead or leadless pigments,
and to the consequent importance of investigating their possible



DANGEB IN USE OF LEAD IN’ TH E PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

7

effect on health which the evidence before the committee indicated
might be serious enough to require action on the part of the Home
Office. The committee is of the opinion that any bill proposing to
effectuate its recommendations should empower the Home Secretary
to make regulations, if he finds it necessary, similar to those which
he is now authorized by law to establish in factories and work­
shops.
The committee found that serious efforts had been made to deal
with the evil of lead poisoning among house painters in France,
Austria, Germany, Holland, Belgium, and Switzerland, and suggests
that Great Britain should not be behind other countries in such a
matter. Two methods of dealing with the evil suggested themselves:
Either (1) the industry must be governed by a strict code of regula­
tions, or (2) the use of lead must be prohibited altogether, or at any
rate restricted within very narrow limits.
The proposal to deal with the situation by regulation the com­
mittee regards as impossible, for four principal reasons: (1) The
inadequacy of regulations to cope with the evil; (2) the difficulty of
prohibiting dry rubbing down, the most frequent cause of lead
poisoning; (3) the cost and difficulty of complying with various
precautionary measures; and (4) the insuperable difficulty of enforc­
ing regulations by adequate inspection.
The second method for the prevention of lead poisoning, by the
prohibition of the use of lead or its restriction within very narrow
limits, was favored by a majority of employers who appeared before
the committee.
The committee found from the evidence before it that not only
are leadless paints suitable for interior work but that they had been
used successfully on exterior surfaces. The leadless paints claimed
to be of sufficient durability for exterior use were found already
obtainable in considerable numbers, with every indication that
legislation affecting the amount of lead permissible in paints would
give a great impetus to the manufacture of the nonpoisonous substi­
tutes.
The white lead industry in Great Britain in 1910 produced 58,000
tons, 85 per cent of which was for home consumption. It employed
approximately 2,500 persons with annual wages of $750,000. The
capital invested amounted to $6,500,000. In lead mining approxi­
mately 2,700 persons were employed, with annual wage payments
only slightly less than in the white lead industry. It was estimated
that the prohibition of the use of white lead according to the com­
mittee’s recommendations would limit the demand for this material
to 23,000 tons and would also reduce the demand for pig lead by
about 25 per cent.




8

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS,

Among the persons employed a s house painters in England and
Wales, about 30 deaths from lead poisoning are reported each year.
As to the number of nonfatal cases there are no complete statistics,
since house painters do not come under the factory acts and reports
of cases are entirely voluntary. However, the number of nonfatal
cases is estimated at about 750 per annum.
In Great Britain the production of zinc oxide, the principal sub­
stitute for white lead in outdoor painting, is small, but the com­
mittee is of the opinion that a larger call for zinc paints would lead
to the establishment of zinc oxide works on a scale sufficient to
meet all demands.
The recommendations of the committee are signed by seven of its
eight members, one, a representative of the association of master
painters, submitting a minority report. This minority report vig- *
orously challenges the conclusions and recommendations of the other
members of the committee and urges that regulation should at least
be given a thorough trial before prohibiting the use of so valuable a
paint material as white lead. This recommendation is based upon
the claim that the center of danger in all industries is the dust pro­
duced, and that in painting the dust-producing processes harmful to
the health of the workers rest on the dry rubbing of lead paint.
Therefore, it is suggested that the rational course is to prohibit under
heavy penalties the practice of dry rubbing down, and thus remove
the great source of danger from poisoning by lead dust.
The full text of the report is reproduced in the following pages.




INTRODUCTORY.
To the Right Honorable Reginald McKenna, M. P., His Majesty's
Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department.
Sm: We have the honor to submit the following report dealing with
the matters referred to us by His Majesty’s principal secretary of state
for the Home Department in the warrant of appointment issued on
January 20, 1911.
The committee have met on 49 days, of which 37 were occupied
in taking evidence and 12 solely in deliberation.
In all 118 witnesses were examined, of whom 93 were selected and
called by the committee as adequately co.vering all the aspects of
the problem submitted for solution, viz:
38 employers of house painters;
11 operatives’ representatives;
25 representatives of makers of paint or paint materials;
2 consultants to paint makers;
4 chemists;
2 witnesses representing the Royal Institute of British Archi­
tects;
4 doctors and others with special knowledge of lead poison­
ing in the house painting industry;
5 witnesses who dealt mainly with ship painting;
2 witnesses who dealt mainly with bridge painting.
The remaining 25 witnesses were brought forward by the white
lead corroders’ section of the London Chamber of Commerce, and
included a certain number from France, Germany, Austria, Belgium,
Holland, and Switzerland. Their evidence might well have been
regarded as irrelevant to the questions involved in the terms of
reference, but inasmuch as the interests which they represented
were from an indirect point of view such as were most liable to be
affected by any drastic interference with the present conditions of
the house painting trade, the committee unanimously agreed that
they should be heard, and the fullest consideration given to iany
arguments which they had to adduce. In the event, their evidence
proved to be very voluminous and greatly extended the period occu­
pied by the inquiry.
The full list of witnesses who attended at the request of the white
lead corroders’ section of the London Chamber of Commerce was as
follows:
Dr. I. Kaup, a chief of the central organization for social hy­
giene in Berlin, and formerly Government medical officer
m Vienna,- who spoke regarding the conditions in Germany
and Austria;
Dr. J. Rambousek, Government medical officer for Bohemia,
who gave evidence regarding the working of regulations in
Austria;




9

10

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

Mr. de Morsier, reporter of the Swiss commission oil the use
of white lead;
Dr. M. Roch, chef de clinique at the cantonal hospital of
Geneva;
Prof. Wefers-Bettink, df the University of Utrecht, who spoke
regarding house painting in Holland;
Mr. K. W. Goadby, consulting pathologist, Harley Street,
London;
Prof. H. E. Armstrong, professor of chemistry at the City and
Guilds of London Central Institute;
Mr. C. A. Klein, chief chemist of the Brimsdown White Lead
Co.;
Mr. O. Meissl, a master painter of Vienna, employing from
300 to 400 workmen;
Mr. Ch. Ricker-Devroede, a master painter of Brussels;
Mr. Nooijen, a master painter of The Hague, Holland;
Mr. E. Niederhauser, a master painter of Cologne, Germany,
employing from 80 to 100 workmen;
Mr. J. Sibthorpe, a master house painter of Dublin, employ­
ing about 50 workmen;
Mr. G. Plumb, foreman for Messrs. G. Trollope & Sons,
housepainters, Pimlico, employing from 150 to 350 painters;
Mr. A. Villemot, president of the Color and Varnish Manu­
facturers’ Association of Paris;
Mr. E. Expert-Bezan$on, a white lead manufacturer of
Aubervilliers, France;
Mr. H. Leyenaecker, president of the German White Lead
Manufacturers’ Association;
Mr. H. Miller, secretary of the London Chamber of Com­
merce;
Capt. M. Francis and Mr. E. N. Humphreys, who spoke for
the lead-mining interest of Halkyn, Norm Wales;
Mr. H. Gardner and Mr. J. Matton, members of firms prominent
in the wholesale metal market of London;
Mr. J. Holt Schooling, fellow of the Royal Statistical Society;
Mr. H. C. Lancaster & Mr. E. M. Johnson, members of the
firm of Locke, Lancaster & W. R. Johnson (Ltd.), white
lead manufacturers, of London.
The whole evidence of the 118 witnesses examined is printed in
extenso in a separate volume, and the purport of it is here sum­
marized on the pages immediately following, viz, pages, 11 to 112.




SUMMARY OP EVIDENCE.
DR. T. M. LEGGE.
Dr. Legge, H. M. medical inspector of factories, gave evidence
regarding the occurrence of cases of lead poisoning amongst house
painters. The provisions of section 73 of the Factory and Workshop
Act, 1901, requiring the notification by medical practitioners of cases
of lead poisoning coming tuider their notice, does not apply to house
painters, as the occupation of the latter is not one within the scope of
the factory acts. A considerable number of cases are, however,
reported every year by medical practitioners voluntarily without
any legal requirement.
INCIDENCE OF LEAD POISONING.

In this way 1,973 cases were reported among house painters and
plumbers in the years 1900-1909, inclusive, and 232 cases in 1910;
of these 232 the house painters numbered 197, and the remaining
35 were plumbers; approximately the same relation between cases
amongst house painters and those amongst plumbers obtains
throughout the recorded figures.
The table handed in by Dr. Legge1 shows that the largest number
of reported cases occurs m London. Birmingham comes next, Man­
chester third, Bristol fourth, and Leeds fifth. In the whole of Scot­
land only 20 cases were reported in the five years 1906-1910, 12 of
those cases being from Glasgow.
All the above figures, however, can only be regarded as a fraction
of the whole, as the notification is purely voluntary.
FATAL CASES.

In regard to fatal cases of lead poisoning among house painters,
Dr. Legge was able to give accurate statistics for England and Wales,
as an arrangement exists with the registrar general whereby district
registrars notify the chief inspector of factories and send copies of
death certificates in all cases in which lead is directly or indirectly
the cause.2 In the 10 years 1900-1909, inclusive, the total number
of deaths from lead poisoning among house painters and plumbers
amounted to 387.
i See Appendix V fin Minutes of Evidence, presented in a separate volum e of the original report],
a This arrangement has been in force with the registrar genera] for England and Wales since 1898, but
unfortunately similar statistics are not available for Scotland and Ireland, as corresponding arrangements
w ith the registrar generals of those countries were only made in 1910. The number of deaths reported in
the last four years are as follows:
191 0
191 1
191 2
191 3




, ......................................... 35
. 48
47
37

11

12

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

ESTIMATED TOTAL NUMBER OP CASES.

Complete statistics are available for attacks as well as deaths in
respect of 19 classes of workers, namely:
1. Smelting of metals.
2. Brass works.
3. Sheet lead and lead piping.
4. Plumbing and soldering.
5. Printing,
6. File cutting.
7. Tinning and enameling.
8. White lead.
9. Red lead.
10. China and earthenware.
11. Lithotransfcrs.
12. Glass cutting and polishing.
13. Enameling iron plates.
14. Electric accumulators.
15. Paints and colors.
16. Coach building.
17. Shipbuilding.
18. Paint used m other industries.
19. Other industries.
Assuming that the proportion of deaths to attacks is about the
same amongst house painters as amongst these other lead workers,
Dr. Legge arrives at an estimated figure for the total attacks in the
10 years 1900-1909 amongst house painters and plumbers as 9,516.
SEVERITY OF ATTACKS.

In reply to Q. 1611 Dr. Legge states that he was impressed with the
prevalence of severe symptoms, such as paralysis and brain symp­
toms and chronic plumbism, amongst many of the house painters
notified as suffering from lead poisoning.
SOURCES OF LEAD POISONING.

Dr. Legge, in reply to Q. 162,1 classified the chief causes amongst
house painters in tno order of their importance as follows:
(1) Dust from mixing dry white lead with oil.
(2) Dust arising from paint which has dried on overalls.
(3) Dust from sandpapering one coat of paint before applying
another.
(4) Contamination of food by unwashed hands.
(5) Possibly the fumes from burning off old paint.
REGULATIONS.

While there are no regulations in force in Great Britain dealing
with the work of house painters, because the Home Office has no
owers to deal with the painting in places outside the scope of the
actory and Workshop Act, Dr. Legge regarded the dangers of lead
poisoning as quite as great and perhaps greater than those in other
employments for which regulations have been made.

S

1Question numbers throughout refer to number of inquiry put to witness, in Minutes of Evidence.




DANGER 1ST USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

13

He stated that exhaust ventilation could not be applied to the
removal of dust in house painting, and he also saw sucn difficulties
iii regard to periodical medical examination of house painters as
would deprive such a measure of its practical value.
FOREIGN REGULATIONS.

Dr. Legge then dealt with the regulations in force in Germany,1
Belgium,3 France,3 and Austria.4
MASTER HOUSE PAINTERS AND DECORATORS IN ENGLAND.
A number of employers of house painters stated that they did not
at all realize the serious amount of lead poisoning occurring in their
trade as they had only known a few slight cases amongst their own
workers. They agreed, however, that the amount of sickness and
death revealeci by the registrar general's reports and other official
statistics was very deplorable, and that some action was requisite.
Each witness’s attention was drawn in detail to the provision of
washing accommodation, overalls, and mess rooms, as weu as medical
examination and other precautionary measures found to be necessary
in industries in which lead is used. Each witness was then asked if
he would prefer such regulations imposed on the trade or to have the
use of lead in paints prohibited or restricted to a very small per­
centage.
(1) MASTER HOUSE PAINTERS WHO PREFER REGULATIONS TO
PROHIBITION OF LEAD.

Mr. Laidler, a master house painter of Newcastlo-on-Tvne, one of
the witnesses who attended to give evidence oil behalf of tie National
Association of Master House Painters and Decorators, stated that he
employes from 80 to 120 painters, and has not known much illness
among them. Two-fifths of the work is done with paints containing
lead compounds; about 18 to 19 tons of lead are used annually ajid
from 20 to 25 tons of the leadless paints. Mr. Laidler alluded to
precautions taken to avoid risk of lead poisoning among his workers;
arrangements are made for washing, and the witness considered that
hot water was essential. The men provide themselves with clean
overalls every week. Ordinary walls and ceilings are rubbed down
by his men with dry sandpaper, but all the woodwork is rubbed
down with pumice stone ana water, thus avoiding dust. Dust arises,
however, in scraping off old paint work and no precautions are taken
to prevent the inhalation of this. Mr. Laidler was not aware of the
extent to which lead poisoning prevailed among house painters, and
agreed that it is very deplorable; he thought the existing state of
affairs ought, to be remedied, and stated emphatically that regula­
tions shoxnd be made to insure proper precautions being taken, such
as washing accommodation and the avoidance of dry rubbing down,
but he could not recommend any method of controlling the dust
arising from scraping off old paint. He stated that in his business,
distempers, which are zinc water paints, have taken the place of most
of the stippling and flatting work in which the principal danger of
. * See Appendix V I [in Minutes o f Evidence, pref«nted in ft separate volum e of the original report).
* See, Appendix V IIJin Miimtes of Evidence, presented in a separate volume of the original report].
.9 See Appendix V IIi [in Minutes of Evidence, presented in a separate volume of the original report].
4 See Appendix IX [in Minutes of Evidence, presented in a separate volume of the original report].




14

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

splashes arises. He did not consider that the trials of substitutes
for white lead, such as those carried out by H. M. office of works in
the preceding four years, had been extensive enough to convince him
that lead could be prohibited.
Mr. J. R. Chappell, also representing the National Association of
Master House Painters and Decorators, has been in business as a
painter and decorator in Leeds for the last 30 years. His firm em­
ploy an average of about 25 painters and he has not known a single
case of lead poisoning. Since the Workmen’s Compensation Act
came into force, however, the rate of insurance has increased and
this he attributed partly to the risk of lead poisoning. He referred
to experiments carried out by the National Association of Master
House Painters in 1910, in which boards were coated with various
paints and exposed in different parts of the country to varying atmos­
pheric conditions, with the object of discovering the relative value
of different paint materials; but he did not put in any evidence as
to the conclusions reached. He agreed that the poisoning indicated
by official statistics was very deplorable, but had not himself realized
that there was any great danger; he concurred in thinking that this
country should be abreast of other nations in its legislation for the
worker’s welfare.
As regards precautions, he considered hot water to be better than
cold and stated that hot water is nearly always available. He would
not object to allowing time for washing. Etc advocated compulsory
wearing of overalls, prohibition of keeping outdoor jackets and the
like in working rooms, and prohibition of eating near paint. He
admitted that there was certainly danger in the operation of dry rub­
bing down, which was indispensable at certain stages of the painting
process.
He was not aware of any possible way of removing the danger of
lead poisoning entirely other than by using a substitute for lead.
In his experience zinc paints were all right for inside but not for out­
side work. A test extending over four years, such as that referred
to by the office of works, he would not consider a sufficiently long test;
he would consider 10 years a more reasonable time.
He would not like any restriction in the working hours of painters;
neither would he welcome periodical medical examination, though
he would not be opposed to compensation for precautionary suspen­
sions if a system of periodical examinations were introduced. The
other precautions he follows out voluntarily at the present time. He
would prefer regulations to the abolition of lead, but he admitted
that there are certain dangers which would not be removed by regu­
lations. If the committee came to the conclusion that those dangers
are so serious that they can only be overcome by the abolition of lead,
he would loyalty abide by the decision of the committee.
Mr. J. H. McDermid also gave evidence as representing the National
Association of Master House Painters and Decorators, and stated that
he carried on business in Darlington with an average of 20 or 25 paint­
ers—in the season perhaps 40. He confirmed the evidence given by
other representatives of the association and agreed that the incidence
of lead poisoning was very deplorable. After the various precaution­
ary measures considered necessary for prevention of lead poisoning
had been explained to him, Mr. McDermid stated that he would prefer
even stringent regulations rather than the abolition of lead; but he



DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN' THE PAINTING OP BUILDINGS.

15

would not like to do away altogether with sandpapering between
coats and he could not suggest any means of removing the dust gener­
ated in this process or the spray given off when ornamental ceilings
are being painted. In conclusion, he repeated that he was surprised
at the extent of the mortality and sickness arising from the use of
lead by painters, and considered that it was so serious that it was
quite proper for the Government to take cognizance of it.
Mr. A. G. White gave evidence as the secretary of the National
Federation of Building Trades Employers of Great Britain and Ire­
land; he had had about 20 years’ experience as an employer of house
painters, numbering from 100 to 200 on the average. During that
period he knew of only three cases of lead poisoning that he could
recall, but in addition to this his men were occasionally absent with
slight attacks of colic. He had collected some statistics from various
branches of the association, which reported, in respect of the experi­
ence of plumbism, as follows:
Branch.

Average
number
o f painters
employed.

Number o f lead
poisoning cases.

Nil.
N il.
Practically nil.
Chatham............
N il.
Nottingham........ (1 em ployer). N il.
Liverpool............
N o record.
Dublin................. About 1,000.. 3 in 1907-1909.
3 ill 1909-10.
2 in 1910-11.
Southampton. . . .
Lancashire.......... 60.................
Portsmouth.........

This witness considered that the incidence of lead poisoning in the
house painting trade is not serious and that it is a diminishing evil.
The members of his association had not collected any statistics con­
cerning the number of days’ absence owing to ill-nealth amongst
painters, nor had they held aqy periodical medical examinations.
These, in the witness’s opinion, could not be carried out unless they
were made compulsory. His association have never taken any col­
lective measures to discover a substitute for white lead; although
Mr. White had heard of a number of such paints he had not personally
found anything satisfactory. In the witness’s opinion the lead poison­
ing evil had been much exaggerated; when it was pointed out to him
that the number of fatal cases was increasing and that the total
deaths from lead poisoning among house painters were more numer­
ous tha,n amongst the workers in ail factory industries taken together,
he admitted that the trade required proper regulation and suggested
that the heavy incidence of plumbism was due to the precautions
common in other lead industries not being taken in the painting trade.
(Q. 9192.1 After dealing further with statistics of lead poisoning
)
in detail the witness was questioned with regard to precautionary
measures. He agreed that washing accommodation was essential and
considered that the supply of hot water was generally practicable
and could be made compulsory; he considered that overalls ought
to be worn, but would object to the supply thereof by the employers;
he would not oppose the responsibility for having them washed Being
laid on the employers. He thought the danger arising from keeping
1Question numbers throughout refer to number of inquiry put to witness, in Minutes of Evidence.




16

BULLETIN OP THE BUREAU OF LABOB STATISTICS.

them in the workroom was a small one, but a place for storage could
be found if required. He said that meal rooms are sometimes pro­
vided, but he saw no real need for them. He admitted that there
would be difficulty in carrying out regulations such as those fore­
shadowed, but considered that the employers would obey such regu­
lations if they were made compulsory.
He considered that in some instances at any rate dry rubbing down
would be indispensable, and he could not agree offhand to the pro­
hibition of this process, lie thought it would be practicable for the
men to be required to wear a mask, and believed he could make one
‘ 'which would be no more objectionable to wear than a pair of motor
goggles.”
He could not suggest any way of obviating splashes on the face in
painting molded ceilings and the like, but considered it would be
sufficient for the men to wash them off afterwards.
With regard to stippling, he admitted that there is a certain amount
of spray, and said he used to consider that “ stippling a flat wall was
one of the things that gives men colic sooner than anything else.”
With regard to dust and fumes generally Mr. White could offer no
suggestion other than the wearing of a mask, and said, ‘ ‘If the work­
ers will not wear a mask there is no other way out of it but the pro­
hibition of lead.” He had tried various forms of zinc oxide paints,
but had not foun-i them as efficient as white lead either as regards
covering power or durability. He did not think that the four years’
trial of leadless paints by the office of works was Ion" enough; he
was of opinion that no tests of a substitute could be considered gener­
ally satisfactory unless tried on a ship.
Questioned in regard to further precautionary measures, he said
he would not object to limitation of workers’ hours to 48 a week; he
would not object to periodical medical examination, as he thought
it might be a good thing.
Summing up his evidence he said he would not object to a strict
code of regulations, and was strongly of opinion that such a code was
necessary wherever lead is used. With regard to the dust arising
from dry rubbing down, however, he could not suggest any precau­
tion other than the wearing of a mask.
Mr. C. E. Wilkinson attended as a representative of the London
Association of Master Decorators. He carries on business as a decor­
ator and jobbing builder in London. His firm employs an average of
about 20 painters and he has known of no cases of lead poisoning or
painter’s colic. Some of his painters have been 25 years in his
employment without illness. He stated that he was not satisfied as
to the reality of the danger of lead poisoning, but thought that cases
were wrongly certified. He was not aware of the number of deaths
certified from lead poisoning. He considered that the proportionate
incidence was probably very small, but agreed that the fact of there
being such a number of deaths was itself deplorable and that some­
thing should be done. He considered that regulations were all that
was necessary. The provision of overalls ana the required washing
thereof by employers he considered not practicable and not necessary
as the workmen* themselves do it. The provision of a mess room
•would be sometimes difficult; men frequently take food in the rooms
where they are working and this Mr. Wilkinson considered not a
highly dangerous thing under the circumstances. It would not be



DAX6ER IX USE OP LEAD IX THE PA'TXTIXG OF BTTILDIX'GS.

17

practicable to provide a place for overalls or a cloakroom for outdoor
clothing. As regards washing accommodation he said the men
always find some means for washing; good soap and cold water is
sufficient. A regulation on this subject he considered unnecessary
as the men carry towels and soap in their bag. The provision of
exhaust draught for dry rubbing down he regarded as impossible, but
he considered that the question of dust was exaggerated. Dry rub­
bing down could largely be dispensed with and the evolution of dust
prevented by moistening the glass paper with turpentine. He also
considered that lead dust was too heavy to float in the air. He
thought medical examination would be a good thing and would not
mind if a regulation were made to provide compensation for suspended
workers. He stated that he would prefer regulations to prohibition
of the use of lead, but considered many of the regulations under con­
sideration impracticable. - He thought a simple regulation would
suffice. He did not a<*ree with some of the regulations foreshadowed,
and they could not all be enforced. If it were felt that unless the
whole of the regulations were in force the health of the workpeople
would still be in danger, he would not be surprised if prohibition were
recommended. Mr. Wilkinson was unwilling to accept either the
figures supplied by the painters’ trade-unions or the statistics of the
registrar general, although he said he could himself only speak for
his own employees. He agreed that lead poisoning, if contracted at
all, is contracted from the dust, and said his solution was the proper
training and education of the painter in cleanliness; He was surprised
to hear that good workmen and properly trained painters suffer from
lead poisoning as it was contrary to his own experience.
See also the evidence of Messrs. Grr, Carfrae?Dobie, Guest, Bennett,
Anderson, and Scott, representing the Association of Master House
Painters in Scotland, and Mr. Sibthorpe, who attended at the request
of the white-load corroders’ section of the London Chamber of Com­
merce; the evidence of these gentlemen is summarized on pages 30
to 34 and 104 to 106.
(2) MASTER HOUSE PAINTERS PARTIALLY IN FAVOR OF REGULA­
TIONS.

Mr. J. D. Crace, a retired master decorator, and president of the
Institute of British Decorators, gave evidence as a representative
decorator of very large experience, stating that he was xor 45 years
engaged in first-class decoration, employing from 100 to 300 men.
The amount of white lead used averaged about 3 tons annually in
the latter years of his experience. He had tried zinc oxide a long
time ago, but had practically no recent experience of leadless paints.
He knew of one definite case of lead poisoning and five or six cases of
slight illness in the course of his 45 years’ experience.
Precautions were taken for which the foremen were responsible;
soap and towels were provided, pails to wash in, and hot water where
possible; overalls were provided by the men themselves. Rubbing
down was usually done with dry sandpaper on old work, and this
process caused dust; but witness was of opinion that the wet process
of rubbing down could generally be used throughout. Mr. Crace was
surprised at the extent of the lead poisoning evil disclosed by official
figures, and agreed that it was very deplorable. He was of opinion
25235°—Bull. 188—1C------2



18

BULLETIN OF TH E BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

(Q. 1999) that regulations to a certain extent would be a yery good
thing; later, in reply to Sir Godfrey Baring, he expressed the opinion
that prohibition of the use of lead would be disastrous, on the grounds
particularly that artistic effects could not be satisfactorily achieved
in interior decoration if lead is not used.
Mr. F. Grundy attended as president of the National Association of
Master House Painters and Decorators. He had been in the business
for 49 years and carries on business at Loughborough. He only
employs about an average of 10 painters. He said that ne had known
of a case of lead poisoning some 10 years ago. He agreed that the
amount of sickness and death represented by the official statistics
was very deplorable, but he did not admit any danger arising from
imperfect washing or from the taking home of dusty overalls. He
did not admit the presence of any dust in painting operations, though
he considered it a necessity to rub down work with dry sandpaper.
He further considered it impossible to breathe spray when painting
ornamental ceilings, and he did not recognize the possibility of splashes
falling on the worker’s face when stippling. In view of the witness’s
statement that he could not recognize any danger of dust or spray
arising in sandpaperinjg and other hazardous processes, the chairman
declined to continue his examination of this witness.
In replying to other members of the committee, he stated that he
had not given the subject of substitutes for lead much attention;
neither did he recognize the necessity for any particular precautions
other than the washing off of the looser portions of any paint that
might adhere to the workers’ hands.
Mr. J. C. Vaughan, of the National Association of Master House
Painters and Decorators, stated that he has earned on business as a
plumber and decorator at Hereford for over 30 years, employing an
average of from 30 to 35 painters. He has only known of one case of
lead poisoning, which occurred quite recently. He did not consider
that the amount of lead poisoning shown by the official statistics was
very large when compared with the number of painters employed, but
he agreed that all this sickness and death is very deplorable and that
it was regrettable that this country should be behind others in deal­
ing with the evil. He realized the importance of cleanliness, and con­
sidered washing accommodation essential but not always practicable.
Some of the men will not trouble to get hot water even when it is
practicable to do so. He considered that towels, soap, and nailbrushes
should be supplied by the employer, and suggested that such a regula­
tion might be enforced by the local policeman or the sanitary inspector
or the inland revenue officer, or alternatively by the appointment of
subinspectors for this special purpose. Mr. Vaughan admitted that
there would be difficulty in ascertaining where the work was going on
and visits to private houses might also be resented. In any case the
witness was of opinion that members of the National Association of
Master House Painters would loyally carry out regulations.
Mr. Vaughan would not object to supplying and providing for the
washing oi overalls if it were made compulsory; a storage place for
these, as well as for outdoor clothing put off during working hours,
could also be provided, though the provision of a separate place for
outdoor clothing and a place for keeping food free from contamination
would not always be possible. Mr. Vaughan thought dry rubbing
down not indispensable; even after the first coat o f paint had been



DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

19

applied rubbing down could be done with pumice stone. As regards
hours worked by painters Mr. Vaughan would not object to a 48-hours'
limit if it applied to all employers; he would also agree to periodical
medical examination at the employer’s expense. Compensation in
cases of suspension would involve further insurance.
With regard to substitutes he said he had not found a successful
nonpoisonous paint; if the office of works could dispense with lead
Mr. Vaughan thought other people should be able to do so. A sys­
tem of regulations would involve increased charges to customers,
whereas in the witness’s opinion the use of a substitute for lead would
involve more frequent painting.
Mr. J. J. Honeychurch attended as a representative of the London
Association of Master Decorators and stated that he carries on a build­
ing and painting business in various parts of the country, employing
an average of 40 painters. He has known cases of lead poisoning
among painters, not in connection with his own firm. He did not
regard lead poisoning as a real danger for house painters. He stated
that there are about 90 firms in his association, but he could not give
the number of painters employed by them. He considered that the
incidence of lead poisoning did not represent a very large percentage
of the number engaged in painting, but agreed that the actual fact of
this sickness and death was lamentable and something would have to
be done to eradicate the evil. He admitted that lead poisoning would
disappear under prohibition, while regulations would only offer a par­
tial remedy. He thought provision of overalls by the employer im­
possible; the provision of mess rooms and cloakrooms for outdoor
clothing impracticable; provision for the storage of overalls could,
however, be made. Washing accommodation he considered very
necessary, but hot water is not always available. The supply of clean
towels, nailbrushes, and soap by employers would not be a gjreat
trouble. The use of exhaust draught to remove the dust is impossible.
The establishment of periodical medical examination would be pos­
sible. He did not see, nowever, how compensation could be provided
for suspended workers. In summarizing the various regulations
under consideration he said it would not be possible to carry them all
out. Prohibition of lead would be all right provided there was a suit­
able substitute, but in the present position he would not favor pro­
hibition. Either regulations such as foreshadowed or prohibition
would certainly mean much less business. Trials with various sub­
stitutes are being made by individual employers at the present time.
Zinc keeps its color better than lead, but has not such a good covering
power and is more expensive.
(3) MASTER HOUSE PAINTERS WHO PREFER PROHIBITION TO
REGULATIONS.

The employers who declared themselves in favor of prohibition or
restriction of the use of lead rather than regulations comprised the
following:
WITNESSES REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MASTER HOUSE
PAINTERS AND DECORATORS.

Mr. H. A. Campbell, whose experience extends over 35 years, has
his business in the west of London, and employs an average of about
60 painters. He did not think there was so much risk from dust



20

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOB STATISTICS,

and spray as is frequently contended; he agreed that exhaust ventila­
tion was not practicable and recommended the damping of glass
paper with turps; he admitted it would not be possible to get rid
of all the dust generated in the course of painting work. In view
of the almost insuperable difficulties of enforcing a code of regula­
tions, Mr. Campbell thought it would be better to prohibit the use
of lead.
Mr. Vigurs Harris has been an employer of painters for the last 40
years at Plymouth* the average number of men employed in bis
business would be about 50. He considered that dry rubbing down
could not be dispensed with between successive coats of paint; ho
also considered it impracticable to deal with spray by exhaust
draught. He had had a long experience with zinc paints and found
lead almost a necessity for certain outside work; he considered that
it would not matter if all employers were put on the same level by
the prohibition of the use of lead applying to them all. He stated
empnatically that he would much prefer the abolition of the use
of lead to the enforcement of strict regulations* he considered the
data available to the trade sufficient to justify the abolition of lead
for interior work; while he was not quite clear as regards prohibition
of lead for outside painting, he repeated that he would rather risk
it than have regulations.
Mr. W. H. Cantiill has had 23 years’ experience as a master painter
carrying on business in Manchester and employing an average of
about 45 painters. He had some knowledge of lead poisoning,
having paid compensation in three cases, and he was of opinion
there should have been legislation on the subject before now. Rub­
bing down was indispensable between coats, and there would be a
certain amount—in his opinion small—of spray which could not be
obviated. Under these circumstances he considered that the only
way to meet the danger would be by dispensing with the use of
lead. He had used leaclless paints both for interior and exterior
work, and found that the men handled these paints in quite a satis­
factory manner when they were ignorant of their composition. The
witness considered that a standard of zinc paints should be fixed, and
thought it desirable that time should be allowed for establishing a
formula. He was of opinion that such a formula could be estab­
lished on a basis of five years’ use of zinc paints, but he adhered to
the position that he would absolutely prefer abolution of lead to
regulations.
Mr. J. Puttrell, of Sheffield, stated that he had been in the painting
business for 58 years; of these he had been an employer for 49 years.
He employs an average of 50 painters and has only known of one case
of lead poisoning—an apprentice some 15 years ago. He stated
that they pay an increased rate for insurance against workmen’s
compensation since the inclusion of lead poisoning in the act of 1906.
nined and therefore some
He has taken a promiise Painters’ Association,
having been president in 1899; members were not, however, able to
bring up cases of lead poisoning at the discussions and, therefore, they
regarded the painting operation as being a healthy one ana had
taken no steps to collect statistics of illness. The association had




DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

21

talked over the question of substitutes for white lead, but did not
consider they had found anything equal to white lead.
Mr. Puttrell laid stress on the advantage of educating apprentices
properly. He agreed that the lead poisoning indicated by the pub­
lished statistics was very deplorable, and, in view of the measures
of prohibition and regulation abroad, he agreed that Great Britain
should be abreast of other countries as far as possible. He believed
in the importance of personal cleanliness on the part of painters,
but did not consider hot water absolutely necessary, though he
held it was better than cold and also that it was generally obtainable.
He approved of the wearing of overalls and the prohibition of taking
food in places where the risk of lead dust arose. He did not con­
sider that there was much dust in connection with painting oper­
ations, as the rubbing down is done with pumice stone and water;
sandpapering he maintained could be dispensed with. The only
remedies he had to suggest were the covering up of the nostrils,
plentiful supply of fresh air and periodical sweeping of the floors.
Ho suggested that lead might be done away with For inside ceilings,
and considered that employers would loyally carry out such a pro­
hibition even if no proper means were provided for enforcing it.
He would also prohibit the use of white lead in all stippled surfaces.
He thought that there was no way of entirely removing the danger
without prohibition of lead.
M Puttrell stated that he had used zinc paint occasionally for
i*.
over 30 years, but had not found it so satisfactory as lead in regard
to wearing quality or covering power; if a really efficient substitute
could be found he agreed that the use of lead should be prohibited.
The alternative of stringent regulations being put to him, he con­
tended that it was not necessary, in his opinion, to make all these
regulations, but if the committee were definitely faced with the
alternative he thought it would be better for them to recommend
the abolition of lead rather than the introduction of such regulations.
Mr. A. Wiltshier is a house painter who has been carrying on
business for 22 years at Canterbury, employing on the average
about 40 painters. He has only known of one case of lead poison­
ing—not a serious one—though the insurance premiums have been
raised in the painting trade of late years. He stated that he realized
the magnitude of the lead poisoning evil, although he was not
aware of the reported figures. He considered the sickness to be
deplorable and advocated precautions, such as ventilation and
cleanliness, provision for washing to include hot water where possible,
wearing of overalls, provision of cloakroom and meal-room accom­
modation, and the like. He did not think there was serious danger
from the breathing of dust and spray, although he said “ from sand­
papering you get a good bit of dust.” He advocated the abolition
of dry rubbing down before the first coat, but could not suggest a
remedy for dust arising from sandpapering between coats; this
latter, however, would not constitute more than 5 per cent of the dust.
He had no suggestion to offer regarding the spray from painting
ceilings, but thought the danger from stippling could be overcome
by washing the hands and face immediately after the work.
In reply to the question “ Is it possible to remove the dangers
entirely in any other way than by using a substitute for lead?” he
said: “ If there are any dangers I do not know what other way.”



22

BULLETIN OF TH E BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

He said he had used zinc oxide, but his experience with it had not
been very favorable. He did not think that the office of works’
experience of durability of paints extending over four years was
very conclusive. He stated that he would agree to limitation of
the hours of employment and periodical medical examination by
the certifying surgeon, but he did not agree that the employers
should pay for this. He would agree to pay compensation to any
worker who was suspended by the doctor on account of doubtful
health. He considered that reduced hours of labor and other
>recautions would mean that the client would have to pay more
or painting work; with regard to mess rooms, however, there would
be difficulty in connection with small jobs. Mr. Wiltshier stated
definitely that he would prefer the abolition of lead to regulations
if an efficient substitute for lead is available, and, further, he stated
he would agree to prohibition of lead if it would prevent the mortality
amongst painters (Q. 6783).
In the latter part of his evidence Mr. Wiltshier gave particulars
of the painting of the Canterbury post office with zinc paint; he
stated that this wore so badly that it had to be repainted after one
year.1 In conclusion, Mr. Wiltshier said that he considered four
years was a good trial to give to any paint, but unfortunately some
customers make it go to five years.
Mr. J. W. Barker, general house painter and decorator, of Leicester,
also attended as a representative of the National .Association of
Master House Painters and Decorators. He stated that he had
been in the painting business all his life and employed an average
of 30 hands—moijp than this in summer. He gave details of three
cases of lead poisoning which had occurred amongst his workers in
the last two years, but stated that he had known of no other cases
during his 40 years’ experience •he thought this pointed to so slight
a risk that employers might well not have realized the extent of the
danger; he was surprised at the official figures as published by the
Board of Trade in the Labor Gazette, and agreed that this amount
of lead poisoning was very deplorable. He also recognized that
it was regrettable that this country should be behind other nations
in regard to legislating for the welfare of house painters. He
advocated washing accommodation where lead paints are used,
and considered hot water much better than cold, but not always
possible to obtain; he advocated the use of overalls, but considered
that it was not always possible to provide a meal room. The sand­
papering of coats of paint he regarded as indispensable in some
cases, but he could not suggest any possible way o f applying exhaust
either to remove that dust or the spray wliich arises in certain
painting operations, but he thought the latter danger could be
minimized by the use of respirators.
The witness could not suggest any way of entirely removing the
danger except by prohibition of the use of lead; he had not himself
found a satisfactory substitute and was surprised to hear of the suc­
cess of the office of works’ experiments; with regard to these he did
not consider four years a sufficient test—he would like at least eight
years outside. He would object to the limitation of working hours
to 48 per week owing to the seasonal nature of the painter’s occupa­

{




1 See, however, Mr. Patterson’s evidence, page 66.

DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

23

tion, but ho would uot object to periodical medical examination at the
expense of the employer.
Mr. Barker realized that inspection would be difficult in the paint­
ing trade, and that it would be almost impossible to carry out regula­
tions such as suggested. He would prefer that the use 01 lead should
be prohibited and the painters should make the best of the substitutes
at their disposal, rather than that the trade should be subjected to
regulations.
In further examination by Mr. Sutherland, Mr. Barker stated that
he did not know of any substitute which was as good as white lead,
which he had found in particular the best for priming purposes. In
view of the statistics of lead poisoning he considered it absolutely
necessary that some restriction should be introduced, and said that if
the committee decide in favor of precautions they would doubtless be
irksome, but they would try to carry them out; if the regulations were
to be numerous Mr. Barker repeated that he would prefer the aboli­
tion of the use of lead (Q. 7099). He considered that the cost of pre­
cautionary restrictions would be far greater than the cost involved in
a change to nonlead paints. In conclusion Mr. Barker said, replying
to a question by Mr. Sutherland, that if the use of white lead is pro­
hibited the National Association of Master House Painters and Deco­
rators would not take exception to it.
Mr. T. McHugh said he attended as a representative of the National
Association of Master House Painters and Decorators, he being a mem­
ber of the council of that association.
He has long been of opinion that lead poisoning is a real danger
amongst house painters, and should be removed. Rather than issue
a code of regulations similar to'that introduced in other lead indus­
tries, Mr. McHugh would advocate the total prohibition of white lead,
or failing that, a restriction to not more than 5 per cent of soluble
lead compounds in paints.
The witness said it is generally admitted amongst the trade that
lead is not absolutely necessary for interiors, but for outside work
there is a feeling that there is nothing better than white lead as a
body. He has himself used zinc white well mixed with varnish for
exterior work, and stated “ If there is good pure zinc oxide with
plenty of varnish, in my opinion it is quite as good as white lead
>aint.” (Q. 20688.) The cost of such a paint is not much different
rom that of a similar lead paint; taking tne present price of lead into
consideration, zinc is cheaper, but if white lead was totally prohibited
the price of zinc would go up. He did not consider, however, that
there would be any very great upheaval in the house painting trade
if such a prohibition were introduced with a reasonable time allowance.
Mr. McHugh was at that time president of the Liverpool Master
Builders’ Association, who, at a representative meeting of 400 builders
comprising the painting trade of tne city of Liverpool, resolved unani­
mously that they would rather have total prohibition of white lead
than any regulations or restrictions. Regulations which can be ob­
served in a factory would be absolutely impossible to carry out on
house painting jobs, and the witness regarded it as imperative that
the evil of lead poisoning should be dealt with. He regards the
record of deaths appearing monthly in the Board of Trade Labor
Gazette as simply appalling.

{




24

BULLETIN OF TH E BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS,

Zinc oxide is being increasingly used in Liverpool, and Mr. McHugh
finds that competent painters can apply it equally its veil as lead.
WITNESSES REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF BUILDING TRADES
EMPLOYERS.

Mi\ J. S. Holliday, chairman and managing director of Messrs. Hol­
liday & Greenwood (Ltd.), stated that he carried on business at
Brixton; he had been concerned with house painting for about 36
years and employs an average of about 60 painters. He has not
known of any cases of lead poisoning.
Mr. Holliday is president of the institute of builders; he had not
previously realized the extent of the lead poisoning evil; ho was aston­
ished at the official figures, which ho regarded as very deplorable.
He considered it regrettable that this country should be behind other
nations in legislating for the welfare of house painters.
With regard to precautionary measures ho considered washing
accommodation essential, but hot water is not generally obtainable.
Overalls arc worn by the ]
would have no objection
washing of them, if that w
o
sider it impossible to provide in all cases a place for the painters to
hang up their outdoor clothing. He was strongly in favor of provi­
sions wnich would obviate the taking of meals in any place where there
is risk of lead poisoning. With regard to sandpapering he said the
trade had always beeu led to understand that it was indispensable.
He could suggest no way of dealing with the dust arising in this pro­
cess except by the wearing of a respirator. As regards splashes and
spray which arise in tho painting of ceilings and the like, he suggested
the use of Duresco or some other nonpoisonous paint. He had used
zinc white a good deal, but found it not quite so dense or possessed of
such great- preservative powers as white lead; he would not go so far
as to say that the experience of the office of works alone would justify
the prohibition of lead paints, although he agreed that, if their effi­
ciency could be conclusively proved, the use of lead should be pro­
hibited. If the use of lead is to be continued, he could not agree to
tho limitation of the painters' hours to 48 per week. He would not
like to agree to medical examination at the employer’s expense with­
out consulting his partners. Finally, when the various regulations
found necessary for the prevention of lead poisoning in other indus­
tries had been put to him, Mr. Holliday concluded that he could not
agree to them and would prefer to do without lead entirely.
Mr. F. Higgs also gave evidence as representing the National Fed­
eration of Building Trades Employers of Great Britain and Ireland.
He is a builder ana contractor and has carried on business since 1880;
partly a contract business in London, employing an average of 35
painters, and partly a jobbing business in Surrey, employing 12 paint­
ers. He has had no experience of lead poisoning, and thought that
employers of house painters are only now beginning to realize the
seriousness of the incidence of lead poisoning, which he considered
deplorable. In legislation intended to combat such evils Mr. Higgs
considered that Great Britain should act as a pioneer. He considered
personal cleanliness as essential for lead workers, and said that hot
water was certainly desirable, but it was not always practicable to



DANGER IN USE OF LEAD XX THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

25

provide it. Tho process of dry rubbing down with sandpaper he
regarded as indispensable, and could not suggest any precautionary
measure to deal with this other than the wearing of a respirator. The
various other precautionary measures necessary where lead com­
pounds arc handled were put to the witness, and he stated emphatically
that he would father sec white lead abolished than have a number of
vexatious regulations applied to the painting industry, although he
considered white lead a better paint for pigmentary purposes, cover­
ing power, and the like, than any of the substitutes which he had tried.
He had made no special investigations, but had used a number of
leadless paints from time to time.
Mr. F. L. Walker, who has charge of the decorating department of
Messrs. James Shoolbrcd & Co., Tottenham Court Road, gave evi­
dence as a representative of the London Master Builders’ Association.
His firm employ an average of about 40 painters, taking the year
through, and ne has had about 25 years’ experience in house painting
work. He has only known one case of lead poisoning, and had not
realized the extent of this evil among house painters. He agreed
that the official figures of sickness and death from plumbism were
unquestionably deplorable.
In his opinion sandpapering on new work was indispensable, and
on other points also his evidence was entirely in agreement with that
of Mr. Higgs. He also agreed with tho conclusion of that witness that
prohibition of the use 01 lead would be preferable to regulations on
account of tho impossibility, in his opinion, of securing compliance
with an elaborate code of regulations such as has been found necessary
to combat the evil of lead poisoning in other industries.
Mr. T. Hall gave evidence as a representative of the London Master
Builders’ Association. He has been connected with house painting
for 45 years, the last 30 as a master at the Pitfield Wharf, Waterloo
Bridge; he employs an average of about 50 painters, taking the whole
year round, and has only known of one serious case of lead poisoning.
He thought mast employers were aware of the extent of the lead
poisoning evil, which he agreed was very deplorable. He quoted
the measure of prohibition of white lead adopted in France, and
stated emphatically that he agreed with entire prohibition ox lead
in this country also. He stated he knew that the office of works were
using a leadless substitute extensively, and said, “ I have heard noth­
ing against it; I have heard everything for it ” (Q. 9558). In answer
to a summing up question as to whether he would prefer abolition
of lead for house painting to a complicated code of regulations he
said, “ I certainly would; I am most decided about that.”
Mr. G. H. Morton has been connected with the business of decor­
ating and painting at Liverpool for over 40 years; the average num­
ber of painters employed by his firm is between 60 and 80; he has
only known of one case of lead poisoning. The federation have
given some attention to lead poisoning, but nave not made collective
endeavors to secure a substitute for lead. He was not aware of the
extent of the poisoning among painters, and considered that the offi­
cial figures indicated an alarming state of affairs. Where lead is
used he considered cleanliness important; washing accommodation,
including soap, hot water, and nailbrushes, should be provided, but
the supply of hot water m some cases is difficult. In witness’s
opinion it would be nearly impossible to secure enforcement of regu­



26

BULLETIN OF THE BUKEAC OF LABOR STATISTICS.

lations. He would object to supply his men with overalls and pre­
ferred to give increased wages rather than do so. To provide a
storage place for outdoor clothing is sometimes difficult, but a rule
should be made to provide for this. Separate mess-room accommo­
dation is not always practicable. In Mr. Morton’s opinion dry
rubbing down is not indispensable and could be prohibited at any
rate for new work. Where a certain amount of dust is inevitable
the only precaution the witness could suggest is the wearing of a
sespirator. He could not suggest a means of protection against
rplashes in the case of ceilings when stippling. He could not suggest
any way of removing the dangers entirely except by substituting
some other material for white lead. So far his experience of substi­
tutes has not been satisfactory either from the pouit of view of cost
or durability, but he is continuing experiments. He would object to
a system of medical examinations and would rather pay more wages
to the men.
Summing up his evidence Mr. Morton said he would most emphati­
cally object to setting up the necessary machinery to secure complete
observance of a code of regulations providing for the supply of over­
alls, mess rooms, washing accommodation, avoidance o f dust, limi­
tation of hours, and the Uke. He would most decidedly prefer that
the use of lead should be prohibited. The witness thought the pro­
hibition of the use of lead might involve repainting twice as often as
is now done. He recognized on the other hand that the cost of car­
rying out regulations would be considerable. The additional cost
in either case would be borne by the customers. In further exami­
nation the witness stated that ne had rocently used one zinc white
paint for external work which covercd rather better than white lead
and appeared to be quite as satisfactory.
M F. Griffiths.—The principal regulations were put to this witness
i*.
as to others, and he said he would prefer total abolition of white lead
if the restrictions are at all arduous. The regulations enumerated
by the chairman could bo carried out in the witness’s opinion, but it
would be almost impossible to secure enforcement. He thouglit that
regulations would minimize lead poisoning and would not entail any
considerable hardship, but it would be difficult to guard the workers
from breathing dust generated in certain processes and from splashes,
and the witness reiterated that he would definitely prefer prohibition
to a code of regulations such as those foreshadowed.
Mr. W. F. Wallis attended as a representative of the National Fed­
eration of Building Trades Employers, and said he carried on business
as a builder and contractor at Maidstone. They sometimes employ
as many as 60 or 70 painters, but the average would not bo much
more than 25.
In his 23 years’ experience he finds on inquiry that there have been
four cases of lead poisoning among his workmen; he could not say if
there have been slight cases in addition. So far as his observation
went, he was not satisfied that lead poisoning was of great importance,
and thought that 25 to 30 deaths per annum, taking into considera­
tion the large numbers employed, aid not represent an alarming pro­
portion. Nevertheless, he agreed that the recorded sickness and
death from lead poisoning among painters is deplorable, and that it




DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

27

can only be dealt with either by restriction of the use of lead or by
regulations.
He considered that the prohibition of white lead was the only alter­
native which was likely to be efficacious. Regulations might be
practicable if they are reasonable. Overalls could be provided and
washed at the expense of the employers, who would allow for the
additional expense in their estimates. A mess room could generally
be provided, but a regulation regarding it would be broken some­
times. It would be very difficult to provide a special storage place
for overalls, or a cloakroom for outdoor clothing. He thought it not
impossible to provide washing accommodation and even to include
hot water always. The employers would willingly allow time to the
workers to wash their hands; it is the custom at present to allow
three or four minutes before knocking-off time. Nailbrushes, soap,
and towels could be provided and distributed by the foreman. It
would be difficult, however, to enforce regulations. The use of ex­
haust draft to remove dust which the men might breathe he consid­
ered quite impossible. Periodical medical examination would be
onerous, and he would not willingly agree to compensate suspended
workers; if it were law, employers would have to conform.
Considering the case in all its aspects, the witness declared himself
decidedly in favor of prohibition of the use 61 white lead rather than
regulations.
Mr. W. J. Styles, representing the London Master Builders’ Asso­
ciation, has been connected with the building and decorating business
for nearly 40 years; his firm employ an average of about 100 painters.
He agreed that the amount of sickness and death indicated by the
official figures was very deplorable, and that it was regrettable that
this country should be behmd other nations in dealing with the evil.
The various precautions adopted in other lead industries were put to
the witness, but he considered it would not always be possible to
carry out the requirements as to washing accommodation, storage of
overalls, place for outdoor clothing, and provision of mess room. The
supply of overalls by the employer would involve a serious expense
and the employers could hardly afford to pay for medical examina­
tion of the workers. Personally, Mr. Styles was not concerned
whether lead be prohibited or regulations for its use enforced. If
the former, something else would have to be used and it would not
interfere with his business at all. For the trade generally he thought
prohibition would be better than an attempt to enforce regulations.
Mr. Styles has only had slight experience with leadless paints, and
said the men do not like them so well, but the work turned out very
good, both on external and on internal surfaces. In answer to Mr.
Sutherland the witness said that he thought regulations should be
tried before lead is abolished, but in reply to further questions by the
chairman he adhered to the view that it would be impossible to carry
out regulations.
In conclusion Mr. Styles said that if the use of lead was prohibited
for everybody alike he would fall into line; he would have to find
some leadless paint. He would certainly raise no objection to such #
a law if it came into force. Finally, he reiterated that he would *
choose prohibition rather than the regulations foreshadowed.




28

BULLETIN OF THE BUBEAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

WITNESSES REPRESENTING THE LONDON ASSOCIATION OF MASTER DECORATORS.

Mr. John Anderson attended as a representative of the London
Association of Master Decorators, of which body he is president. He
carries on a builder’s and decorator’s business at South Kensington,
employing an average of 110 painters. He has known some cases 01
lead poisoning, mostly slight and rare. He has had three or four
claims for compensation for lead poisoning in the last 10 years. So
far as his experience goes, lead poisoning is not a serious evil, but his
association have not gone closely into questions of health. He ad­
mitted that the figures for lead poisoning published in the Board of
Trade Labor Gazette seem rather large and something should be done
to remove the evil. He considered that the prohibition of lead would
be difficult and that the general public would suffer, but he agreed
that the men’s health should have prior consideration, and if prohibi­
tion is found to bo the only alternative the committee ought to advo­
cate it.
On the subject of possible regulations Mr. Anderson thought it
would bo difficult for the employer to provido overalls and see to their
washing; provision of a mess room would be difficult in many cases,
especially in the country; provision of a storeroom for overalls and
a cloakroom for outdoor clothing also would be difficult and in some
cases impossible. Washing accommodation is generally supplied and
should always bo provided; good painters seldom get their hands
covered with paint, and the -witness thought the paint could be got
off quite well with cold water. Nailbrushes, towels, and soap could
also De provided, but would involve some difficulties.
With regard to dust arising in connection with painting operations
the witness thought it would not be impossible to apply exhaust
draught by means of an electric fan, but he contended that very little
dust is generated. Electricity is laid on in practically all places where
his men work, and he therefore considered his suggestion quite pos­
sible to carry out, although it would be undoubtedly a very expensive
matter. He had no other suggestions to offer for removing the dust.
Burning off he considered was not essential. Periodical medical
examination could bo provided for and the burden of this would fall
in the end on the customer. Compensation for suspension in cases
of doubtful health would involve great difficulty.
Taking all these points into consideration, Mr. Anderson said at
first that he would prefer regulations to prohibition, in the interests
of his clients, notwithstanding the cost of carrying out the regula­
tions, but the difficulty of enforcing the regulations pointed to the
advantage of prohibiting lead, because if the use of lead were abolished
every employer would be treated the same without any looking after.
Mr. Anderson said seriously that he feared ‘ ‘that a great many might
say they would prefer regulations, but then they would dodge them
all the time, and the man who tried to abide by them would be handi­
capped by the man who was not doing it.” (Q. 19616.)
Mr. J. Milton also attended as a representative of the London Asso­
ciation of Master Decorators. He is a house decorator of Maida Vale
and employs from about a dozen painters up to as many as 30 in the
busy season. He has known about two or three cases of lead poison^ing, but not amongst his own men. He considered lead poisoning a
remediable danger and one which exists only to a small extent, but



DAGGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

29

admitted that the number of deaths from lead poisoning seemed large.
He agreed that white lead could be prohibited for inside work, but
said he knew of no substitute for outside painting. He did not con­
sider a code of regulations suitable at all in the painting trade. He
would not like white lead to be abolished for outside work, but if the
whole trade were in the same position only the public would suffer.
He considered that use of lead could be abandoned for outside paint­
ing if a better medium than the present oil and turpentine were found.
He has recently used leadless white paint with white boiled oil and a
good lot of varnish, and found that he gets a more durable paint than
with white lead. He tried this for exterior painting at his own place
two years ago and so far has not been disappointed with the results.
He considers this zinc paint satisfactory and even better than white
lead for covering power; pure zinc oxide, however, has not so much
covering power. All zinc paints want different treatment from lead,
but he would undertake a contract job with leadless paints at the
same price as for white lead. He considers that there is a prejudice
in the painting trade against anything new. Mr. Milton was further
questioned regarding regulations for overalls, washing accommodation,
medical examination and the like, but considered that regulations
would be very onerous to house painters, and that he would rather
have the prohibition of white lead. The addition of varnish to the
medium used for exterior painting would not be altogether an inno­
vation, and it is quite customary to put varnish in even when lead
paints are used for outside work if a good finish is required.
WORKING MASTER DECORATOR.

Mr. Frederick Bonner.—This witness carries on business at Luton
as a working master house decorator. His experience extends over
29 years, and during the last 9 of these he has been himself an
employer of about seven painters. He has known personally of two
cases of lead poisoning. He considered that the use of dry sand­
paper for rubbing down might be replaced by pumice stone and water
m nine cases out of ten, but the dust from sandpapering could not
be entirely obviated.
Ho attached importance to personal cleanliness, and considered it
important that hot water should bo available for painters; this it is often
impossible to obtain. He considered that periodical medical examina­
tion of painters by a certifying surgeon would bo a good thing for the
painters and would be practicable; this and other precautions ho
thought would mitigate the risk of lead poisoning, but it would be very
difficult to obviate or remove the dust entirely. He considered that the
use of nonpoisonous paints was the best solution of the difficulty and
added: “ I have been using a substitute for five years and I seldom
use white lead now unless it is specified.” (Q. 4368.) He explained,
however, that the substitute contained 25 per cent of white lead which
was added to 75 per cent of zinc white to give the desired body. The
witness stated that he had no objection whatever to the prohibition
of white lead and said: ‘ ‘If it were abolished altogether, I think ways
and means could be found of getting a good white pigment without
the use of white lead.” He had found no difficulty in using zinc
paints; they required a little skill because they rub out thin, but
this Can be corrected by mixing the paint a little thicker to start with.
His experience of the zinc oxide paint that he had been using for the



30

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOB STATISTICS.

last five years was that it stood better than white lead; it also sets
very hard so that there is less dust when it is rubbed down between
coats. He stated that he had used the substitute for outside work
ever since he started in business and was more than satisfied with the
results, as were also his customers. He said: “ It keeps a better
color; the atmosphere does not act on it and discolor it. I have got
some fronts done five years ago which are better than white lead fronts
done two years ago.”
WITNESSES REPRESENTING THE ASSOCIATION OF MASTER
HOUSE PAINTERS IN SCOTLAND.
Eight witnesses attended; all of them in their oral examination
favored regulations rather than prohibition; one representative,
however, subsequently added a footnote whereby he dissociated him­
self entirely from that attitude.
Mr. J. M. Orr was the first of these witnesses. He stated that his
firm are house painters and decorators in Glasgow, with an average of
110 painters in their employment. He has himself been a partner in
the firm for 18 years and his father for 52 years. He only knows of
two cases of lead poisoning amongst their men in that time. Mr. Orr
admitted that the statistics of lead poisoning showed an alarming
state of things, but pointed out that Scotland is apparently largely
immune from lead poisoning as compared with England; with re­
gard to the latter country also the witness suggested that lead poison­
ing arose mainly amongst painters’ laborers, who are not trained
painters and do not observe the same precautions.
Although Mi*. Orr was in favor of regulations to minimize the pos­
sibility of danger rather than the restriction of the use of lead, he
said he would agree with the prohibition of lead if it should be found
impossible to apply precautionary measures.
Questioned with regard to various measures which might be taken
for minimizing the risk from lead poisoning, the witness agreed to the
necessity for wearing overalls, but was averse to the provision thereof
by the employers. While not agreeing to the provision of a meal
room for the men, he thought a rule might be made that workmen
should not take meals in any room in which they are working. Pro­
vision for keeping outdoor clothing away from any source of lead
dust he agreed was not very practicable.
With regard to washing accommodation, which he consdered very
important, he could not see how a strict regulation could be carried
out, but he thought ample facilities could be provided; washing
accommodation o f the kind usually prescribed in regulations for the
avoidance of lead poisoning could be provided in many cases but not
in all. The application of exhaust draught apparatus to remove
dust or fumes would be quite impossible; periodical medical exami­
nation he would not object to, though he thought there would be
great practical difficulties. Compensation for suspension also Mr. Orr
might agree to, though he regarded it as liable to abuse. With regard
to rubbmg down, Mr. Orr said there was very little dust from sand­
papering between coats; he would not agree, as a master house painter,
to the prohibition of any sort of sandpapering, and he expressed the
opinion that the*“ whole Scotch experience goes in the direction of
the idea that the thesis that lead poisoning is due to the inhalation of
dust is a fallacy. ” (Q. 10626.)



DANGER IK USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

31

Mr. Orr had known cases of lead poisoning contracted by Scotch
painters working in London; this he attributed to the onange in
diet.
Mr. G. Carfrae said he carried on business as a house painter in
Edinburgh, employing an average of about 100 painters. He has
been in trie trade for 29 years and has not known at first hand of any
cases of lead poisoning. He was unaware of the official statistics
until they were put before him, when he agreed that the sickness and
death represented by them is very deplorable, and he agreed emphati­
cally that it was regrettable that this country should be behind other
nations in dealing with this evil. He laid stress on the difference in
painting processes in England and Scotland, and attributed the com­
parative immunity from lead poisoning of painters in the latter
country to the fact that flat paints are almost unknown in Scotland,
while they are largely used in England. The rubbing down of flat
paints causes a considerable amount of dust, and, therefore, the non­
use of such paints would materially reduce the risk of lead poisoning.
Mr. Carfrae would agree to provide and clean the overalls; he fore­
saw difficulties in the provision of meal rooms and in the provision of
cloakroom accommodation. Washing accommodation could be pro­
vided, but hot water would not always be available, though he agreed
it was preferable to cold water. He thought a periodical medical
examination of the men would increase the cost of painting work, but
would be quite practicable and should be carried out at the expense of
the employer. He could not suggest how dust generated in painting
operations could be removed.
He stated that he had tried certain nonpoisonous paints, not exten­
sively, and had found them unsatisfactory.
In conclusion, he said he thought the prohibition of lead would
increase the cost of painting and consequently lessen the amount of
work to be done. The regulations would be expensive to carry out,
and from the point of view of expense alone it would not matter very
much to his firm whether regulations or prohibition be adopted.
Mr. W. F. Dobie has carried on business in Edinburgh for about 43
years as a house painter and decorator and employs an average of 100
ainters. He has only known of one case of lead poisoning aiaongst
is men. With regard to the statistics of lead poisoning Mr. Dobie
suggested that very few cases come from Scotland and thought it
might be possible to have a law prohibiting lead in England and not
in Scotland; in his opinion the conditions in Scotland are very dif­
ferent from those in England. He agreed that, if the official figures
of lead poisoning are correct, something must be done to mitigate the
evil. He advocated precautionary measures, but considered that the
employer could not be called upon to provide overalls; a separate
meal room could not be insured in every case; the provision of a cloak­
room for outdoor clothing put off during working hours is scarcely
practicable; hot water is not always available, but soap and cola
water could be had everywhere, and lie would agree to provide towels.
In his opinion very little dust arises from sandpapering. Hard work
is prepared with water and pumice stone and sandpaper is only used
between coats; the newly applied paint being soft the dust adheres to
the sandpaper; he admitted, however, that the amount of dust must
be similar m Scotland and in England. Mr. Dobie would agree to
periodical medical examination at the expense of the employer, which

E




32

BULLETIN OF THK BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

woiild mean eventually that the customer would have to pay more;
similar considerations apply to compensation for precautionary
suspension.
l o carry out painting under a code of regulations would entail extra
expense on the public; if nonlead paints were substituted for those at
present in use, the work would also cost more in the case of outside
painting. In either case the public would have to bear the extra cost.
The suggested precautionary regulations, moreover, would be so im­
possible to carry out that Mr. Dobie considered it would mean the
abandonment of lead paints in any case. He did not, however, admit
that either regulations or abandonment of lead was necessary.
Mr. Dobie said he coulcl not understand the official figures for
deaths from lead poisoning amongst painters in England; he admitted
it was possible that cases in Scotland may have escaped attention.
In his opinion painting is a healthy occupation and he was much sur­
prised to hear that the Hearts of Oak refuse to admit house painters
to their membership. He stated that he had used zinc pamt very
freely and found it an excellent paint, but he has usually used it with
a preparatory foundation of lead; in his opinion it is impossible to get
a flat finish with zinc paints, the nearest possible is what is known in
the trade as an eggshell gloss. He did not consider zinc paint, as
good as lead for exterior work. Zinc paint differs from lead in the
technique of its application.
«
As regards dry rubbing down he thought this process might be dis­
pensed with, but the quality of work would suffer.
Mr. E. Guest carries on a house painting business in Glasgow,
employing an average of about 30 painters. He has had 37 years’
experience in the trade and has not known of any cases of lead poison­
ing. He considered that the official figures of lead poisoning pointed
to a serious state of things, but thought there would be a mum smaller
proportionate incidence m Scotland taken by itself: the conditions have
improved in that country considerably during the last 37 years. He
thought precautionary regulations would eliminate the evil. He
maintained that it was not possible for the employer to provide the
overalls. There would not be any great difficulty in providing meal
rooms and storage places for overalls, but considered it would be
impracticable to enforce the provision of cloakroom facilities for cloth­
ing put off during working hours. The provision of washing accom­
modation he considered would be beneficial, but could not be con­
trolled. Towels and soap are supplied, but it would be difficult to
enforce their use. He could suggest no means for eliminating or fet­
ing rid of lead dust. It would not be difficult to provide for periodical
medical examination at the expense of the employer; suspension of
men in doubtful health would involve them in some difficulty in secur­
ing work. He would agree as an employer to pay compensation in
cases of such suspension, but he would take steps to get nd of delicate
men. He definitely stated his preference for regulations rather than
the prohibition of lead, but did not consider all the suggested regula­
tions practicable, and could not indicate any maimer in which they
could be carried out or enforced. He emphasized the difference
between the conditions in England and in Scotland^ his own know­
ledge of the conditions among painters in Ireland enabled him to state
that the Scottish painter is exposed to less danger than the Irish. So
far as he had made use of substitutes for lead paints he had not found



DANGEB IN USE OF LEAD IX THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

33

them to possess the same covering power or durability as lead; he did
not think that zinc could stand the Scottish dimate.
Col. R. J. Bennett carries on business as a painter and decorator
in Glasgow and Ayr; he has been in the trade for over 50 years and
his firm employs an average of 150 painters. He has not known of
any of his men suffering from lead poisoning. He agreed that the
official statistics disclosed a deplorable state of affairs, and considered
that the work of painting should be regulated. He had had exper­
ience with zinc white over some 15 years, and considered it unsatis­
factory externally, for example on railings. He also thought a dis­
tinction might be drawn between England and Scotland in regard to
regulations. He would not agree to supply or provide for the washing
of overalls or for the keeping thereof; A meal room is already pro­
vided in 90 per cent of the houses to which his men are sent, but he
could not undertake to provide cloakroom facilities for clothing put
off during working hours. Washing accommodation is already sup­
plied in his paint shop, and the men also have water when working
away at houses; but he could not undertake to supply hot water.
With regard to dust from sandpapering and the like, he considered
that exihaust draft would be very expensive. As to periodical
medical examination he thought the men would object; the expense
of that, as well as of compensation for suspended workmen, would fall
eventually on the public. Regulations can only be carried out at
great expense; he aid not regard their enforcement as quite impos­
sible, but it would involve a few years of education. He nevertheless
preferred regulations to the abolition of lead, on the grounds of the
greater durability of the latter as a paint.
Mr. R. L. Anderson is a house painter and decorator, of Glasgow,
employing an average of 30 to 40 painters; he has been in the trade
for 33 years and has K n o w n of no cases of lead poisoning. He agreed
that tne official statistics disclose a regrettable state of affairs, and
indicated that something must be done. He thought there would be
great difficulty in supplying overalls or providing for their washing by
the employer; the provision of a storage place for keeping the overalls
would also be very difficult and the provision of a meal room would be
impracticable outside the workshop. Washing accommodation could
not always be provided. With regard to lead dust he did not consider
that the men breathed sufficient to do them harm. He knew of no
way of removing the dust generated in sandpapering. He would be
unwilling to bear the expense of periodical medical examination and
would not agree to pay compensation for suspension on the grounds
of doubtful health. He preferred a system of regulations to the aboli­
tion of the use of lead, but did not agree to regulations on the lines
indicated—based on those applicable to other trades—as he consid­
ered it impossible to apply them to house painting. He also did not
think that the use of lead should be prohibited, as he did not agree
that the painters are suffering when employed under conditions such
as those obtaining in his firm. He had had very little experience of
leadless paints, but considered that there was nothing better than
lead as a preservative. He stated that he had used zinc white on iron­
work in laboratories and found that it stood better than lead; in this
case it was specified by the architect because a paint was required
25233°—Bull. 188—16------S



34

BULLETIN OF TH E BUREAU OF LABOB STAriSTICS.

which would stand the fames of chemicals. He does not use zinc
white generally because he said he had been trained to understand that
white lead is the best basis. In conclusion, he expressed the view
that the statistics show good reason for legislation in England, but not
in Scotland, and he would prefer the abolition of lead to stringent
conditions; he thought it would be a hardship to Scotland to impose
any restrictions which are not necessary in that country.
Mr. John Scott has carried on business for a great many years
as a house painter in Glasgow, employing on an average from 80 to
90 painters; he said he used to hear a little about lead poisoning
cases when he was a boy, but has only known of one case since he
has been in business; that was a man who handled lead in the shop
and was offhalf a day about 20 years ago. He agreed that the amount
of illness disclosed by official statistics was deplorable and suggested
that regulations might mitigate it. He had seen some recent experi­
ments on a small scale with leadless paints and thought they were
unsatisfactory, but he had carried out experiments on a large scale
with zinc unfortified by lead some 20 years ago. He believed lead
paints to be essential and has not made any definite attempts to find
a substitute.
With regard to precautionary measures, he would not agree to
provide overalls, but he would undertake to provide a place for storing
them and also a meal room. There would be a difficulty in providing
proper washing accommodation on the basis of one basin to five
men, but it would not be impossible to provide hot water. With
regard to dry rubbing down, he considered that there was practically
no dust unless in exceptional cases. He would not object to the
prohibition of dry rubbing down on old work, but he would object
to its total prohibition. He considered that on new coats of paint
the dust is collected in the sandpaper. He would agree to periodical
medical examination if it were made compulsory by law, and he would
agree to pay half wages in cases of suspension on account of doubtful
health. He preferred regulations to the abolition of lead and thought
that regulations could be drawn up to remove all the evils except
for the practical difficulty in regard to dry rubbing down.
Mr. J. R. Donald has been in the painting trade 40 years and
carries on business as a house painter, employing 20 painters. He
has only known of a very few unimportant cases of lead poisoning.
He considered that the amount of illness and death disclosed by
the official statistics is very deplorable and something should be
done. He uses nonpoisonous paints, including Duresco, to the
extent of about 25 per cent of the total. He stated that zinc white
is slightly dearer than white lead, and stated when giving evidence
that, especially in the trying atmosphere of Glasgow, nonlead paints
would never nil the place of white lead paints.
With regard to regulations he gave similar evidence to the other
Scottish witnesses, and stated that he would prefer regulations to
abolition of lead. A few days afterwards, however, he expressed
a desire to add the following footnote to his evidence:
Since giving evidence I have made very careful inquiry into the manufacturing
of paints and pigments in London, and I am now convinced that white lead can be
done without. I desire to add this footnote to my evidence, because my opinion
has been changed in consequence of the practical results with leadless paints which
have come under my notice in the last few days, and have confirmed the small but
successful experiments carried out last year by my sons and myself in Glasgow.



DANGER IN USE OP LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

35

WITNESSES REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL AMALGAMATED
SOCIETY OF HOUSE AND SHIP PAINTERS.
Mr. Parsonage, a member of the committee, who has had 35 years’
experience as a painter, represented the National Amalgamated So­
ciety of Operative House and Ship Painters and Decorators, whose
membership varies from 15,000 to 18,000. The witness produced
tabulated particulars of a large number of deaths and a still larger
number of cases of blindness and total paralysis due to lead poisoning
among members of his society.1 He also spoke of the very numerous
cases of a less severe nature, and explained that his society keeps
no records of these, as their funds would be altogether insufficient
to permit of payments being made except in cases of death or total
paralysis. He also spoke of the excessive amount of Bright’s disease
amongst painters.
Mr. Parsonage considered that dry rubbing down was the most
dangerous process in painting. At least 75 per cent of the rubbing
down is done dry; of this a large amount is done before the first
coat of new paint is applied, but he considered the most dangerous
sandpapering work to be that which takes place after the first coat
of paint is applied. This rubbing down causes a large amount of
dust, which is very difficult to get rid of. He did not consider that
dry rubbing down could be replaced by a wet process, except for
first-class work, where ground pumice and felt can be used.
Danger also arises in the process of filling or stopping wood or other
work which is indented, cracked, or very rough; it is impossible to
avoid getting the filling material on the hands and it is generally
rubbed down with sandpaper after it has dried hard.
The next most dangerous painting operation the witness considered
to be the painting of ceilings which nave been covered with relief
decoration, molded or raised designs. In doing this work much
splashing takes place and some of the small splashes inevitably
get into the painter’s mouth. The same occurs in the process of
stippling. The use of respirators would not be practicable, nor would
ventilation by exhaust fans.
Mr. Parsonage alluded to the long hours of work, and then dealt
with the dangers attendant on the work of mixing paints; he found
that the color men who break up lead paint with a stick frequently
suffer from dropped hands, but this symptom would not usually
arise until he had been at the work for several years.
Mr. Parsonage also considered there was great danger of the painter
inhaling dust arising in the scraping off o f old paint.
The witness attached great value to proper washing accommoda­
tion, including hot water, although he did not consider the latter
to be always practicable. Proper provision is needed for overalls,
keeping of food, and a place for meals. He considered, however,
that tne danger from uncleanliness was much smaller than that
from dust and spray. In his opinion it would be impossible to
remove the principal dangers either by the use of exhaust apparatus
or by a prohibition of dry rubbing down; and, therefore, stated em­
phatically that the substitution of nonpoisonous materials for lead
paints was the only way to obviate the danger.
i See Appendix X I [Minutes of Evidence], and statistical evidence summarized on pp. 71-73; also Ap­
pendix X u [Minutes of Evidence].




36

BULLETIN OF TH E BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

Mr. W. Pickles, of Manchester, also gave evidence as a repre­
sentative of the National Amalgamated Society of Operative House,
and Ship Painters and Decorators. This witness stated that he had
had 32 years’ practical experience in the trade, and had known
lead poisoning cases both among his own work mates and among;
the members of his society. He had made a study of the dangers
to which painters are exposed, find considered dry rubbing down
to be the cnief cause of lead poisoning; he also considered the stippling
of flatting paints a source of danger. He said that it was imprac­
ticable to dispense with dry nibbing down with sandpaper, because
wet pumice stone would tear new paint. He gave evidence regarding
precautions which should be taken in dealing with lead paints, such
as washing, mess rooms, overalls, and the like. He considered that
they would be very difficult to carry out fully in house painting.
He had practical experience of using nonpoisonous substitutes for
white lead and was strongly of opinion that they could be used to
the exclusion of white lead; any difficulty experienced by painters
in adapting their methods 01 work to zinc paints could be gradually
overcome. He had found zinc paints as good as lead for internal
painting, and found the same results with paints used externally
at the end of a two years’ trial which he had made on the exterior
of hi3 own house.
Mr. J. Walsh, of Liverpool, gave similar evidence, and referred to
the successful use of nonpoisonous paints in the Muspratt laboratories,
of the Liverpool University and on the general post-office buildings.
He considered that zinc paints can be mixed with the ordinary
vehicles and applied in the ordinary way after a little experience;
also that zinc paint of standard commercial quality was equally,
as good as lead.
Mr, Fred Wilson, of Huddersfield, who had 24 years’ experience
with one firm, gave similar evidence; he had himself had attacks of
lead poisoning, which he attributed to dust arising in the rubbing
down process and to work in mixing paints. He considered that lead
poisoning could only be stamped out by prohibition of lead.
Mr. Frank Lowe, of Manchester, stated that he was a painter of
33 years’ experience and connected with the Manchester Branch of
the National Amalgamated Society of House and Ship Painters and
Decorators. Since July, 1907, when the present compensation act
came into force, there had been 5 deaths and 25 serious cases o f
lead poisoning dealt with in Manchester. He also ascribed the chief
danger to rubbing down and next to that stippling. Sandpapering
is very dangerous process, but rubbing down can not always be done
with pumice stone and water, as newly dried paint would be de­
stroyed by that process. He also spoke of the danger of cleaning
paint cans by burning. He recognized the importance of washing
conveniences, wearing of overalls, and other precautions, but stated
emphatically that he considered prohibition of the use of white lead
the only way to overcome the evils attendant on the painting trade.
Referring to his recent experiences with pure zinc white paint at
Manchester, following on earlier experience in New York witn mixed
zinc and lead paints, the witness stated that he had formed the opin­
ion that zinc white is just as good a paint as white lead; there is a
slight prejudice against zinc because workers do not understand how
to use it, but there is no real difficulty in applying such paints. In



DANGER lN tTSE OP LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

37

respect of rubbing down, this witness considered that there was more
danger in doing better-class work, as very little smoothing is done on
very cheap work.
Mr. John Bancroft, London organizer of the National Society of
Operative House and Ship Painters, stated that he has had 27 years’
experience in the house painting trade. The membership of the Lon­
don branch is about 3,000, and among these there have been 20 cases
of lead poisoning since the Workmen’s Compensation Act came into
force. Of these, seven cases are still on the books of the society. He
was unable to give statistics of lead poisoning relating to the earlier
years, as they cud not tabulate the cases until the passing of the Work­
men’s Compensation Act of 1906.
Mr. Bancroft supported Mr. Parsonage’s evidence throughout; he
regarded dust as the principal danger, and was of opinion that it
could not be entirely removed or obviated. Dry rubbing down he
considered might be reduced but could not be entirely abolished. He
•
also dealt with the danger of splashing in stippling and spraying oper­
ations and referred to the importance of means of personal cleanli­
ness; hot water, he said, was generally available. He considered
that the periodical medical examination of painters by the certify­
ing surgeon would be practicable if the use of white lead is to be
continued. In the witness’s opinion the workers in general are not
fully alive to the importance of the lead poisoning question; they
have not formed any strong opinions definitely opposed to the con­
tinued use of lead paints; tney often complain, however, that lead is
used in a reckless way and that there is great danger from the fact
that unpractical foremen are sometimes put in charge of jobs where
lead is used, and it is suggested that this entails a considerable in­
crease in the use of dry sandpaper for nibbing down, and this in turn
materially increases the risk of lead poisoning.
Mr. George Webb stated that he had had upward of 31 years’ exerience in the house painting trade, during the last 20 of which he
ad acted as builder’s foreman and foreman decorator. At the time'
of giving evidence he was just recovering from a second attack of lead
poisoning. He claimed to have been always clean in his habits
and attributed the greatest danger to the mixing of paints and stop­
pings; in the mixing of hard stopping white lead dust flies about in
the air. He also considered dust from sandpapering to be a serious
cause of risk, and was of opinion that this could not be entirely ob­
viated. In other details also he confirmed the evidence given by
Mr. Parsonage. The witness stated that he had occasionally used
zinc paints and found his work less tiring than when lead was being
used; he had noticed the difference in the smell.
Mr. Joseph Devine stated that ho has had about 30 years’ exper­
ience as a painter and is connected with the No. 1 London Branch of
the National Society of Operative House and Ship Painters. He has
himself suffered from several attacks of lead poisoning and has known
others affected. He described his symptoms, but stated that he had
always been a very careful and clean worker, washing his hands regu­
larly and using a nailbrush.
He gave details of three cases of lead poisoning occurring during
the last three or four years amongst 170 painters in his own branch,
which is one of 30 branches of the trade-union in the London district.

g




38

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

In addition to these cases, which received compensation, the witness
spoke of many men who have had slight seizures of plumbism and
have stayed away for a few days without going on the sick club.
In his opinion the principal causes of lead poisoning are the inhala­
tion of spray when doing flatting or similar work, and breathing dust
in rubbing down with glass-paper. With regard to ill effects from
the fumes of paint, he agreed that they might be due to the turpentine
and not the lead. He considered some danger also arose through
getting lead on the finger tips and conveying it, even after washing,
to the mouth.
In addition to the sandpapering, certain other processes, such as
the making up of stoppings and the mixing of paints, give rise to some
dust. The paint that gets on the clothing may also break up and
form dust afterwards. In stippling he described it as impossible to
avoid some spray.
He also referred to an attack of lead poisoning contracted through
rubbing down work which had been scorched with the burning-off
lamp. The wet method of rubbing down between the application of
one coat of paint and the next he considered impossible because of
the softness of the paint. Dry sandpapering is also resorted to for
cheap work, as it takes less time than rubbing down. He can not
suggest any way of safeguarding the worker against spray in stippling
and the dust of rubbing down: regulations would not remove the
danger.
lie regarded washing accommodation as very important and spoke
of recent improvements in the provision made by employers. Hot
water he considered better for cleansing the hands, and this is not
always obtainable. It is frequently impracticable to obtain a meal
room, but overalls are generally worn and taken home weekly to be
washed; when not in use they are hung up in the room where painting
is done.
He was not in favor of periodical medical examination of painters
because of the danger arising in the interval between examinations.
He said, however, tnat he had not considered the subject particularly.
Although he has claimed compensation himself, he said he had
known one or two men who were reluctant to claim compensation.
He considered it impossible to stamp out the evil of lead poisoning
unless lead is replaced by some nonpoisonous substance. He had
himself used nonpoisonous substitutes for lead, and in his opinion
they are practicable even for outside work. He thought that leacUess
enamels with an extra coat of varnish would be economical for outside
use, because they would be more durable. He stated that he had
not felt the same bad effects when working with zinc white as when
working with lead, and he found no difficulty in applying zinc or
other leadless paints. He thought that work painted with a substi­
tute for white lead would require varnishing for external use and
admitted that lead paint work is not always varnished.
In further examination he did not think the men regarded it as a
hardship to be responsible for providing their own overalls and seeing
to their being washed.
Kubbing down with sandpaper moistened with turpentine is not
satisfactory.




DANGER IN USE OF LEAD 1ST THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

39

WITNESSES REPRESENTING THE SCOTTISH SOCIETY OF
HOUSE AND SHIP PAINTERS.
Mr. David McKillop said he had 22 years’ experience as a working
painter, and was connected with the Edinburgh Branch of the Scot­
tish Painters’ Society. The number of members in that branch is
549, and the witness gave details of attacks of lead poisoning suffered
by Hugh Blyth, William Crawford, James Watson, William Walsh,
and Robert Johnson.
He considered that there was very great danger from inhaling lead
dust in the process of dry rubbing down. The witness could not sug­
gest any way of guarding against this risk except by compulsory
wearing of respirators. He admitted that a man might often be
working by himself without anyone over him, and also that he had
never seen a comfortable respirator. He considered that the dry
method of rubbing down can not be entirely dispensed with. The
wet process is suitable for preparation of old paint, but sandpaper is
used after the first coat is applied.
He could suggest no way of removing the danger of breathing
splashes when doing work on molded ceilings or stippling; exhaust
fans would be impossible.
The witness was questioned regarding the observance of regula­
tions, but said that the only way to stamp out lead poisoning would
be to replace lead by some nonpoisonous substance. He admitted
that he nad himself had no practical experience of substitutes for
white lead, but he was not predisposed in their favor; he said he had
never use4 zinc paints, and admitted the ordinary “ painter’s preju­
dice” with regard to them. He agreed that house painting was not
an occupation which would lend itself to regulations which required
enforcement by inspection.
Mr. A. Smith stated that he had had 18 years’ experience as a house
painter, and is an official Of the Aberdeen branch of the Scottish
Painters’ Society. The membership of this branch averages about
350, and the witness was able to give details regarding 6 cases of
lead poisoning. He himself had also had slight symptoms of colic
when working in London. Most of the cases of which he spoke ap­
peared to have contracted their illness while out of Scotland. This
the witness attributed principally to the large amount of white work
done in London, while very httle of such work is done in Scotland.
In Mr. Smith’s opinion, although the dry method of rubbing dowu
is most prevalent, it could be entirely dispensed with; four or five
days would be necessary for fresh oil paint to harden sufficiently for
wet rubbing down, so that extra time would be needed. It would be
impossible to avoid the danger arising from splashes in certain opera­
tions. Both respirators and exhaust fans the witness considered
impracticable. He regarded washing accommodation as very impor­
tant, and suggested that time should be allowed for washing. A
proper supply of soap and nailbrushes is not generally provided, but
should be. There is often some difficulty in getting water at a paint­
ing job. The witness also dealt with the provision and washing of
overalls, and the necessity for medical examination, which the witness
'advocated, although the men might resent it at first. He also re­
ferred to the reluctance of some men to claim compensation.



40

BULLETIN OF TH E BUBEAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

Mr. Smith said he had had some experience with substitutes for
white lead, and considered that it was quite possible to use zinc oxide,
the color of which is superior, while the durability is, so far as his
experience goes, quite equal to that of lead, except under very excep­
tional circumstances, such as sulphurous atmospheres. The chief
objection to zinc oxide is the belief that one would require four or
five coats of zinc oxide to equal two coats of white lead in covering
power; this the witness considered a fallacy. The masking capacity
of zinc oxide is possibly inferior to that of lead in one or two coat
work, though only very slightly inferior in the case of two-coat work.
With three-coat work he claimed there was ample masking capacity.
He quoted experiments from Cassell’s House Decoration, edited
by Paul Hasluck, and published in 1911, pointing to the conclusion
that “ it is possible to produce an oxide of zinc paint whose opacity
is equal to that of white lead paint, without prejudice to the saving
of more than 25 per cent of material by reason of the superior spreading power of the oxide of zinc paint.” (Q. 21260.)
He did not consider that the painting trade was one which would
lend itself to regulations which require to be enforced by inspection.
WITNESSES REPRESENTING COLOR, PAINT, OIL, AND VAR­
NISH TRADES ASSOCIATIONS.
Three gentlemen, namely, Mr. A. W. Willis, Mr. K. K. Carson, and
Dr. Crow, attended to rive evidence on behalf of the London Color,
Paint, Oil, and Varnish Trades Association, and stated that at a meet­
ing held at the Cannon Street Hotel a week previously authority had
been conferred on them to speak in the name of other paint and color
associations as follows:
Hull Paint and Color Manufacturers’ Association. (Q. 11634.)
Liverpool and District Paint, Color and Vamish Manufactur­
ers’ Association. (Q. 11635.)
Scottish Oil, Color, Paint, and Vamish Trades Association.
(Q. 11635.)
North Eastern Paint and Oil Trades Association. (Q. 11636.)
Mr. A. W. Willis stated that the estimated capital employed in the
paint-grinding industry throughout the country is nearly ten mil­
lions; it is impossible to say what proportion of that is confined
to the manufacture of lead paints. Mr. Willis could not say to
what extent paint grinders would be affected by a change from
lead to nonpoisonous paints. He stated that paint grinders have
been put to considerable expense in complying with the Home
Office regulations for paint and color works; these regulations have
been beneficial to the workers, as shown by the following table:




Average, 1900 to
1900.
Cases.
W hite lead...............
Paint g r in d in g ,,,,,,

129.5
42.2

Deaths.
3.1
.7

1910.

Cases.
34
17

Deaths.
1
1

DANGER IN TJSE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

41

These figures were quoted to show first the benefit of regulations,
and secondly the claim of the paint-grinding industry for considera­
tion in any action which the committee may recommend. In the
opinion of the associated paint grinders, white zinc is not as suitable,
especially for outdoor work, and is not as reliable as white lead. It
will perish sooner, especially in this country, where in London alone
it is estimated that sulphur corresponding to 600,000 tons of sulphuric
acid is discharged into the air annually. Some boards were pro­
duced which it was claimed supported this view. In addition to
trials with zinc oxide Mr. Willis stated that experiments had been
made with zinc sulphide which was found useless for exterior work
as it changes color m the sunlight.
Questioned with regard to the evidence of the office of works, the
witness admitted that they are very large users of paints and that
their evidence might be regarded as important, but he could not
judge without knowing further the way in which the paint was used.
J Ie stated that his association are always attempting to find a sub­
E
stitute for lead, and agreed that it would make no great difference to
grinders whether white lead or a substitute were ground. As regards
the safety of their capital it is a matter of indifference whether lead
is prohibited or not. The amount of their capital was only quoted
as a justification for giving evidence.
With regard to the heavy incidence of lead poisoning amongst
house painters, Mr. Willis considered that there was considerable
room for regulations and for the education of young workers. ' He
proposed to prevent ill effects from the dust generated in dry rubbing
down by the wearing of respirators, which he thought should be en­
forced by the infliction of fines on the men who do not wear them.
He admitted that there was some expense in the maintenance of ap­
pliances for carrying out the Home Office paint and color regulations,
and that this would be saved by the prohibition of lead, but he said
he did not regard that saving as important.
Mr. K. K. Carson gave evidence primarily regarding precautions
which may be taken for mitigating the evils of lead poisoning. The
general mixing of paints by the painters themselves is a dangerous
operation. He advocated the absolute prohibition of the sale of dry
white lead. He considered that the wearing and necessary washing
of overalls should be made compulsory; they should not be left over
night in the room where painting is carried on. The employer should
provide water and soap for washing the hands, and in the witness’s
opinion cold water was better than hot. A supply of towels is essen­
tial, and the employer should allow time for washing purposes before
each meal. The dust generated in the process of dry rubbing down
is a serious danger which Mr. Carson considered should be m either
eifc
bv the wearing of a suitable respirator or by the entire prohibition
of dry rubbing down. He believed that there was a lot of prejudice
in the trade against the latter course, but nevertheless thought it
could justifiably be adopted. As regards the respirator Mr. Carson
could not say that he liked the one which he produced, but he did not
think it a great inconvenience to have to wear such an appliance for
a short time; the painter is not dry rubbing down all the time, but
the witness could not speak of the actual time that a man would
occupy at this work. The witness further advocated the prohibition
of the use of tobacco whero painting is carried on, and he also con­



42

BULLETIN OP THE BTTBEAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

sidered the periodical medical examination of painters at the expense
of the employer essential; it need not be as often as monthly, and
he thought the difficulty arising when men are away on jobs at the
time for examination could be"overcome by arranging for the men
to come up in groups, for example, on a pay day.
In the witness’s opinion the regulations suggested would reduce the
lead poisoning eases at least 75 per cent if they were properly carried
out; with regard to their enforcement he saw no real difficulty pro­
vided that mere were a few inspectors to go around occasionally.
He estimated the number of painters at about 230,000, and thought
the work could be very well done by about 50 inspectors. He could
not speak as to the cost of such a staff. He thought the medical
examination would indicate the men liable to attack; and with regard
to dust, which is a great evil, the employer or foreman should be made
responsible for seeing that the men wear respirators and observe the
regulation generally.
The chipping off of old lead paint on ironwork is such a dangerous
occupation in the witness’s opinion that it should be prohibited; the
work could be done by using a detergent or pickling.
With regard to the view expressed by many master painters that
such rules as those put forward would be impossible to carry out the
witness said that the paint grinders felt the same when the paint and
color regulations were imposed upon them. They thought it would be
impossible, but they have found since that they have to carry them
out. The witness admitted that the machinery now used for lead
grinding could be used to grind zinc.
Dr. Crow spoke primarily in regard to the manufacture of yellow,
green, and red paints, as also concerning the lead contents of driers,
oils, and varnishes. In some yellow colors used for lining in the coach
trade an amount of chromate of lead is employed which may be equiva­
lent to as much as 60 or 80 per cent of lead; the lining work is a very
small part of the painting of a coach, infinitesimal really, but necessary
for beauty of finish. Zinc yellows have not sufficient opacity. For
ordinary yellow chrome paints from 10 to 20 per cent of lead would be
used. With regard to the special work of lining, there is no danger to
the workman as there is no previous scraping down or special prepara­
tion. The paint is generally supplied in a tube. Zinc chromate in
addition to being less opaque than lead chromate, is more expensive
and gives a much smaller range of tints. In the witness’s opinion dry
rubbing down between coats is not very dangerous as only the nibs are
removed, but he admitted there might be a little dust. In regard to
the toxicity of this dust, Dr. Crow quoted the chairman of the health
department and other authorities to the effect that lead chromate is
not so poisonous as lead carbonate; this is doubtless due to the small
percentage of lead chromate which is soluble in dilute hydrochloric
acid.
All the above considerations concerning yellows will be equally
applicable to greens, which are generally made by adding a percentage
of Prussian blue to the yellow chrome. Some of the best greens con­
tain from 20 to 25 per cent of lead chromate, but only a small propor­
tion of this would be soluble in dilute hydrochloric acid, while the
usual commercial greens which are used for paints average 3 to 5 per
cent of lead.



DANGER IN USE OF LEAD I X THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

43

With regard to reds, Dr. Crow stated that some red colors can not
be obtained without something like 90 per cent of orange lead or red
lead, which is needed to give opacity. These reds are very important
and largely used colors, and are so much favored by certain customers—
for example, makers of agricultural implements—that the prohibition
might result in increased importation from abroad.
As regards lead in driers, Dr. Crow said he was well acquainted with
manganese borate and manganese linoleate, which dry very well in
warm weather, but can not be relied upon in the autumn, winter, and
spring in the English climate. The limitation of 5 per cent of lead
in the dried material of the paint would, however, allow an ample mar­
gin for the use of lead for drying purposes.
A change over from lead colors to leadless would involve the reprint­
ing of tint cards and a large number of other difficulties, but an exemp­
tion, say, for two years before lead was absolutely prohibited, would
assist in this respect; the cost of the colors would, however, be con­
siderably higher.
In the event of the committee agreeing to recommend prohibition
in preference to a stringent code of regulations, which would be very
expensive to carry out, a restriction to not more than 5 per cent of
soluble lead in paints would be a partial solution of the difficulty.
The witness added that he appreciated the difficulties, and would not
like to say that no perfect solution is possible. Dr. Crow recognized
the advantage of limiting the application of tiresome regulations; for
example, it would simplify matters if it were laid down that no one
was to use paint containing more than 5 per cent of soluble lead, except
on certain occasions, for which the permission of the Home Office
would have to be obtained; personally he would rather have exemp­
tions of this sort than absolute prohibition.
Further examined with regard to yellows, he said that the range of
tints would not be limited it it were permitted to use 20 per cent of
chromate of lead, which would represent less than 5 per cent of soluble
lead, together with a special exemption for fine colors used for lining
and artists’ colors.
Zinc sulphide has good covering power, but is decomposed on
exposure; it is suitable for internal purposes, but not for external
pamting. Zinc is obtained from abroad, and the existence of the zincoxide corporation would render likely an increase of price if the cometition of lead was removed. The witness admitted that zinc could
e made bv the indirect method from spelter, and that the big zinc
mines at Broken Hill are not as yet in the combine. The market
remains an open one as long as the entire supply is not cornered, and
the witness admitted that the buying of all the zinc in the world by
the company was hardly a possible proposition any more than an
entire comer of lead.
Mr. Holzapfel stated that he attended as a representative of the
North East raint and Oil Trades Association. His own business was
concerned chiefly with compositions for ships’ bottoms, but in addi­
tion they grind zinc paints and have a large trade in various enamels,
varnishes, and paints which are all leadless except for the small pro­
portion contained in the oil or varnish. They do not grind any lead
paints. The enamels are entirely made on a zinc basis and the zinc
paints, which are not enamels, are also used on board ship; these are
found to stand all right even on the top sides and where they are

E




44

B U L L E T IN

OF TH E BUBEAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

exposed to the weather; their cost compares favorably with that of
lead paints; by weight zinc paints are dearer than lead, but by bulk
they are cheaper. The same paints which are used for ships are also
used for houses; they have been gradually introduced for land pur­
poses. To give permanency to the zinc paints a proportion of varnish
is added to them: load paints do not require any varnish added to the
medium and so far as that point is concerned lead is a better paint
basis than zinc. The witness admitted that he thought lead to be
necessary for certain purposes although he had fought against its use
all his life. He thought the decorating trade would be seriously
affected by the entire prohibition of lead because of the value of the
latter in promoting drying. He considered that 10 to 15 per cent of
lead might be necessary in the paint to make it act as a drier, though
he admitted that manganese driers are for certain purposes as efficient
as lead. He could not say that it would be impossible to find a non­
lead drier if the use of lead were prohibited, but he thought the system
of decorative painting would have to be changed, because he thought
that for inside work it would not be possible to obtain an article which
would dry sufficiently quickly without lead. It was pointed out to
the witness that the majority of the master house painters examined
had agreed that lead could be dispensed with for inside painting and he
agreed that there might be nonpoisonous paints suitable for internal
work. He did not, however, see why the prohibition of lead should
be contemplated. He explained the great danger attendant on the
removal of red-lead paint from ships' holds; this he considered so
serious that it should be restricted. He further considered “ that
most of tho lead poisoning that we have to contend with is in the sand­
papering of coats of lead that have been applied, in order to prepare
for the next coat, An enormous amount of dust is created through
that, and that is partly inhaled and partly swallowed.” He consid­
ered that the sandpapering of rough surfaces of paint involved the
removal of some 25 per cent of the material and he thought dry sand­
papering of lead paints should be prohibited and sufficient time given
to the paint to dry so that pumice stone and water could be used.
He agreed that this would increase the cost and the time required for
a painting job. Ho did not think an exhaust draft to remove the
dust would be practicable. Mr. Holzapfel also emphasized the dan­
gers of mixing dry lead compounds.
He stated that his leadless paints had been applied to public build­
ings in Newcastle, on tram car bodies, inside railway stations, and in
other places where they are exposed to sulphur in the atmosphere.
These paints are fairly largely used for ouside work and last as well as
other paints. Tho witness’s only fear in regard to zinc paints was for
inside decoration because of the slowness of drying of the zinc paints.
With regard to the cost of paint the witness stated that lead would
have no advantage over zinc, but he did not think that the latter could
be made to dry as quickly as lead if the same medium is used; if var­
nish is added, as in the case of the office of works paint, that might
facilitate the drying sufficiently.
Questioned further regarding ship painting, the witness said that
oxide of iron is used for the inside spaces and zinc paints in the engine
room and for deck work. Ho considered that zine paint on the bul­
warks and deck houses exposed to sea air and the action of sea water
and sunshine is exposed to a severe test, and has been found to stand



DANGER IX USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTIXG OF BUILDINGS.

45

quite satisfactorily; though, as the witness pointed out, a ship is gen­
erally painted once a year if not oftener. He has had no complaint's
regarding these paints.
WITNESSES REPRESENTING OTHER MANUFACTURERS OF
PAINTS OR PAINT MATERIALS.
Mr. W. R. Hardwick, B. Scv F. I. C., consulting chemist to
Purex (Ltd.), attended to give evidence regarding the pigment manu­
factured by that firm. It is a basic sulphate of lead which the
witness stated could be used for all the purposes for which carbonate
white lead is used. He claimed that it was cheaper, whiter, and
approximately three times as durable as white lead. The witness
admitted that cases of lead poisoning hare been traced to the use
of Purex; but stated that he found the solubility in { per cent hydro­
chloric-acid solution, when calculated in the manner prescribed in
the pottery regulations, to be 25 per cent as against 100 per cent,
whicn is the solubility of carbonate white lead; from this he deduced
that Purex is only a quarter as poisonous as ordinary white lead.
Mr. Cookson gave evidence as representing the firm of Messrs.
Cookson & Co. (Ltd.), desilverizers and manufacturers of white and
red lead, litharge and antimony, at Newcastle-on-Tyne. His firm
do not handle any substitutes for lead paint, and the witness pointed
out the serious loss of business which his firm would sustain if the
use of white lead in paints was prohibited without compensation
for white lead manufacturers. He was of opinion that regulations,
including periodical medical examination, would mitigate the evil
of lead poisoning among painters. He considered that respirators
should be worn as precaution against the inhalation of dust in dry
nibbing down, or that dry rubbing down should be prohibited.
He admitted that the regulations he enumerated would only lessen
the evil and not eradicate it, and he recognized the difficulty of
enforcing regulations amongst house painters on scattered work all
over the country.
Mr. J. W. Garson attended and gave evidence as managing director
of Messrs. Lewis Berger & Sons (Ltd.), Homerton. This firm
manufacture both zinc and lead paints and consider that they are
equally suitable for all practical purposes, but recommend lead in
preference to zinc for exterior work on the ground of its being more
durable; for interior painting the durability is about the same for
zinc as for lead paints. The price of lead paints is somewhat cheaper
than that of zinc paints, but the latter cover 10 per cent more and
rotain their color better. For exterior work zinc prepared in the same
way as lead paints would probably only have about two-thirds of
the life, but zinc paints can De treated in such manner—for example,
by the addition of varnish and of 5 per cent of lead—as to have
the same durability as lead paints. Tiie witness added that a coat
of lead paint is usually recommended before zinc paints are applied.
His firm make enamels as well as other paints, and the enamels are
made with zinc, not lead. The witness’s firm would not be affected
by prohibition of the use of lead, which he considered would give
an impetus to manufacturers to find efficient substitutes. The wit­
ness is acquainted with the range of paints used by H. M. office of
works and considers them more costly to produce than paints coin


46

BULLETIN OF THE BITBEAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

monly used; the fact that these paints are supplied at the same
price as lead paints he attributes to the peculiar position of H. M.
office of works in regard to competition. A universal demand for
zinc paints would reduce the price of them to approximately the
price of ordinary paints.
Mr. W. A. Humfrey gave evidence as works manager of the Brimsdown Lead Co. (Ltd.), who manufacture white lead by a special proc­
ess. He pointed out that the prohibition of lead would mean the
extinction of his firm and advocated stringent precautionary regula­
tions for the use of lead paints, although he agreed that if a com­
plete substitute for lead existed it ought to be adopted.
Mr. A. Rivet attended as a representative of Messrs. T. & W.
Farmiloe, paint grinders and color manufacturers, of London. This
firm does not belong to any trade association and therefore tendered
independent evidence. They grind both lead and zinc paints;
their trade in the latter is not a large one and is confined mainly
to enamels. Practically all the good-class enamels are built up
from zinc oxide; the witness dealt with the source of their supply
of zinc oxide, which is obtained wholly from abroad, as they found
that the English can not touch the Belgian for quality or the German
or American for price. In the witness’s opinion” the mixing of
paints by painters involves a danger which he thinks would be
minimized bv purchasing ready-made paints. At present his firm
are selling about 20 per cent of their paint ready mixed; two years
ago the proportion was not more than 10 per cent, so that trade in
ready-mixed paints is increasing somewhat rapidly.
Mr. Rivet considers white lead the best paint tor protective pur­
poses for outside use. He quoted the opinion to that effect of the
departmental committee of 1893 dealing with various lead industries,
and said he had not changed his opinion in the succeeding 18 years.
Comparative trials were earned out by his firm on their building
at Westminster; one portion was painted with white-lead paint,
another with half white lead and half zinc white, another portion
with 25 per cent zinc and 75 per cent lead, another with 75 per
cent zinc and 25 per cent lead, and another wholly with zinc. When
the work had been exposed 15 months the building was examined
and in their opinion the white lead had stood the best. The next
best was the pure zinc. The various mixtures they found most
unsatisfactory. The zinc and lead hi equal proportions was fair,
but the other two were bad. The tests were carried out at the
top of their factory at Westminster, where there is very considerable
exposure to dirt, dust, and smoke. The paint referred to as pure zinc
was pure zinc oxide mixed with oil and turpentine and nonlead driers.
The witness admitted that there were plenty of satisfactory leadless
paints, if a white is not required; for example, oxide of iron gives
a very satisfactory paint for ironwork. Even for white paints he
considered it possible to get a satisfactory leadless paint, but not
at the same cost or with the same durability; the extra cost of zinc
white paint being partly due to the fact that it takes more oil in grind­
ing, say from 12 to 14 per cent for zinc white as comparea with
7 per cent for white lead. If the committee should consider it
justifiable to recommend the prohibition or close restriction of the
use of lead it would cause some disorganization at first, but would
not otherwise affect his firm at all. There is no great difference in



DANGEB IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

47

the machinery needed for grinding zinc and lead paints, but it
would cost them something to adjust the speed of the rollers and a
different type of pug mill would be needed. Possibly 25 per cent
of the capital value of the machinery would be required for the
conversion. In the witness’s opinion more coats of zinc white are
needed to obtain the same covering effect and the extra labor involved
in this is the principal item in the enhanced cost. Absolutely pure
zinc sulphide has a bigger obliterating power than white lead or any
other pigment, but the witness could not speak as to its durability
and had not met with it really as a commercial article at present.
The witness dealt further with the difficulty of obtaining satis­
factory colors for decorative work without lead. Aniline colors are
not sufficiently permanent. The witness stated he was not acquainted
with the solubility test, but thought a limit of 5 per cent of soluble
lead would leave great difficulties in regard to red colors.
Messrs. Farmiloe’s works are under the regulations for the manu­
facture of paints and colors. They have from time to time had cases
of lead poisoning, but they found no difficulty at all in carrying
out the regulations and ascribed the absence o f any serious amount
of poisoning in recent years to their careful observance of the regu­
lations.
In Mr. Rivet’s opinion there would be no difficulty in applying
regulations to the house painting trade; he considers periodical
medical examination the most important. As regards the dust
from dry rubbing down, he thought that this work might be done
away with altogether. If it were not possible to use wet pumice
stone exclusively, he suggested that the dry process should be
abandoned as far as possible and for the small amount of work
remaining the men should wear respirators. A fan would not be
practicable on every painting job.
His firm has no" special interest in zinc or lead, but considers
lead the better material in regard to cost and durability. Pro­
hibition of the use of lead would render the paint trade dependent
on the supply of zinc white from abroad. It would be impossible
to arrange for this unless a fairly considerable interval were allowed
before the prohibition of lead came into operation; a reasonable period
would be from 3 to 5 years. Inspection would be needed to insure
observance of regulations, and he thought the latter method of
dealing with the evils should be tried first to see what effect it would
have. Various regulations dealing with medical examination, over­
alls, and washing accommodation on the lines adopted in other
lead industries were put to the witness, who agreed that they would
add to the cost of painting and that the regulations might be difficult
to comply with in certain cases. He thought employers would do
their best to secure observance of regulations and end not think that
there would be any objection to inspection even in private houses.
He thought that the handling of white lead dry should be prohibited
except under stringent regulation, and with regard to his advocacy of
ready-mixed paints he stated that their use would not add to the
cost of the paint.
Mr. Rivet was recalled in regard to the materials supplied by his
firm to the order of the office of works. He stated that during the
year 1911 up to the middle of December they had supplied a total of
5 tons 4 cwts. of white lead, 4 tons 18 cwts. of which were delivered



48

BULLETIN OF TH E BUBEAU OF LABOB STATISTICS.

to the Menai bridge and-the remaining 6 cwts. to the stores of H. M.
office of works. In addition to the above quantity which was sup­
plied to the office of works direct, the contractor holding the general
office of works contract had been supplied with 5 tons 15 cwts. be­
tween April and November, 1911, and that quantity of white lead
was delivered to office of works jobs, including the British Museum,
Horse Guards, Victoria and Albert Museum, Church Street, Islington,
King Edward VII Buildings, Tower of London, Regent’s Park, Sav­
ings Bank—no address given—Somerset House, Chelsea Hospital,
Buckingham Palace, St. James’ Palace, the Royal Mews near Buck­
ingham Palace, Natural History Museum, and other places.1
Granitic Company’s paints.—Evidence was given by a representa­
tive of the Granitic Paint Co., of Barking, London, regarding
Astrium paints, which are made on a zinc oxide base and are entirely
free from white lead. It is claimed that their cost is about the same
as that of lead paints, the covering capacity about the same, their
retention of color better than that of paints on the white lead base,
and their durability equally good. They have been very largely
used by contractors for the painting of Government buildings, the
paints haying been originally compounded to a formula suggested by
the principal architect of l£ M. office of works.
Ragosine Paint Co.’s paints.—Mr. Heydom, a director, was heard
for the Ragosine Paint Co. (Ltd.), of Bow, London, who manufacture
a paint known as Dixon’s "White. It is claimed that this is an en­
tirely nonpoisonous substitute for the white lead base of paints com­
monly used; its cost is stated to be about the same, its covering
capacity greater, and its retention of color greater. It is made up
in paste form and can be thinned down so as to take the place of
white lead for all ordinary painting as well as for priming and for
filling and flatting. The witness, however, did not consider that it
was so suitable for sign writing.
Gay & Co.’s paints.—Mr. D. Wait, the works chemist to R. Gay &
Co. (Ltd.), attended and gave evidence regarding the paints made by
his firm; these include both lead and zinc paints. He considered
that the danger of paint mixing was a serious one and should be
removed by use of ready-mixed paints supplied by the manufac­
turers. He also spoke ox the danger of spray from the paint brush
and the danger of inhaling dust from dry rubbing down. He consid­
ered lead sulphate less poisonous than carbonate white lead, but not
quite harmless. Of nonpoisonous substitutes for white lead he con­
sidered lithopone useful for inside work, though not quite so satisfac­
tory as lead paints, and for outside use unsuitable; zinc oxide paint
he considered as good as white lead both for exterior and interior
painting. He named a number of public buildings on which zinc
paints made by his firm had been used and stated that they had no
more complaints regarding them than with lead paints previously
supplied.
Szerelmey Co.’s paints.—Mr. Cunnew attended to give evidence
regarding the paints made by this firm, which are intended for use
as substitutes for white lead. There are two distinct compositions,
one with a base of zinc oxide and the other oxide of iron, the
vehicle in each case being linseed oil. Lead pigments are used for
producing certain colors, namely, yellows and greens, which contain



* See also p. 68*

DANGER IX USE OF LEAD IX THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

49

a small percentage of lead, usually 5, 6, or 7 per cent; the red paints
contain no lead. An infinitesimal amount of lead may be added in
winter to facilitate the drying of the paints. In the opinion of the
witness’s firm, wh° have been makers of nonpoisonous paints for
over 50 years, it is quite possible to get as good covering power with­
out using lead; the zinc paints deficient in this respect have probably
been badly mixed. This firm’s paints are a little dearer than lead in
the package, but are claimed to be cheaper on the work. They
have been proved to be very durable and no complaints have been
received on that score. The witness gave a selection of users who
have given repeated orders for these paints; these include the Kid­
derminster Corporation, Exeter Corporation, Grays Thurrock Urban
District Council, East Sussex Asylum, a number of breweries, as well
as private individuals. The witness quoted the Furness Railway
Co., who have been using these paints m the harbor department for
more than 15 years, and write: “ It is used for painting the inside of
all our floating plant and for the channel buoys, and is excellent for
any iron or steel in contact with sea water.” Amongst other favor­
able opinions quoted by the witness is a statement of Mr. Langton
Cole, official architect of the London Stock Exchange, who writes:
“ I have used large quantities of Szerelmey paint for the exterior of
the Stock Exchange and other buildings in Throgmorton Street, also
for my own and other houses at Sutton in Surrey. I am pleased to
say that the results have in all cases been satisfactory.” (Q.
10233.)
The paint in question is used for exterior as well as interior work,
and both on wood and iron. The paint has also been used largely
abroad, e. g., by the Crown agents for Bermuda and by the Great
Indian Peninsular Railway.
Mr. C. I. Smyth gave evidence regarding the paints manufactured
by Messrs. Mander Brothers (Ltd.), Wolverhampton, and stated that
paints made on a zinc basis had proved to have sufficient body and
covering power and to be durable. They are slightly dearer than
lead paints, because of the small demand at present, but if made in
large quantities would be cheaper than white lead. In view of possi­
ble difficulties with certain colors for which lead compounds have
hitherto been used, the witness made tests regarding solubility in
hydrochloric acid. He found that pure lead chromate has a solubility
of only about 1 per cent; commercial chrome yellow, which contains
lead sulphate in addition to lead chromate, is soluble to the extent of
15 per cent; and chrome yellow, which contains white lead in addi­
tion to lead chromate, is soluble to the extent of 35 per cent. Orange
lead and red lead are completely soluble. From these experiments
Mr. Smyth stated that he was satisfied that there would be no diffi­
culty whatever in making green paints to come within the 5 per cent
solubility limit; with regard to reds, of which the basis has hitherto
been orange lead, he would wish to experiment further, but he
thought success in that direction was quite possible.
The paints of this firm are used almost exclusively for coach paint­
ing and are therefore dealt with somewhat more fully in the report of
the coach painting committee.
Mr. A. \ ickers attended to represent the firm of Archibald Vickers
(Ltd.), paint and varnish manufacturers, who make a zinc base paint
25235°—Bull. 188—16------ i




50

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

intended as a substitute for white lead. Various vehicles are used,
such, as wood oil; linseed oilj sunflower seed oil, menhadyn oil, and so
on. No lead is introduced into their paints except a very small pro­
portion which may be contained in the zinc. Mr. Vickers prefers to
exclude all lead compounds even from the driers, and prefers zinc
oxide which has been manufactured by the indirect method. He
claims to obtain sufficient covering power without use of either red or
white lead. The price at the time of giving evidence is less than the
price of lead paints owing to the repeated rise in the price of lead.
Twelve months previously, when the price of lead was £9 10s. ($46.23)
a ton cheaper, the price of the lead and zinc paints was about the
same. In Mr. Vicker’s opinion users of paints who are not accus­
tomed to zinc believe it to be much more costly, but those who have
learned to use zinc paint properly find it no more expensive than paint­
ing with lead. The leadless paints of this firm have been in use for
seven years, and have been found durable even for outside purposes
under certain conditions; for example, the zinc paint on the concert
hall on Brighton west pier has stood well, whilst the lead paint on the
long central shelter on the same pier has perished. Southsea pier
has also been painted with zinc paint. The witness admitted that he
had had some complaints, but he contended all paint manufacturers
have. He was, however, able to give a large number of customers
who are so satisfied with the zinc paint that they give repeat orders
for it. In the witness’s opinion zinc oxide could replace lead for
inside work and if mixed with suitable medium also for outside
work. Inert base silica is added to the zinc oxide in his paints to
give additional covering power and to take the fluffiness out of the
paint. For exterior use the witness stated that zinc paint should be
used with an increased amount of oil. Even with this addition the
paint would not be any more costly than lead paint. The witness
did not agree that lead paints were better than zinc paints and con­
sidered the latter better than lead in a sea atmosphere. Ho thought
the prejudice against zinc paints was more noticeable among brush
hands and certain foremen than among the most skilled practical
painters.
Mr. F. Pisart is managing director of the Maastricht Zinc White
Co. He does not regard tho use of white lead as very danger­
ous if proper care be U 3ed, but precautions are necessary if lead paints
are to be retained, and in his opinion zinc can replace lead as a pig­
ment purely on the ground of its superiority. As an instance of this
he gave a table showing tho increasing use of zinc in Sweden, where
in six years the amount of zinc pigments used has risen from 3,032
tons to 4,244 tons, while white lead has decreased from 511 tons to
501 tons. There are no laws against white lead in Sweden, neither
are there any duties on white lead, zinc oxide, or lithopone, nor are
there any manufacturers of either white lead or zinc paints in Sweden.
The witness attributed the preponderance of zinc over lead to the
advanced view of painters in Sweden. The experience of Sweden,
Mr. Pisart considers, supports his contention that zinc pigments are
as durable as and as good as lead in every respect, and that they are
no more costly.
In connection with the French prohibition of the use of white lead
from January 1,1915, a commission has been inquiring into the stand­



DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN TH E PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

51

ard of purity to be demanded. The resolution adopted at the meeting
of March 25, 1912, reads as follows:
Article 4. The description “ zinc white” (blanc de nine) with or without qualifica­

tion shall be applied exclusively to oxide of zinc used in painting and containing not
more than five parts of impurities derived from the ore in 100 parts. Such impurities
may consist of lead compounds provided they do not exceed 3 per cent calculated as
metallic lead (Pb).

Pure zinc oxide has a tendency to crack with changing tempera­
tures ; in its physical properties also a very pure zinc may be obtained
which is of no use as a pigment. With 4 per cent of lead the tendency
of a zinc oxide paint to crack would be checked, and the witness con­
sidered such a grade of zinc oxide would be suitable for making paint
for use in this country.
The Belgian Government decided to suppress white lead in the
buildings of their railway administration as early as 1903, but after an
experiment lasting one year they reverted to white lead, which was
used until 1908; in that year they changed the specification to zinc
oxide containing 4 per cent of lead compounds, and from that time
they have never reverted to white lead. Lead paints were abandoned
by the Belgian State railways for their rolling stock at a much earlier
date, some 20 years ago. Mr. Pisart claimed that zinc with 4 per cent
of lead is as durable as white lead, both for internal and external use,
and has greater covering power when used as a white paint applied in
three coats over a black surface.
If the use of lead in paints were restricted by law, it would probably
cause a temporary rise in the price of zinc, perhaps to the extent of
£2 ($9.73) per ton. This would be due to the necessity for supplying
the new material immediately; if the prohibition were only to come
into force at the end of five years, ho did not think there would be any
rise in the market. With a two years’ time limit there might be a small
rise of £1 or £2 ($4.87 or $9.73) per ton. This increase of price would
not be permanent, as the supply of zinc adjusts itself to the demand.
During the 10 years (1901-1910) the increase in the consumption of
metallic zinc has amounted to 6.2 per cent per annum, while the
increase in the consumption of lead has been only 2.9 per cent per
annum. If a large additional demand for zinc oxide should arise the
price would eventually fall, because zinc oxide would be made from
very low-grade ores by the direct process, and this would tend to cause
the reopening of a great number of mines which are now useless
because the ore in them is not good enough for making metallic zinc.
If lead up to 3 per cent were permitted in zinc paints sufficient zinc
could certainly be produced by the direct process to supply the full
demand in this country within some two years; if the percentage of
lead allowed were as great as 4 or 5 per cent it would make it still
easier for the direct process makers to obtain suitable ore.
Lithopone is a suitable paint for interior work only, but is not so
good as a zinc-oxide paint with 4 per cent of lead, which, in the wit­
ness’s opinion, would be much more durable than any other paint.
Lithopone is being very largely used in France and Germany. The
import of this material into France has doubled in the course of one
year; the present annual consumption of paint materials in France is
approximately 25,000 tons of white lead, 8,000 tons of zinc oxide, and
5,000 tons of lithopone.



52

BULLETIN OF IH E BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

Mr. Pisart stated that his firm made zinc oxide both by the direct
and indirect process; both these processes are more than 50 years old,
and there are no patent rights whatever involved. He could see no
reason why zinc oxide should not be manufactured in England if the
demand increases; his own firm would indeed consider the question
of coming over to start manufacturing here.
Mr. Pisart was recalled on October 17, 1912, and questioned fur­
ther with regard to the material used by the Belgian State railways.
He produced an official letter signed by M. de Broqueville, prime min­
ister and minister of railways in Belgium, inclosing a detailed state­
ment regarding materials used, as follows:
The Belgian State railway department no longer use white lead, this material hav­
ing been prohibited alike for works of maintenance as for those of construction, by a
ministerial decree passed in the course of the year 1908.
From the close of that year no further purchases of white lead have been made.

The prohibition of the use of lead applies to all painting work done
for the State railways, whether by the railway administration itself
or by contractors. *It applies to everything—locomotives, wagons,
stations, sidings, bridges, signals.
The paint at present used bv the Belgian Government as a sub­
stitute tor white lead consists of zinc white, in which not more than 4
per cent of lead compounds are permitted. This small proportion
of lead is advantageous for outside work as it prevents chalking.
Where absolutely pure white color is required, Mr. Pisart advocates
zinc oxide with 3 per cent of basic sulphate of lead combined in the
course of manufacture, not added. Where a pure white color is not
so important, and the greatest possible covering power is required for
external work, a little more lead should bo allowed, say 8 per cent of
lead sulphate as the maximum. This proportion of lead sulphate
would correspond almost exactly to 5 per cent of lead soluble in dilute
hydrochloric acid.
Mr. Pisart also made inquiries from the general manager of the
Malines works of the Belgian State railway, who found that red oxide
of iron is now being used in place of red lead.
Mr. Pisart said his works, employing about 500 men, have been in
operation since 1870, and there nave been no cases of lead poisoning
throughout the 42 years, although no particular precautions are taken
to avoid breathing of dust, even in the case of the 20 to 30 men who do
the packing and are much exposed to dust. Careful medical examina­
tion is carried out in Holland, where the works are situated, and no
doctor has reported any case of poisoning from inhaling the zinc dust.
The mechanical effect of breathing lithopone dust has given rise to a
case of chest trouble, which the doctor described as "irritation.”
The official figures quoted in reply to Q. 21823 show that the quan­
tity of zinc white supplied to the Belgian State railways has Deen
diminishing. This the witness ascribed to buying at first on the
basis of white lead and finding that the zinc went further than the
lead.
Mr. Gaston Depierres is managing director of the Indestructible
Paint Co. of London, and a past president of the paint and varnish
society. His firm manufacture both lead and zinc paints, so that
he has no interest on either side.
Until the middle of last century white lead was practically the only
pigment in use, but since then white zinc has been gradually more and



D AN G ER IN U SE OF LEAD IN

T H E P A I N T I N G O F B U IL D I N G S .

53

more introduced. White lead is peculiarly susceptible to sulphur
gases, and has also a tendency to chalk and become powdery, .and in
the witness’s opinion it is undoubtedly possible to dispense with it for
painting. He admitted that white lead is a very excellent pigment,
but added:
If to-day white lead were suppressed I am sure that our houses would be painted
equally as well as they are now painted, and that we should not suffer, and very prob­
ably in 20 years’ time we should almost have forgotten the existence of white lead
(Q. 19008).

In his opinion there are only two substitutes for white lead at pres­
ent known, namely, zinc oxide and lithopone. Zinc oxide has been
used for many years, and failures reported with zinc oxide, both in
regard to durability and covering properties, were ascribed by the wit­
ness to lack of technical knowledge among house painters.
Mr. Depierres described both the direct and indirect processes of
making zinc oxide; that made by the direct process is cheaper, and in
the witness’s opinion a very much better pigment owing to its physical
properties. It is more opaque and has a covering power better even
than white lead. The peculiar physical properties of zinc oxide made
by the direct process are probably connected with the small amount of
lead compounds in the zinc as well as to difference in the process of
manufacture.
Mr. Depierres considered that the amount of lead present in a zinc
paint should not exceed 5 per cent, and should not be artificially
added, but should be left in the zinc oxide as prepared from the zinc
ore. The Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, and French Governments
admit 4 per cent of lead in zinc oxide; in some specifications for zinc
paints in this country 99£ per cent pure zinc oxide has been demanded
and in some cases mixed afterwards with 50 per cent of white lead.
This practice the witness considered ridiculous. If zinc oxide paint
with 4 per cent of lead naturally present in it had been generally used
in this country, he had no doubt a good deal of the prejudice would
have been removed.
Lithopone is not so good as zinc oxide for exterior painting, but in
the witness’s opinion it has survived criticism for interior work and
for water paints and undercoatings. It has a very good body and
excellent covering power.
The Indestructible Paint Co. have supplied zino paints for a great
many years to the admiralty amongst other users. Large quantities
of paint have been supplied for the six superdreadnoughts recently
built, and the witness quoted a single order from the admiralty for
7,000 gallons of zinc paint manufactured from direct zinc oxide which
>aint obtained in competition the greatest number of points for excelence. Zinc paints can not be applied in exactly the same manner
as lead paints, but there is no special difficulty attaching; once the
painter is shown how to apply it, he can get in the habit of doing so;
many painters have no trouble with zino paint at all. #
Atr Che time of giving evidence, Mr. Depierres said zinc oxide paint
was cheaper than leadf paint, but under normal market conditions,
there would be very little difference in the price. If properly made
a zinc paint does not deteriorate and can be kept two or tnree years.
His firm guarantee the paint supplied to the admiralty not to set
within two years; they could not give any such guaranty for a lead
paint. The behavior of zinc paint is very different when applied

{




54

B U L L E T IN

OF

TH E BUBEAU

O F L A B O B S T A T IS T IC S ’
.

over an undercoating of properly made zinc paint and when applied
over lead undercoating. So far as the witness’s experience goes, he
asserted that his firm zinc paints are efficient substitutes for ordi­
nary lead paints; the prohibition of the use of white lead would not
embarrass nis firm or their customers.
With, regard to colored paints, the witness said it was difficult, but
not impossible to obtain good rod colors without either red or orange
lead. The present range of colors could be obtained provided orange
chrome was not excluded, but would be dearer. He referred to recent
improvements in leadless reds.
There is no difficulty in regard to blues, and for yellows and greens
chromate of lead is an excellent pigment. A complete range of colors
would be obtainable even without chromates, but would increase
the price of greens certainly 15 or 20 per cent; and the witness did
not think prohibition should extend to chromate of lead, which is so
insoluble that the amount used in any paint could be kept well within
5 per cent of soluble lead.
In conclusion, Mr. Depierres stated that prohibition of the use of
lead is the easiest solution of the poisoning question, and he did not
think that the country would suffer from it at all. He repeated that
his firm have no interests in the grinding of white zinc in preference
to white lead.
Mr. H. G. Chancellor, M. P., and Mr. S. P. Penwarden attended as
representatives of Messrs. C. Chancellor & Co., manufacturers of
leadles3 paints. This firm supply zinc paints which it is claimed can
be used for any purpose for which white lead is used. The zinc oxide
bought for mixing tnese paints is obtained partly at home and partly
abroad. The paints, wnich are known as Velure, contain no lead
whatsoever except in the case of chrome colors. A special medium
is used and special thinners. No lead driers are added. Mr. Chan­
cellor claimed that one coat of Velure will cover quite as well as two
coats of white lead. The price charged for the paint to ordinary
painters is 20s. ($4.87) a gallon, and the claim that 90 square yards
of painting can be done per gallon was fully substantiated by letters
from contractors who have used the paint. Some customers have
said that they can get the same results with Velure at a cheaper rate
than with lead paints, but Mr. Chancellor added that there is a great
amount of prejudice against special articles. Velure has been in use
since 1899, and a list of buildings in which it has been used wa3 put
in. On the question of durability Mr. Chancellor pointed to a num­
ber of cases where this paint had been used and had not required
renewal for 7 or 8 years. Amongst other instances Mr. Chancellor
quoted the Royal "Yacht Victoria and Albert, the paint work at Sand­
ringham and Osborne, Mountjoy, Dublin, external doore at Maidstone
ana brick walls at Lewes prison, infant hospital in Vincent Square,
Plaistow Fever Hospital; at the last-named place it is used exclus­
ively for outside and inside painting on a zinc oxide undercoat. The
firm recommend that lead paints should not be used immediately
under Velure.
Velure has been used on the Soudan Government and Nigerian
railways, the Rio de Janeiro tramcars, Buenos Aires & Pacific Railway,
and the Royal Indian Marine. The Midland Railway also used Velure
on their Heysham boats and the Belfast & Northern Counties Rail­
way of Ireland. Velure has also been used very largely in the garden



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suburbs both for external and internal painting. The houses at
Letchworth and Hampstead are generally finished in two coats instead
of three or four. After priming they put on one coat generally of
zinc and finish with one coat of Velure. Velure is supplied in about
150 colors and fresh tints are being added every day. Mr. Chancellor
said so far as his experience goes their paints are efficient substitutes
for ordinary lead paints, ana are far more durable as they are less
liable to atmospheric and chemical action. There is no difficulty in
obtaining supplies of zinc oxide apart from strikes and temporary
dislocations o f this kind. The increased demand for zinc would prob­
ably lead to a rise in price and the formation of a corner simiTar to
the one which was being attempted in white lead. At the time the
evidence was riven Mr. Chancellor thought if white lead were pro­
hibited probably other pigments would be discovered which would
compete with zmc and keep the price from rising unduly. In any
case he thought that the prohibition of white lead would not materi­
ally affect the public purse. Velure is slower drying than common
paints and this property contributes to its durability, lustre, and
beauty. White lead acts as a drier and therefore white lead paints
dry more quickly. Mr. Chancellor said that he recommended the
slow drying Velure only for the last coat. Zinc oxide is generally
used for the undercoats with a special leadless liquid drier. He reiter­
ated that prohibition of the use of white lead would not entail harm
to anybody except the white lead manufacturers.
Mr. Penwarden in further examination said that the sale of Velure
has a distinct tendency to increase. It is supplied both for glossy
and flat finish. It is not difficult to apply, being similar in use to
vamish. A very small proportion, indeed a negligible percentage,
of customers who have tned Velure have reverted to the use of lead.
M. Giraud and M. Petit.—These two gentlemen attended as repre­
sentatives of the French firm of Carlier Frferes, who manufacture
hydrated zinc oxide, called “ Zinox.’’ This is stiff paste composed
of pure zinc oxide and hydrated and ground in pure linseed oil. The
painter prepares his paint from this paste by the addition of oil, tur>entine, driers, and coloring materials. Zinox is guaranteed to be
ree from white lead, and is intended to be used as a substitute for
white lead paste in making up paints. Such paints have greater cov­
ering power than those made from white lead, in the proportion of
12 square meters obliterated to the same extent as 11 square meters
with the same quantity of white lead.
Zinox is not cheaper than white lead weight for weight, but the
aint made from it is cheaper in use. Between 700 and 800 tons have
een sold in the first six months of 1912. The paint has been in use
in France for seven years, and the customers say it is cheaper in use
than white lead. There have also been no complaints as to its dura­
bility for either interior or exterior work. A five-story house was
painted as a trial at St. Denis, near Paris; the first and second stories
with Zinox, and the third, fourth, and fifth stories with white lead.
This paint work has been exposed nearly six years without repainting,
and the Zinox was then in a better condition than the white lead.
Zinox has also been found to stand better than white lead at Lille.
A list of principal customers was given, practically all wholesale paint
merchants.

}

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This paint had not yet been tried in England. It was further stated
that it nad been used on yachts, and testimonials from users wore
produced. It can be used with equal success on iron and steel or on
wood. Zinc oxide firms are only too glad to make contracts with
paint manufacturers, and M. Petit said that he had no fear of being
short of zinc oxide if the demand increased. Zinox was further stated
to be unaffected by moisture, and coidd bo used on glass. It is sup­
plied to tho contractors for certain of the French railways, but the
witnesses could not give tho amounts bought annually by the rail­
ways, as all the users are supplied through paint merchants. The
demand for Zinox has practically doubled each year.
Mr. A. Connell attended as a representative of Messrs. Meister,
Lucius, and Bruning, who manufacture anilin and alizarin dyes, which
are leadless coloring materials intended for use as stainers in paints.
The colors are sold as “ Hansa” yellows, “ Hansa” greens, and so on.
Practically all colors are manufactured, including reds. They are
used as substitutes for coloring materials which have a lead base.
They do not fade or change tint when exposed to bright light.
‘ ‘Hansa” yellow, moreover, possesses the advantage overload chrome
that it can be applied on lime without change of color. The witness
stated that “ Hansa” yellow can be used with advantage for all pur­
poses for which chrome yellow is used to-day. He generally recom­
mends the use of “ Hansa” colors with lithopone as the base paint,
but they are even better with zinc white than with lithopone.
The actual coloring material known as “ Hansa” yellow has been
estimated at from 10 to 50 per cent more expensive than lead cliromo.
This, in the case of a paint containing 10 per cent of yellow coloring
material, would mean that the paint was from 1 to 5 per cent more
expensive.
These new colors have been on the market since May, 1910, and
the witness considered two years sufficient to judge of the permanence
of coloring material. The demand for “ Hansa colors is consider­
able and increasing. If the use of lead materials were to be pro­
hibited, the increase in the cost of painting operations would be
very slight owing to the relatively small quantities of coloring
material used in any painting job.
Rabok Co.’s paints.—Capt. Flatau and Mr. Milnes attended and
gave evidence as representatives of the Rabok Manufacturing Co.,
of Sheffield. Their paint is compounded of finely ground graphite
in a hydrocarbon medium. This is nonpoisonous and the makers
claim that it is extremely durable, and that it is only about half
the price of lead paint. It is intended to be used as a primer. Its
color is a natural dark steel gray tinted with maroon or olive green,
but it is claimed that light colors can be applied over it. It is
mostly used for exteriors in America, and it was stated to have
been found satisfactory for certain exposed structures in Sheffield.
Mr. W. Cail attended as representative of Cail’s Bitmo Co. (Ltd.),
of Newcastle-on-Tyne, who are manufacturers of bituminous com­
positions which can be used either as ordinary paints or as priming
coats. One of the compositions is put on in nearly a boiling state.
The bitmo preparations are used for bunkers, floors under boilers,
tank tops, bilges, deck holds, peaks, funnels, and other parts of
ships. In a few cases they are applied on wood, but they are essen­
tially intended to be applied on metal. With a bitmo solution



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an undercoating of red load is not required, and by using these
preparations it is possible to dispense with the use of load entirely
for the painting of iron or steel work. The bituminous coating is
entirely leadless, and contains no lead driers or turpentine. It is
substantially a carbon paint which is rust proof, damp proof, and
not affected by sulphur or acid fumes. It takes three or Tour hours
to dry in an ordinary room, but somewhat longer in an inclosed
space. The composition is stated to stand well in exposed posi­
tions and is being tried on one of the high steel bridges over the
Tyne. The covering power of the composition is said to be twice
that of lead paint; it costs about 35s. ($8.52) per hundredweight
ready for use. The witness gave a long list of firms who have ex­
pressed satisfaction with the bitmo compositions and have given repeat
orders (Q. 19267).
CONSULTANTS TO PAINT MANUFACTURERS.

Mr. J. Cruickshank Smith, D. Sc. (Aberdeen), F. C. S., member of
the Society of Chemical Industry, member of the International
Testing Association, past president of the Paint and Varnish Society,
and author of a number of books and papers on the manufacture of
paints, dealt with the uses of and constitution of paints. He spoke
of the essential difference between lead and zinc pigments, involving
different methods o f treatment; he did not consider that it would
necessarily be more difficult to use zinc paints than lead, but some
change in the painter’s methods would be requisite, and failures
with -zinc paints frequently result from employment of unsuitable
vehicles and driers; he thought some of the difficulties might be
overcome by sending out zinc paints in a semithinned state.
So far as protective painting goes—painting on iron and steel—
the witness said unhesitatingly that he had found zinc paints to
give much better results than white lead; on wood he considered
it possible to manipulate zinc pigments in such a way as probably
to give as good results as white lead, but it is not an easy problem.
White load holds its own, especially as a most excellent priming for
woodwork* on piaster walls he considered lead to be inferior to
zinc suitably prepared. Summing up, he considered zinc oxide
all round superior to lead for interior painting and also for outside
work if due regard be paid to the vehicle; the cost of using zinc
paints might be a little more than for lead paints. The witness
was of opinion that it should be made compulsory to notify cases
of load poisoning amongst painters; to label all packages containing
paints with more than 10 per cent of lead compounds, and to take
precautions to prevent inhalation of dust containing lead. He
could not offer any practical suggestions as he was a purely scientific
expert witness, but he considered that in the interests of health it
was essential either to prohibit the use of lead or to require the
observance of regulations.
Mr. Charles A. Line stated that he had studied the subject of the
use of lead paints more particularly during the last 10 years. He
was the founder of the original firm of John Line & Sons, but
ceased to have any share in the business about 17 years ago, although
he is still constantly consulted by them with regard to paint ques­
tions. He has also been consulted by architects and consulting
engineers in Birmingham and elsewhere. He stated that he was




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not financially interested in any make of paints. He considered
that zinc sulphide could be used with advantage for all undercoats
and all interior work, while for exterior work he would apply varnish
over it or add varnish to the last coat; zinc oxide with the right
thinners gives a very durable paint, and a mixture of zinc oxide
and graphite gives an extremely durable protective coating for iron
and steel. The vehicle used in making up a paint is of much more
importance than the pigment; thus the oils and driers commonly
used for lead are not suitable for zinc paints; Mr. Line advocates
ale drying oil, a small proportion of lmoieate or borate of manganese
eing introduced into the oil in the course of manufacture.
Zinc sulphide costs about the same as lead, but the bulk is double
and the covering power better.^ Priming coats of lead paint are
not necessary before the application of zinc paints; there are advan­
tages m using a modified water paint to produce a hard foundation
on which to apply zinc paints.
Mr. Line admitted that some lithopone is of very inferior quality; a
good zinc sulphide paint should contain a far larger proportion of
zinc sulphide than that found in cheap lithopone paints. For a
white finishing .coat the witness would use a good zinc oxide, which
is readily obtamable and is suitable for finishing either with an
enamel surface or a flat surface.
The witness gave a number of examples of houses painted with
zinc paints showing the very great durability of these when properly
prepared and applied. The zinc paints are made by most paint
grinders in England from imported lithopone or zinc oxide. In
the witness's opinion if the demand for zinc oxide was increased,
capital would be found for its manufacture in England, and the
increased demand would not increase the price because of the
competition with zinc sulphide. Mr. Line did not think that the
prohibition of the use of lead in paints would entail any serious
difficulties.
With regard to priming coats of paint on woodwork, a surface
can be obtained without the use of lead by a variety of substances,
such as the wood fillers in use in America.
Mr. Line also gave evidence regarding colored paints obtainable
without the use of lead, and stated that their use would entail no
increase in the cost of painting. The witness stated that he did
not know of any tints or colors which, for decorative purposes,
can not be obtained without the use of lead.

E

CHEMISTS.
Professor Balv, fellow of the Institute of Chemistry, of the Royal
Society, and of the Chemical Society of London, and at present
Grant Professor of Inorganic Chemistry in the University o f Liver­
pool, first attended before the committee on March 28, 1911, and
gave details of a very important research which led him to the
conclusion that volatile lead compounds were given off during the
drying of paints containing white lead. In the course of further
evidence, however, given by Prof. Baly on February 21, 1912, he
stated that further experiments had satisfied him that these emana­
tions did not contain volatile compounds of lead. He had himself



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59

suffered from some form of poisoning at the time of making the
first experiments, and the doctors had misled him by diagnosing that
illness as lead poisoning. Since that time he has pursued his investi­
gation very much further and has condensed the emanations, which
are undoubtedly poisonous although they do not contain lead.
Professor Baly made comparative experiments with lead sulphate
and zinc white and found practically no condensable emanation
from either. The poisonous emanation which comes off from white
lead paste is probably an oxidized product of linseed oil, and the
poisonous effects may be due to the presence of unsaturated alde­
hydes. These poisonous aldehydic compounds are also given off
from linseed oil with manganese dioxide. The use of driers mcreases
the amount of these emanations, which are always found with
white lead paint. They come off from white lead much more freely
than from zinc white, and the poisoning effect produced by them
is similar to that associated with lead poisoning although the illness
is not really lead poisoning.
THE ADMIRALTY CHEMIST.

Mr. Arnold Philip, the admiralty chemist, stationed at H. M.
dockyard, Portsmouth, attended to give evidence as to the use of
paints in the British navy. The admiralty have for some time
recognized the dangers attaching to the use of lead paints, and have
taken precautions accordingly. Red oxide of iron has replaced red
lead on double bottoms for a considerable period, ana the iron
casings of boilers are now coated with oxide of iron paint instead
of red lead; the red oxide paint consists of red oxide of iron in boiled
linseed oil with a proportion of driers representing less than 1 per
cent of lead oxide.
Zinc white paints also have been introduced, partly as a substitute
for white lead in the interior spaces and quite recently as enamels for
the inside of cabins in the place of white lead paints. The use of zinc
white has greatly increased in the navy during recent years; for over
10 years mixtures of zinc and lead paints have been used extensively.
As regards painting work inside cabins, zinc white enamels have been
found to wear a great deal better than lead paints. They also on
the whole retain their color better. Although the first cost of a zinc
white enamel is greater than that of a white lead paint, the former is
so much more durable that in the end it is more economical. So far
the general use of zinc paints has been confined to interior work, for
which they have proved entirely satisfactory. In Mr. Philip’s opinion
the widespread belief that lead paints are the best is due to their
having a much longer history than zinc paints. The exterior paint­
ing in the navy is almost entirely done on metal with white lead
stained with lamp black to the standard grey tint. The durability
of the paint is not an important factor, as the service allowance of
paint is about eight coats per annum, and therefore the outside paint
does not weather off; repainting is resorted to as soon as any of the
paint is damaged mechanically. In view of this fact, Mr. Philip’s
opinion is that leadless paints would be equally serviceable for the
outside painting.




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SUPERINTENDING CHEMIST OF THE GOVERNMENT LABORATORY.

Mr. Grant Hooper, F. I. C., F. C. S., is superintending chemist of
the Government laboratory. He gave evidence as representing Dr.
Dobbie, principal chemist of the government laboratory, in regard
to questions affecting the estimation of the proportion of lead in paints.
He stated that if the committee decidecf to recommend the restric­
tion of the amount of lead to, say, not more than 5 per cent in paints,
there would be no difficulty in determining the proportion by analysis
of any given sample of paint..
Further, if the committee were to recommend restriction in terms
of soluble lead, estimated in a manner similar to that in which the
soluble lead in pottery glazes is determined, there would be no diffi­
culty in devising a plan for the determination of soluble lead; in such
a test it would be necessary to prepare first the dry substance of the
paint, in other words to free it from oil or vehicle, just as a pottery
glaze has to be freed from the water with which it is mixed; thereafter
the determination would proceed on the same lines as in the case of a
pottery glaze material. The most convenient way to express the
solubility is in terms of lead monoxide. The solubility of ordinary
white lead estimated in this manner is 100 per cent; a 5 per cent limit
for soluble lead would therefore only permit 5 per cent of white lead
being used in a paint. Other lead compounds, for example lead sul­
phate, are not so readily soluble, and therefore the 5 per cent limit of
soluble lead would permit of a freer use of such compounds—as much
as 20 per cent in the case of lead sulphate. The solubility limit would,
therefore, encourage the use of less soluble forms of lead, which is a
desirable result from the standpoint of health.
Mr. Grant Hooper next dealt with certain colored paints. He
stated that he had estimated the lead in a range of dark green paints
and found them to contain 6 to 18 per cent of lead, all soluble; the 5
per cent limit would restrict the use of lead in such paints, but part
at least of the lead chromate in such paints could be replaced by zinc
chromate at a not very serious increase in price.
Mr. Grant Hooper suggested a form of words for setting forth such
a solubility limit, namely:
After the___ day of......... no paint or wa§h shall be sold or used for coloring, coating,
or protecting any wood, stone, metal, or any building, or construction, or part of any
building or construction, unless such paint or wash is free from lead and lead com­
pounds, or unless when tested in the manner described below it shall not yield more
than a definite proportion (say, 5 per cent) of soluble lead or lead compounds calcu­
lated as a percentage of lead monoxide on tne dry substance of the paint or wash. #By
“ dry substance” is meant the paint or wash substance dry and free from turpentine,
oil, varnish, and varnish material, gelatine, size, and other fluid or adhesive or water­
proofing material.

He also suggested the following as the prescribed method of testing:
Method o f testing.—If the paint or wash be mixed with water, turpentine, oil, var­
nish, size or other adhesive or waterproofing substance, it shall first of all be freed as
far as possible from such vehicle or adhesive or waterproofing substance by drying or
by treatment with ether, petroleum spirit, alcohol, water, or other neutral solvent or
solvents. If the residual substance so obtained should contain insoluble varnish
matter, size, or other adhesive material which can not be removed except by the action
of reagents which affect the other constituents of the paint or wash, then the propor­
tion of such varnish matter, size, or other adhesive material shall be ascertained by
suitable means, and a deduction be made for the same from the weight of residual
matter taken for the determination of the soluble lead, so that the proportion of soluble
lead found to be present shall be calculated as a percentage on the dry substance free



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from varnish matter, size, etc. For the determination of the soluble lead, a weighed
quantity of the dried or d ir material, freed as far as possible from oil, or other vehicle,
or adhesive substance, as desoribed above, is to be continuously shaken for one hour,
at the common^ temperature, with 1,000 times its weight of an aqueous solution of
hydrochloric add containing 0.25 per cent of actual or xeal hydrochloric add. This
solution is thereafter to be_allowed to stand for one hour and to be passed through a
filter. The lead salt contained in an aliquot portion of the clear filtrate is then to be
predpitated as lead sulphide and weighed as lead sulphate.

He pointed out that both of these forms of words might be some­
what modified in the light of further experience. In practice no
doubt ready-made paints would be bought under a guarantee that
they did not contain more than 5 per cent of soluble lead, and the
necessary testing of samples could be done either by local authorities
or by the Government laboratory.
Further questioned as regards red paints, Mr. Hooper suggested
that they could be made eitner with oxide of iron or with vermilion;
the great cost of the latter pigment has led to the introduction of
many vermilionettes, which the witness suggested could be probably
replaced by aluminium lakes.
THE PRINCIPAL CHEMIST OF THE GOVERNMENT LABORATORY.

Dr. J. J. Dobbie, principal chemist of the Government laboratory,
was good enough, at the request of the committee, to make a careful
investigation into the conflicting statements which had been put
forward with regard to the existence of lead vapors in air which has
been in contact with surfaces freshly painted with lead paint.1 The
statements regarding emanations containing lead which were pub­
lished in the report of the French white lead committee of 1907, were
based largely on the use of Triilat’s reagent. The first part of Dr.
Dobbie’s investigation dealt with the use of this reagentj which he
reports as being unreliable on account of the extreme difficulty to
insure the absence of all traces of peroxides and other oxidizing agents
which have the power of reacting with it to give a blue color. As a
means of estimating small quantities of lead, he found it altogether
unsatisfactory. In the next place, Dr. Dobbie endeavored to repro­
duce the experiments of MM. Heim and Hubert described in Appendix
XV to the French report. Experiments on these lines carried out at
the Government laboratory with special precautions entirely failed
to confirm MM. Heim and Hubert’s results.
A further investigation into the possibility of vapors containing
lead being produced as a result of reactions which go on during the
drying of lead paints made up with oil and turpentine were carried
out on lines similar to those described by Mr. Klein in his experiment
No. 5. A box was constructed with partitions so arranged that air
drawn in at one end must pass between the adjacent partitions, hav­
ing a total area of some 100 square feet, before leaving at the other.
Various mixtures of white leadfwith linseed oil or turpentine or both,
and in some cases driers in addition, were applied to the partitions
and air was passed through until the paint was dry. The air drawn
over the partitions was carried first through cotton wool plugs and
then through absorption bulbs. As long as the cotton wool plug
employed was of the usual length, 3 indies, lead could always be
1 See evidence of Prof. Baly, p. 58; Mr. Klein, p. 100; and Prof. Armstrong, p. 98.




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detected in the absorption bulbs as well as in the cotton wool. By
introducing a sufficient number of cotton wool plugs the whole of the
lead could be trapped therein, 110 trace of the metal being detectable
in the absorption apparatus. These experiments show that a cur­
rent of air which has been passed over a surface freshly painted with
lead paint contains traces of lead which, however, is not present as a
vapor, but in the form of minute solid particles.
Dr. Dobbie adds further that “ whatever the form in which it exists
in the air, it is certain that the quantity is so small as to be negligible
for all practicable purposes/’ and points out that according to the
statement of the French observers in their report the quantities of
lead obtained by them must have been similarly minute.
The conclusions arrived at from the above experiments were con­
firmed by spectroscopic examination of air exposed to freshly painted
surfaces. Lead forms several well-known volatile compounds whoso
vapors, when present in even very minute quantity, exercise a power­
ful absorptive action on light. A layer of air 4 feet thick in contact
with a surface freshly painted with a mixture of white lead and oil
showed not the least trace of absorption. Dr. Dobbie concludes,
therefore, that “ if emanations of lead take place from painted sur­
faces, the amount is so small as not to be detectable” (Q. 22497).
Dr. Dobbie also carried out a series of distillation experiments simi­
lar to those described by Mr. Klein, but on a larger scale, the result
entirely confirming those obtained by Mr. Klein.1
In connection with the poisonous character of vapors given off by
turpentine, Dr. Dobbie pointed out that in the experiments witn
air which has been drawn over newly painted surfaces, he always
found present in the absorption apparatus traces of acid and alde­
hyde as well as considerable quantities of terpin hydrate. The acid
and aldehyde might be derived either from the oil or from the tur­
pentine or from both. In view, however,^ of spectroscopic observa­
tions made, Dr. Dobbie states it is doubtful if any considerable amount
of decomposition of the oil occurs under 160° F., and he is therefore
inclined to the view that the turpentine is the source of nearly all the
decomposition products observed. He found, however, that boiled oil
alone, a mixture of white lead and linseed oil, and a mixture of zinc
oxide and linseed oil gave off aldehyde vapors at the ordinary tem­
perature; the amount in each case is very small, and he could not
say whether it is greater in one case than in the other.
In further examination, Dr. Dobbie expressed the view that if all
processes which cause dust in lead painting could be abolished that
would do away with direct lead poisoning, lie produced a small par­
ticle of metallic lead of about one-seventh or one-eighth of the size
of an ordinary pin’s head, and stated that that was the total quantity
of lead which it was found possible to collect from the air drawn over
some three-quarters of a nundredweight of paint which had been
dried in the apparatus during the 40 days that the experiment lasted.
This amount of lead in the air represented very much less than a
medicinal dose of lead; it is about a thirtieth of a minimum dose
that is given medicinally in cases of severe diarrhea, for instance.




1 See Mr. Klein’s evidence, p. 100.

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SIR HENRY CUNYNGHAME, K. C. B.
Sir Henry H. S. Cunynghame, K. 0. B., Legal Assistant Under­
secretary of State for the Home Department, has devoted con­
siderable attention to the question of lead poisoning arising from the
use of lead paints. He considered the evil to be a very serious one
and a remediable one. Some action is undoubtedly called for either
in the way of prohibition or restriction of the use 01 lead or by a code
of regulations.
In France a law was passed on July 20, 1909, to come into force
five years later, prohibiting the use of white lead in anypainting opera­
tions either on the exterior or interior of buildings. This is the most
drastic enactment yet made in regard to the lead-poisoning evil.
In Austria the use of lead for interior painting has been prohibited
since the 1st of April, 1909, but it is still permitted for exterior work
and certain specinc purposes under a very strict code of regulations,
which include ventilation, washing and dressing rooms, marking of
vessels containing lead paint, prohibition of the employment of women
and young persons; overalls are prescribed and in certain cases medi­
cal examination.
In Germany there is an order, applying to all States of the German
Empire equally, which enacts that workers are not directly to handle
dry pigments containing lead; the grinding of white lead with oil or
vamisn is not to be done by hand; the processes of rubbing down or
pumice-stoning of oil color or stopping not clearly free from lead shall
not be done except after damping; the employer must see that over­
alls are worn and must also provide washing utensils, nailbrushes,
soap, and towels: the employer is charged to give information to
workers who handle lead colors as to the danger to health, and he must
give them a copy of a warning pamphlet; there are further regula­
tions which apply only to painting operations carried out in connec­
tion with another industry. It is also required that the employer
shall issue regulations which shall be binding on the workers. These
must include the prohibition of the consumption of spirits in any
place where work is carried on; the prohibition of taking food or
drink in a place where paints are kept or used; and the prohibition
of leaving the place of employment until they have put off working
clothes and carefully washed their hands. The wearing of working
clothes is to be made compulsory and the smoking of cigars and cigar­
ettes is prohibited during work. With these is coupled the provision
that any worker who, after repeated warnings, continues to break
the rules may be dismissed without notice, any contract notwith­
standing. Provision is also to be made for medical supervision of
the worker’s health.
In Belgium the principal regulations are those prohibiting the sale
of white lead in the form of dry powder and the prohibition of dry
rubbing down and pumicing of surfaces if there is lead in the paint.
In commenting on all these foreign enactments, Sir Henry said he
had always been of opinion that if sufficient care is taken you can
use almost any ingredient quite safely by forbidding it where it is
unnecessary, and, 2 it is allowed at all, putting it under strict regula­
tion (Q. 10298). Such an enactment as the prohibition of white
lead for any purpose in paint would be easy to enforce. On the whole,
Sir Henry advocated a combination of prohibition and regulation.



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If the use of certain paints is prohibited, power should be given to
the proper authority to add to the schedule from time to time any
other paints which prove to be equally dangerous. A regulation
making it illegal to sell white lead unless it was marked as white lead
would De usenil. In any code intended to apply to the painting of
buildings the term “ building” should be defined so that it would
include, for example, conservatories, but not necessarily a chicken
house or a dog kennel; Sir Henry suggested as a definition of a build­
ing “ any place in which there is a door which a man can enter.”
Special exemptions might be necessary in regard to certain articles
made in factories, artistic work, portraits, and the like, and possibly
also ships and boats, though Sir Henry believed that for these puroses zinc white is better than white lead. The witness stated he
ad found zinc white giving excellent results for interior painting;
for this and many other purposes he thought lead ought to be pro­
hibited. It might be necessary to provide exemptions for exposed
paint work not protected by varnish in places where the atmosphere
contains an abnormal amount of sulphurous acid, but Sir Henry
strongly advocated the rule “ no white lead for interiors or exteriors,
coupled with the provision for the Home Office to grant exemptions
in cases where it was shown to be absolutely necessary, e. g., for the
safety of girders or gutters in railway stations and the like, to use
white lead; where, however, any such exemption was granted it
should be accompanied with a full code of regulations applicable to
the use of lead paint.
Sir Henry was not in favor of a 5 per cent limit of soluble lead, as
he did not believe that it was necessary to put lead in the paint; he
would prefer total prohibition with exemptions in certain cases; the
exemption up to a 5 per cent limit might be granted if asked for.
Sir Henry recognized the exceptional climatic conditions of s u c h
places as Manchester, but said further that he had not made any pro­
found study of substitutes for white lead and thought it very probable
that efficient substitutes might be found for use even in bad atmos­
pheres; he thought that in any case exemptions should only be given
for a few years. In any case the prohibition of the use of lead should
be accompanied with a time limit, to allow painters to learn the use
of zinc paints. In connection with prohibition, materials should be
considered leadless if they only contain a trace, say 0.01 per cent of.
lead; Sir Henry admitted, however, that it might be expedient to
allow 3 or 4 per cent so as not to exclude zinc oxide made by the direct
process, but this he would prefer to do by schedule, which could be
amended from time to time. He would advocate the prohibition of
the making of white lead for the purpose of paint as well as the sale
and use thereof for that purpose. He thought the admission of up
to 5 per cent would involve administrative difficulties, but it might
have to be allowed where it was shown to be necessary.

E

WITNESSES REPRESENTING H. M. OFFICE OF WORKS.
Mr. G. D. Patterson first attended to give evidence before the com­
mittee on March 28, 1911, he being at that time clerk of works in
charge of the West London district. He stated that he had carried
out extensive experiments with substitutes for lead paints, under the
direction of the principal architect, Sir Henry Tanner, to whom is



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65

intrusted the supervision of the palaces, the Houses of Parliament,
Government offices, Crown courts, post offices, inland revenue offices
in England and Wales, and foreign consulates throughout the world.
Three grades of paint are used by the office of works, namely:
(1) Low grade paints for external painting and “ lower
class of internals” ;
(2) Medium quality enamels for “ general internals” ;
(3) Best enamels for the better-class rooms only.
In each class he stated that he found the relative characteristics of
lead and zinc paints the same, and he found the prices of lead and zinc
approximately the same for the same quality of paint. He stated
that lead paints have other defects besides involving risk of poison­
ing, inasmuch as they are discolored by sulphur in the atmosphere,
they chalk in chemical and seaside atmospheres, and they have a great
tendency to blister and scale on hot pipes and surfaces (see Q. 1059).
He experienced considerable difficulty in obtaining nonpoisonous
substitutes for lead at first; he obtained zinc oxide paints from the
usual paint makers, but found they required different treatment to the
white lead paints previously used. It was soon discovered that diffi­
culties of drying could be overcome by using refined boiled linseed oil
with manganese borate driers and a trace only of litharge; and sufficient
opacity could be obtained by using thick paints containing as much as
60-70 per cent of zinc oxide; with these he found that bare plaster walls
could be painted with two coats of zinc paint in place of three coats of
white lead paint. Such paints have been used generally in the paint­
ing of Crown buildings since 1907, the use of lead being confined to the
small proportion needed for priming on new work. He stated that he
had no doubt whatever that zinc paints, with the addition, say, of 5
>er cent of lead compounds, could absolutely replace all lead paints
or ordinary use; somewhat more than 5 per cent of lead compounds,
however, he considered necessary for dark green paints.
' Mr. Patterson laid stress on the importance of the medium, and
stated that in finishing coats a certain proportion of varnish is always
specified by the office of works; notwithstanding this the zinc paints
only cost the same as the corresponding lead paints. He saia there
would be much prejudice to meet in prohibiting the use of lead paints,
but he did not consider such a step would entail great inconvenience
nor would it be a dangerous one to the trade. Paints containing more
than 5 per cent of lead could certainly be prohibited except for greens,
for which a limit of 10 per cent should be allowed.
Mr. G. D. Patterson was recalled in November, 1911, when he con­
firmed his previous evidence and gave certain further details. With
regard to the proportion of varnish in the medium used for external
paints, namely, 1 of varnish to 3 of oil with zinc oxide and 1 of varnish
to 2 of oil with iron oxide and other dark paints, the office of works
leave the paint contractor a free hand in this matter and the latter uses
whatever proportion of varnish and driers he believes to be best.
The addition of varnish is undoubtedly of material use in securing
durability. Although good varnish is a somewhat costly ingredient
the office of works nave found zinc paints, even with the varnish
added, no more costly than lead paints. Some of the lead paints pre­
viously used had varnish in them and some not; zinc paints which

f

25235°—Bull. 188—16------5



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with the rarnish have cost the same price have been found as good in
withstanding weather conditions, better in appearance, and more per­
manent in tint than the lead paints.
To confirm the statement that zinc paints are not more costly, Mr.
Patterson asked for quotations for lead paints from a number of the
contractors.
Firm N o.l replied, “ The price of our lead and zinc base paints is the
same in their respective brands.”
Firm No. 2 stated that “ the difference in the cost per gallon would
be practically nil on the assumption that the respective covering
powers are alike.”
Firm No. 3 said that “ the similar paint with a white lead base would
work out slightly more expensive than zinc, the price of lead paint
being 7s. 6d. ($1.82) per gallon against 7s. ($1.70) for the zinc paint.”
With regard to specification, pure zinc can be specified in place of
genuine white lead, and a certain percentage of other ingredients,
such as baryta, gypsum, silica, or whiting, can be allowed if desired.
The office of works only use a flatting paint occasionally, but zinc
paints are supplied in three grades, namely, flat, eggshell, and full
gloss.
The office of works had been asked to make inquiries with regard
to the allegations appearing in Mr. Wiltshier’s evidence concerning
the painting of the Canterbury post office.1 Mr. Patterson found that
the statement that the work had to bo redone within a year was
erroneous; it was not repainted until it was fully due in accordance
with the board’s rules that new work should be repainted two or three
years after completion—a rule which applied equally to lead paints.
In the case of the Canterbury post office part of tne original paint
work was only redone after 4 years and the rest of the building after 2f
years. At the time of repainting the work was examined by the
architect, who reported that the state of the old paint was quite as
good as could be expected after 3 years’ wear, and the repainting was
done in pursuance of the board’s order that new work should always
be repainted after 3 years at latest.
Mr. Patterson reaffirmed his previous statement that zinc paints
could replace lead paints without loss of quality or increase of cost
except in regard to green paints, for which in the present state of
knowledge he would like to be free to use 10 per cent of lead; he said,
however, there were indications that the difficulty of getting leadless
greens may shortly disappear. Where the paint is used under excep­
tionally trying conditions, as, for example, in the greenhouses at Kew,
both lead ana zinc paints have been found equally unsatisfactory.
With regard to the length of the office o f works’ experience with
leadless paints Mr. Patterson stated he could speak personally of
about 5 or 6 years’ experience with leadless paints under definite and
careful observation; he had found the results quite as good as with
lead paints. He did not think that it was any easier for the office of
works than for any ordinary firm to get satisfactory leadless paints.
Questioned in regard to 5 per cent of soluble lead being sufficient to
meet the requirements of yellows and greens, Mr. Patterson said the
office of works had not gone into the matter of soluble lead as con­
trasted with total lead contents. The office of works’ paints are
mixed by the paint manufacturer to the office of works’ formula.



i See p. 22.

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These paints are bought by the contractors who undertake painting
operations. In Mr. Patterson’s opinion the experience of the office of
works is sufficient to warrant a measure of prohibition of white lead.
The office of works tests were carried out on wood and plaster as well
as on iron.
The office of works still use white lead partly on engineering work
which is not under the control of the principal architect and partly for
fillings, stoppings, and the like. Moreover, owing to tho fact that
many men have not yet become accustomed to the use of zinc paints,
lead may have been ordered by some of the clerks of works; the latter
are instructed to specify zinc paints, but they have not hitherto been
absolutely prohibited from ordering lead. On recent work use of
lead for filling has been dispensed with.
Mr. Patterson was again recalled on November 14, 1912, and put in
tables showing details of the early experiments made by tho office of
works with leadless paints. He thought that these experiments were
carefully conducted; the actual painting was carried out before he
was associated with the experiments, but the condition of the paint at
a later date was judged by three clerks of works, namely, Mr. Car­
penter, Mr. Jones, ana himself.
According to Sir Henry Tanner’s instructions, a big experiment
was put in hand as soon as they were satisfied that the smaller experi­
ments were satisfactory;. The five blocks of the post office savings
bank building at West Kensington were used for the large-scale experi­
ment, all being painted externally with ivory white paint, one block
white lead, and the other four blocks different zinc oxide paints. Mr.
Patterson gave details of this important experiment, which was car­
ried out in the year 1906.
Under ordinary circumstances the office of works’ painting is
expected to stand in good condition externally for four years. The
result of the examination of the paint in 1910 is shown in Appendix
XXV.1 The results obtained with the zinc paints were so satisfactory
that the office of works have continued to specify for such paints from
1910 onwards.
The formula now in use differs somewhat from the formula of the
paint supplied in 1906, the proportion of zinc oxide required in the
paint being raised to 58 per cent, while at the same time a maximum of
not more than 5 per cent of lead is now allowed in zinc paints, whereas
none of the paints used in 1906 contained more than a trace. Paints
in accordance with this formula are now used exclusively except for
primingwork.
Mr. Patterson put in a list of buildings showing the kind of paint
used on each, and dealt with the instructions issued by Sir Henry
Tanner with regard to the disuse of lead paints. Most of the paint
work is done for the office of works by triennial contracts, a small
art only (for example, Buckingham Palace) is done by special
ecorating contractors, and the contractors are required to conform
to the office of works’ rules and to use zinc paints. Contractors’
paints are in cases of doubt analyzed.
The use of lead for priming woodwork has been discontinued
since May, 1912, but up to the time of giving evidence lead paints
were still in use for priming iron and steel. Tests are being made
with leadless materials also for this latter purpose. A very little

S

* In Minutes of Evidence, presented in a separate volume ol the original report*




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lead is still used also for stoppings. In Mr. Patterson’s opinion
no lead need be used in fillings, but the usual 10 per cent of lead in
hard stoppings and jointing putty is useful.
Questioned with regard to the lead said by a previous witness
(Mr. A. R. R ivetl) to have been supplied to depots of the office of
works in the London district, Mr. Patterson said he found that at
the large London depots 56J cwts. of lead were accounted for as hav­
ing been used for primings, stoppings, plumbers’ and smiths’ work,
joints and gutters, carpenters’ sill and post bedding, and small
quantities in other places for plumbers’ and smiths’ work. He
considered it very improbable that any of the 5 tons of lead referred
to had been used for any purpose except those stated above.
It is the considered decision of the office of works that nonpoison­
ous paints containing not more than 5 per cent of lead shall be
used exclusively except for iron primings and for green colors. He
could not name any respect in which it would be harmful to restrict
the use of lead to not more than 5 per cent, subject to certain ex­
ceptions such as greens if found necessary, beyond the two con­
siderations that it might add a little to the cost of the painting and
that it would cause a little trouble to working painters in learning
to manipulate zinc paints.
Sir Henry Tanner also attended to give evidence regarding the
experience of the office of works. He is principal architect for Eng­
land and Wales, and is further charged with the upkeep of the
diplomatic and consular buildings abroad, but he is not concerned
with public buildings in Scotland or Ireland.
He has had upwards of 40 years’ experience, and first approached
the subject of leadless paints from a humanitarian point of view
about 1901, when his attention was called to the subject by the
Home Office. He thought it would bo very desirable to get rid
of poisonous paints, and also the way zinc white kept its color would
be an advantage. After some tentative experiments, principally
at the post office, a more systematic trial was made in 1904, when
some 50 paints were tried on the roof of the new patent office library.
Since about 1905 the experiments have been thorough and syste­
matic, and have been supervised by Mr. Patterson.2
In June, 1907, a general instruction was issued that zinc paints
were to be used. This instruction should be obeyed by everyone
under Sir Henry Tanner’s jurisdiction, and in his opinion it has
been generally observed. Sir Henry thought it possible that the
instruction of 1907 might have been "disregarded occasionally, either
through inadvertence or prejudice.
Sir Henry Tanner is satisfied that zinc white answers their pur­
poses perfectly, and a more stringent order has been issued forbidding
the use of lead except for priming on iron and steel.
No systematic record is kept as to the condition of paint work
after exposure, but complaints on this head would be reported to
Sir Henry, and he stated that such complaints regarding zinc paints
are becoming fewer. The usual complaint of clerks of works has
been that the paint is thin or will not cover or will not dry. These
allegations have been inquired into, and it has generally been found
either that the paint has been tampered with or that it has been put
on in wet weather or there was some other similar explanation.
1 See p. 48.




2 See Mr. Patterson's evidence., p. 64,

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Sir Henry considers the office of works’ formula for leadless paints
applicable to all kinds of outside painting, and is satisfied that lead
is not required except for the first coat on iron or steel. Even,
this they nope to get rid of as the result of further experiments,
but in the meantime they are still using lead paints for priming on
iron and steel. The painting of the sayings bank building in 1906
is regarded by the office of works as their most important experiment.
Sir Henry Tanner was further examined with regard to tne annual
value of the office of works’ painting, which he estimated at £23,000.
($111,929.50), or rather more. He agreed that this was_ com­
paratively small compared with the entire amount of painting in
the United Kingdom, T>ut could not enter into any figures regarding
the latter.
He stated that he had nothing to do with the use of white lead
on the Menai bridge, as that work is under the direction of the
chief engineer and not the principal architect of the office of works.
The office of works prefer a ready-mixed paint, and Sir Henry
thought that if lead were prohibited architects would specify paints
with a zinc base. He thought that the experience of the office of
works was sufficient to justify the abolition of the use of white lead
because some manufacturers of leadless paints would come into
the field as a result of such action. Leadless paints were adopted by
the office of works on the grounds both of the health of the men ana
the superiority of the pamt. The workmen now understand how
to use zinc just as well as lead, and the former keeps its color better.
WITNESSES REPRESENTING THE ROYAL INSTITUTE OF
BRITISH ARCHITECTS.
Mr. Munby, A.R.I.B.A., F.C.S., and Mr. Wonnacott, A.R.I.B.A.,
F.C.S., attended and gave an account of the investigation carried
out by the Royal Institute of British Architects from 1908 to 1910.
The aim of that investigation was to formulate a standard paint
specification-, and in the course of it they dealt with the four com­
ponents of a paint, namely, the base, vehicle, thinner, and driers.
As regards the base, they found that the durability of paint increased
with the fineness of grinding. The usual method of specifying
paint work is by the number o f coats; these witnesses were of opinion
that the weight of paint to cover a given area ought to be specified,
but on further examination they admitted that a thin coat was a
better preservative than a thick one.
As regards the relative qualities of zinc and lead paints, they found
that both were equally suitable for interior work; that there is no
difference in the cost of similar decorative contracts carried out
with either paint; that while the covering power of zinc is less than
that of lead the spreading power of zinc is greater; and while the
first cost of zinc is greater it works out cheaper in the end because
of its permanence and durability. They, therefore, hold that zinc
can efficiently replace lead for interior work, provided that necessary
differences of treatment are observed. As regards exterior work,
Mr. Munby held that lead is better than zinc, as it stands the weather
better* especially in the lighter shades, while some of the darker
shades are difficult to obtain without lead. Mr. Wonnacott, on the
other hand, was of opinion that zinc is as good as lead fpr exterior



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work, and both witnesses agreed that a limitation of the lead content
to 5 per cent would not introduce serious difficulties.
The vehicle, in the opinion of these witnesses, is as important as
the pigment, and they considered tung oil, which is cheaper than
linseed oil, is a most suitable vehicle. The Royal Institute of British
Architects are prepared to adopt before long a standard specification
which would include zinc paints, and it was stated that architects
generally would welcome the prohibition of lead if possible, witnesses
considering that it would be perfectly safe for them to assent to a
limitation of the lead in paints to not more than 5 per cent. At
the same time the knowledge of zinc paints amongst architects is
not great and up to the present time white lead has been specified
as a matter of habit,
WITNESSES REPRESENTING MESSRS. CADBURY BROS. (LTD.).
Mr. B. J. Morley attended to give evidence regarding the use of
leadless paints by Messrs. Cadbury Bros, at their works at Bournville, near Birmingham. The witness is foreman painter for that
firm and has had over 34 years’ experience. He has at present
control of 30 to 50 painters who are employed in all varieties of
work. Leadless paints have been used exclusively by Messrs.
Cadbury for 3 years and almost exclusively for 7 years; the change
from lead paints to leadless was commenced 12 years ago.
The paint materials at present in use at the Bournville works are:
For white bases, pure zinc oxide; for general reds, oxide of iron;
for greens, leadless green, which is sometimes made from barium
and sometimes from zinc, but most commonly from ferrocyanide
of potassium and ocher. In addition to these, various better-class
colors, such as carmine, are used, but these are all quite leadless.
The use of red lead as well as other lead compounds has been entirely
abandoned.
The leadless paints are mostly applied by Messrs. Cadbury's own
men, but occasionally by outsiders. All the paints used are bought
in the paste form ground in oil or turps as the case may require; the
oxide of zinc is bought ground in pure linseed oil.
The specification for zinc oxide is 99 per cent pure oxide of zinc
without a trace of lead; as long as the material is free from lead, cad­
mium, or barium, and it contains 98 per cent of pure oxide of zinc, it
is accepted. The standard of purity for iron oxide is 97 per cent
ferric oxide.
Mr. Morley stated that he is entirely satisfied with the results ob­
tained with all their leadless paints; the work includos good office
work, factory work, both exterior and interior, and comprising iron,
steel, and wood work, and greenhouse work; there are also motor
vans, locomotives, and other incidental items of paint work, which
are all done under the supervision of the witness and according to his
specifications. About 5 cwt. of lead is still bought annually for the
use of the pipe fitters and engine fitters, but none of it is used for
painting. Samples of the various materials are analyzed for lead,
and tho witness stated that he was confident there would never be
more than 3 per cent of load in any of their paints; they endeavor to
eliminate even that small percentage.



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In Mr. Morley’s opinion the use of leadless paints is not more costly
than lead. He has not been able to trace any difference in the cost
one way or the other.
The witness next gave examples of large buildings which had been
painted with leadless paints; apart from one which was last painted
11 years ago, at which time he could not be certain that the paints
were absolutely free from lead, he instanced two buildings some 600
feet by 40 feet which were painted 7 years ago absolutely without
lead. These were painted externally, both woodwork and ironwork,
partly with zinc oxide and partly with iron oxide paints. They were
not new buildings, but were repainted over lead, which the witness
considered a disadvantage because it attacks the zinc and has a ten­
dency to powder in the presence of sulphurous fumes. He also
instanced two or three blocks of new buildings painted entirely with
zinc. One of these was painted about 3 years ago and the other
about 5 years ago. The practice of the firm is to paint externally
once in 7 years; from the whole of his experience throughout the
factory Mr. Morley had arrived at 'the definite conclusion that the
leadless paints stand better than the white lead paints used to do.
In regard to interior painting, of which the witness’s experience
includes the interior of a greenhouse painted as an experiment, his
conclusions are even more strongly in favor of leadless paints. In
the witness’s opinion priming, as well as other paint work, can be
done efficiently without the use of lead.
In further examination the witness stated that at first some diffi­
culties had been found in respect of drying and in obtaining a perfect
flatting paint, but these difficulties nave now been overcome; the
firm’s own men find no difficulty in applying leadless paints, but
outside contractors’ men are less accustomed to it.
The thinners used with zinc oxide consist of raw linseed oil, Ameri­
can turps, and boiled oil, together with from 1 pint to 1 quart of
oak varnish to every half hundredweight of oxide of zinc. The zinc
)aints cost more per cwt. than lead paints, but owing to the much
ower spocific gravity of zinc than lead, Mr. Morley has not found
that the painting costs any more per square yard.

{

WITNESSES DEALING MAINLY WITH STATISTICS OF LEAD
POISONING AMONG HOUSE PAINTERS.1
Mr. Parsonage gave evidence to the effect that the average member­
ship of the National Amalgamated Society of Operative House and
Ship Painters and Decorators over the last six years was about
16,000, of whom a very small number, probably not more than 100,
would be engaged on ship painting exclusively. He handed in a
table2 showing amounts paid as compensation for serious cases of
plumbism among the members of his society, and he also handed to
Dr. Collis records of 935 deaths8 from all causes which had occurred
among members of his society during the six years 1905-1910, and
assured the committee that the records, which were not specially
compiled for this inquiry, but comprised the ordinary quarterly
returns, could be relied upon as absolutely trustworthy.
1 See also evidence of Dr. Legge,p. 4.
* See Appendix X I [Minutes of Evidence].




8 Tabulated in Appendix X II (Minutes of Evidence).

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Mr. Gardner gave similar evidence as secretary of the Scottish
Society of Operative House and Ship Painters, stating that the aver­
age membership of his society was 3,240, of whom not more than 75
would be exclusively engaged in ship painting. He handed to Dr.
Collis records of 305 deaths from all causes which occurred during
the 10 years 1901-1910, inclusive.
Dr. Collis, a member of the committee and H. M. medical inspector
of factories at the Home Office, gave evidence regarding the details
shown on the death rotums handed in by Messrs. Parsonage and
Gardner. He prefaced his evidence by dealing briefly with the im­
portant point in the registrar general’s mortality returns for the class
plumbers, painters, ana glaziers, among whom the mortality is shown
to be 11 per cent higher than amongst the general population.
•In the registrar general’s supplement attention is called to the
excessive incidence of Bright’s disease, phthisis, and nervous dis­
eases, as well as plumbism, among workers whose occupation involves
exposure to absorption of lead. Following this conclusion, Dr. Collis
stated that he had tabulated the figures supplied by Messrs. Parsonage
and Gardner with special regard to the incidence among the members
of the two trade societies of plumbism, Bright’s disease and phthisis,
but he did not attempt to deal with nervous diseases in his investi­
gation owing to his uncertainty as to which diseases the registrar
general had included under that heading. Dr. Collis put in a table
showing details of the two societies taken together as well as a further
table showing the deductions which may fairly be drawn from the
first table.1 He summed up the results briefly as showing that in
every 100 deaths which have occurred among the members of those
two societies, between 13 and 14 have occurred from causes attributa­
ble to lead. The elimination of those causes of death which are con­
nected with work in lead resulted in the conclusion that the age at
death from the remaining causes would closely approximate the
average age at death of all males. In Appendix X II, Table B,2 addi­
tional columns are given showing the median age at death, which
Bowley in his book “ Elements of Statistics” regards as the most
useful form of average. In the case of members of the two trade
societies the median age at death is eight years lower than it is for all
males. These conclusions agree almost exactly with the correspond­
ing deduction from the registrar .general’s figures, which show that
the median age of plumbers, painters, and glaziers at death is 48-49,
as compared with 56-57 among the general male population.
Dr. Collis satisfied himself from a study of the statistics that this
lowering of the median age at death was due solely to the increased
prevalence of plumbism, phthisis, and Bright’s disease, the first two
of which cause a lower median age at death than that caused by other
diseases.
Dr. Collis then compared the figures of the National Amalgamated
Society with those of the Scottish society, and pointed out that in
the latter tho incidence of plumbism is decidedly lower, that of
Bright’s disease somewhat lower, and that of phthisis decidedly
higher; the mortality from accident is also higher in the Scottisn
society.
1 See Appendix X II (Minutes of Evidence].
* In Minutes of Evidence, presented in a separate volume of the original report.




D A N G E R IN U SE OF LEAD I X

T H E P A I N T I N G O F B U IL D I N G S .

73

The witness next dealt with statistics of invalidity and showed
that the amount of sickness among any class of workers could be
judged by the contributions required by the friendly societies. As
long ago as 1854 it was realized that four classes of workers were
exposed to excessive risk of invalidity, namely, mariners, miners and
colliers, painters, and railway servants; while the painters are not
liable to accident sickness to anything like the same extent as the
other three classes just named, the contribution required from the
painters stands second and is only exceeded by that required from
miners and colliers. Dr. Collis also quoted figures given in the United
States Bulletin of Labor for 1910,1 showing the insurance rates
charged in the various occupations in all the principal civilized coun­
tries. Since the act of 1906 made lead poisoning a ground for compen­
sation under the Workmen’s Compensation Act the insurance rates
for painters have increased, while the rates have somewhat decreased
during the same period for most other occupations; further, the in­
crease of rates for painters which has taken place since 1907 has not
occurred in countries where lead poisoning is not the subject of com­
pensation.
Dr. Edginton is the certifying surgeon for North Birmingham, and
sees a considerable number of lead poisoning cases. He produced
particulars of 106 cases seen in the course of 2f years. Included in
these were 11 cases of house painters, 3 of which only were reported
to the Home Office. The other 8 were not reported because the
poisoning had not been contracted in a factory or workshop. Seeing
that only 3 cases out of 11 were reported to the Home Office, Dr.
Edginton concluded that there must be a very large number of
nonreported cases in the city of Birmingham taken as a whole. Dr.
Edginton explained that he did not tabulate a case as lead poisoning
if only one symptom, such as colic, is present; he always requires to
have it confirmed by some secondary symptom.
In Dr. Edginton’s opinion the breathing of lead dust is the common­
est cause of lead poisoning, and the use of nonpoisonous paints is the
only reliable way of preventing plumbism. In the case of house paint­
ers regulations would be almost impossible, because the work is done
at houses where they could not possibly be regulated or inspected.
WITNESSES DEALING MAINLY WITH SHIP PAINTING.
Great Eastern Railway Co.—Commander W. H. Coysh, R.N.R.,
marine superintendent, gave evidence in regard to the paints used on
the Great Eastern Co’s, ships at Parkeston Quay, Harwich. Up to
the time of giving evidence lead paints had been used for all purposes
except the black outside work; the company had decided, however,
to use zinc paints exclusively in future because they found the tend­
ency of lead paints to turn yellow—an objectionable feature—and
their experiments had shown that the zinc paints were entirely satis­
factory. The witness stated that they were making the change from
white lead to zinc paints without any misgivings, and if the committee
were to recommend the prohibition of lead in future it would not affect
them in the least. The change is being made entirely from a business
point of view and not out of regard for the danger of lead poisoning.




1Bulletin No. 90, U. S. Bureau of Labor.

74

B U L L E T IN

OP T H E

BUREAU

OF L A B O R S T A T IS T IC S .

With regard to red lead Commander Coysh said that he had found
red lead the best protective paint for first coats on iron, so far as his
knowledge went; he knew of a good protective leadless oxide which is
coming very much into use, but he would wish to experiment further
before discarding the use of red lead for iron primings. He stated that
they never use red lead after the first coating; with regard to white
lead he repeated that they have decided to replace it with zinc paint
because the latter is the better paint both for internal and external use.
Mr. G. Schobert, a manufacturer of leadless compositions for paint­
ing ship's hulls, stated that he had supplied his composition to the
Great Eastern Railway Co. among others. The pigment base of
the composition was eitner zinc or oxide of iron. The witness claimed
that with pure chemical oxide of iron he could obtain a paint of greater
covering power than either red or white lead, and for white paints he
could achieve the same results with zinc oxide. He considered that
the covering power of red and white lead had been overrated because
>ainters have been able to secure genuine red and white lead in a pure
orm, whereas if such paints as zinc white or oxide of iron or red paints
or yellow ochers are demanded, adulterated pigments are generally
supplied. The witness stated that the cost 01 his paints per cwt. is
greater than the cost of lead paints per cwt., but the bulk of paint
obtained is nearly twice as much as lead paints ; the lightness of the
leadless paints is a decided advantage. The pamts in question have
been in use for some 45 years and have been used by the Lancashire
& Yorkshire Railway Co., Great Eastern Railway Co., Sir Frederick
Boulton’s Steamship Co. All these have given repeat orders, as have
also the District Railway Co., the Brentford Gas Co., the Dutch and
Danish Governments, four or five Dutch gas companies, and a number
of other users both at home and abroad. The paint is particularly
suitable for use on iron and steel and could replace red lead on the bare
metal without previous priming with lead paint.
Capt. Tuke is the marine superintendent of the Orient Steamship
Co. and exercises full control over the painting work on the ships of
that line; he employs about 27 to 40 painters and a very small amount
of painting is also done by the sailors on the various ships. Up to the
time of giving evidence lead paints had been used for painting funnels
and ventilators only; for all ordinary internal and external painting
the Orient Line have used zinc paiiits for at least 35 years. Zinc
priming paints are used both on wood and metal; a zinc white paint
with a little coloring matter, such as yellow ocher, is used for the stone
colored painting; zmc white is used for the holds generally; and for
the interior of cabins enamel paints, such as Rystolite and Satinette
are used over the zinc undercoats. Enamel paints are also used for
the deck houses and white zinc for the rails; the hulk are painted with
a leadless black paint. A small proportion only of lead is used in the
buff-colored paint for funnels and ventilators. Even the very small
amount of lead used for funnels and ventilators is forming the subject
of experiment and Capt, Tuke was of opinion that entire prohibi­
tion of lead pamt would not affect the company in the least. The zinc
paint may be slightly more expensive than lead, but not sufficiently so
to affect them at all. The chief advantage of zinc is that it does not
turn yellow as white lead would. Capt. Tuke said that they were
entirely satisfied with the zinc paints for exterior as well as interior use
hi every respect. The durability is satisfactory, th$ holds being

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BAN G ER IN

USE OP LEAD IK

T H E P A I K T I N G O P B U IL D I N G S .

75

painted about every four years; with regard to exterior work, no paint
on board sjiip could be allowed to go more than a few months owing to
mechanical abrasion. The ships of the Orient Line are painted exter­
nally about every two months. The zinc white is bought in paste
form and mixed up with linseed oil and*a certain amount of driers, but
no varnish. He has not found any difficulty on the workmen’s part
in applying zinc paints, even when he has engaged painters who nave
previously been accustomed to lead paints. As regards the painting
of the hulls below the water line, Capt. Tuke stated they used Wood’s
composition, which contains copper out not lead so far as the witness
is aware. He stated that it was a patent composition, and the makers
would not disclose its constitution.
Mr. G. B. Mockford, foreman of painters at H. M. dockyard, Ports­
mouth, attended to give evidence regarding the practical use of paints
in the British navy. At the time of giving evidence he had only had
six months’ experience at the Portsmouth dockyard, where 320 paint­
ers are employed, but he had had 7\ years’ experience in a similar
capacity at Sheerness. He had known several cases of poisoning by
lead, and considered that its use constituted a very decided danger;
lead paints are not used by the admiralty in confined spaces; oxide of
iro’n paints have been substituted with very good results 15 years ago
for such work as the painting of double bottoms, compartments, fore
peaks, and hatchways and bunkers. Oxide of iron has been greatly
used of late in preference to white lead for finishing coats, but the
priming, which is principally on iron and steel, is done with a mixture
of red and white lead. The witness attributed the greatest danger to
the dust from the rubbing down of painted surfaces, which is consider­
able in amount though often almost invisible. In his opinion the way
to obviate that danger is to extend the use of zinc paints. At the time
of giving evidence the royal yacht Victoria ani Albert had just been
painted, and the renovation of all the royal apartments was carried out
with zinc paints. Lead had greater covering power than zinc in the
witness’s experience, and therefore a priming coat of half lead and
half zinc is generally given in the seamen’s quarters where granulated
cork is used.
The admiralty havelaid down a number of regulations to be observed
where lead paints are used. Soap, towels, and nailbrushes are pro­
vided, also hot water, which, in the witness’s opinion, is most essential.
Time is allowed for washing, namely, five minutes before the noon bell
ringing and five minutes before the afternoon bell ringing. The wash­
ing is enforced by the chargeman, who holds the men s tickets and
does not give them out until the men have been to the washhouse and
have washed their hands. All men are supplied at the expense of the
admiralty with overalls, which are, moreover, washed fortnightly at
the admiralty’s expense in a large laundry with steam machinery on
the dockyard premises. At Sheerness dockyard the men are exam­
ined by a medical man regularly every Saturday morning; at Ports­
mouth dockyard they are seen by the medical officer at convenient in­
tervals in batches of about 20. In the witness’s opinion a great
improvement in the general health has been noticeable during the last
8 or 10 years. Notwithstanding all the above-named precautions,
which are strictly enforced, lead poisoning cases still occur frequently,
and the men have to be put on to work which does not involve contact
with lead.



76

♦ B U L L E T IN

OF T H E

BUREAU

O F L A B O R S T A T IS T IC S .

The witness considered that the abolition of lead is the only way to
remove the evils entirely, and he thought it would be practicable to
>rohibit the use of lead except for priming coats on iron and steel suraces; this answer applied both to inside and outside painting. The
witness excepted priming coats on iron and steel surfaces in his answer
because the lead paint at present used is very satisfactory, and he has
made no experiments on a large scale on such surfaces with nonlead
paints; he would not go so far as to say that no other paint than a lead
paint would be likely to succeed on iron and steel. From the wit­
ness’s experience of zmc paints on the upper deck work of the Victoria
and Albert, he regarded it as probable that the same paints suitably
tinted would stand quite well for the outside painting of battleships,
but no instruction to this effect has yet been issued by the admiralty.
The witness could see no objection to the use of nonlead paints for the
upper decks and also for the whole of the hull, in board and out.
Mr. W. Simpson is foreman painter at Messrs. Brown and Co.’s
shipbuilding and engineering works, Clydebank. He has had 30
years’ experience and has some 410 men under his charge. He knew
of very few lead poisoning cases, only about six having been reported
to him, but ho agreed that there may have been cases which did
not come to his knowledge. Some dust may be breathed when the
men are doing dry rubbing down, but he did. not consider that there
was much danger, given due cleanliness on the part of the men. He
said that in his opinion no paint stood better than white lead, but
in reply to further questions he said he had used leadless paints very
largely and had found that such paints as zinc oxide stood very well.
On admiralty work oxide of iron is used entirely for confined spaces.
In his experience zinc is very satisfactory, though they seldom bring
up paint work with zinc from the base, and he said he preferred white
lead as a base. He spoke of one vessel which had been done entirely
with zinc oxide, the whole of the inside and the hull brought up from
the bare metal throughout with zinc paint, and the result looked per­
fectly well. He has had no report of any complaint. The witness
thought zinc was not so durable as white lead, and instanced the
painting of some 250-ton cranes which did not stand so well. The
cranes were originally painted five years previously over oxide of
iron. The witness thought white lead better than zinc white because
a machine for rolling plates had been painted 10 years previously
with white lead and was still in good condition.
With regard to steel plates with rust on them, the witness found
red lead the best covering, as the rust will in time show through zinc
paint and even white lead. For a ship’s bottom he considers nothing
stands better than mixed red and white lead; zinc paint gets soft
under water. In confined spaces on admiralty work oxide of iron
is used, and also bituminous paints and red lead have been used
in double bottoms.
The witness has found no difference in the effect on the men except
that they get partially overpowered by the fumes if they stay in such
a confined space too long. The fumes are worse in the case of the
bituminous paint.
The witness expressed the opinion that lead poisoning is due to
the carelessness and uncleanliness of the men, and complained that
he had known them to sit down for meals with their hands covered
with paint, although washing accommodation is provided. In further

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77

examination, he admitted that the washing accommodation provided
consisted of two large sinks with hot and cold water laid on, with
soap, one nailbrush, and one large towel for from 200 to 400 men.
No time is allowed for washing; the witness stated that it was not
in his power to give the men time for such a purpose, and he has had
no instructions to provide washing accommodation.
WITNESSES DEALING MAINLY WITH BRIDGE PAINTING.
Mr. EHson, resident engineer of the Southeastern & Chatham
Kailway at Charing Cross and Cannon Street, stated that he was in
charge of the painting operations on the river bridges at these two
stations. Nonpoisonous painting materials have been used some­
what extensively by the Southeastern & Chatham Bailway Co.
On the Charing Cross and Cannon Street bridges and other smaller
bridges ordinary coal-tar paint has been used and has proved durable
and very efficient indeed in every way. Some of this paint, for exam­
ple, on the under side of Cannon Street bridge was last painted with
tar 18 years ago, and it is almost as good now as when it was put on;
two coats of this paint are as good as anything known for protective
purposes, provided that the black color is not objected to. It is rather
costly in labor taken for applying it, but is nevertheless economical,
because two coats are as good as three coats- of lead paint. It is not,
however, so durable as other paints when exposed to sulphurous
fumes such as are found in the atmosphere inside railway termini.
On the roofs of Charing Cross and Cannon Street stations, where
the atmospheric conditions are very trying, silica graphite paints
have been found very efficient; three coats of that paint applied to
Cannon Street station roof two years previously had proved con­
clusively to them that it was superior to lead pamt. Silica graphite
paint is absolutely leadless, but could not be used white. Another
black paint, known as carbonizing coating paint, has been used on
Cannon Street station roof as against lead applied to other parts of
the roof at the same time; three years later both paints were in about
the same condition, and the same was noted at the end of the sixth
year when the wort was repainted; two coats of carbonizing coating
paint were used, as against three coats of the best lead paint. The
comparative costs of the paints above referred to work out as follows:
Cost per square yard in pence.
Material.
Carbonizing coating; silica
graphite...................... ...........
Coal far......................................
Lead paint.................................

0.664
.135
.878

Labor.

Total.

1.68
3.00
1.68

2.344
3.135
2.558

Experiments with two gallons of leadless white paints have also
been made: these have been found entirely satisfactory and as effi­
cient and durable as the best lead paints in the atmospheric condi­
tions prevailing in London railway termini. Mr. Ellson, therefore,
concluded that the prohibition oi the use of lead would cause no
difficulty so far as his work was concerned.



78

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B U R E A U O F L A B O R S T A T IS T IC S .

Mr. P. J. Hunter is an inspector of the Forth Bridge Railway Co.
and in charge of the painting operations on the Forth bridge. Non­
lead materials are principally used, particularly oxide of iron. Some
red and white lead are also used, the proportions being as follows:
Red lead.......................................................... 1 ton 16 cwts. (dry).
White lead....................................................... 16 cwts. (paste).
Oxide of iron....................................................9 tons (paste).

Seventy-five per cent of the paint used, therefore, is leadless, but
the mixture of red and white lead is still preferred as a priming coat
on naked steel which has had to be chipped and scrapea. Oxide of
iron has been used over a lead priming ever since the bridge was
built. Repainting is done every three years, but the lower parts
exposed to the sea spray are now being painted every year, though
this is probably only absolutely necessary every two years. Mr.
Hunter considers lead paint not so good as iron oxide for the outer
coats, as it absorbs oxygen from the atmosphere and there is a tend­
ency then for corrosion to begin. The lead paint is also more ex­
pensive, the contract prices for the year quoted being: Iron oxide,
12s. ($2.92) per cwt.; red lead, 16s. ($3.89); white lead, 19s.9d. ($4.81).
Mr. Hunter said they had never tried to find a substitute for lead as
a priming coat, but was sure if lead was prohibited a substitute would
be found. There has been no lead poisoning among the workers of
recent years, but there were some cases of painter s colic 20 years
ago due to dust from cleaning paint off the insides of the tubes. Steel
work is scraped and brushed with a wire brush, thus causing dust,
but only very small surfaces are done each year. There is no general
painting in the insides of the tubes and tne current of air through
them is so strong that it carries away any little dust that may be
made. At the time of giving evidence Mr. Hunter was experiment­
ing with a bituminous paint for priming coats and it appears to be
satisfactory. Some of the outside work: was finished entirely with
red lead and that deteriorated very soon. All oxide of iron direct
on the steel was not satisfactory. In conclusion Mr. Hunter said
that he would not mind if the use of white lead were prohibited alto­
gether provided he could find an efficient substitute for priming sur­
faces on steel, and this he would expect to do fairly easily if it were
necessary.
WITNESSES SUBMITTED BY THE WHITE LEAD CORRODERS’
SECTION OF THE LONDON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
Dr. Ignaz Kaup is a doctor of medicine who has devoted great
attention to the subject of lead poisoning in general and among house
painters in particular. He has held a number of important official
appointments in connection with the Austrian Government, by whom
he was also specially commissioned to assist in the work of the Aus­
trian Commission on Lead Poisoning. He was also professor of indus­
trial hygiene in the University of Vienna. Since 1907 Dr. Kaup has
been a departmental chief of the Central Organization for oocial
Hygiene in Berlin; also professor of hygiene in the Technical High
School of Charlottenburg and editor of a journal and author of numer­
ous publications on the subject of lead poisoning.




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AUSTRIA.

Dr. Kaup noted, when government medical officer in Vienna,
the great amount of lead poisoning in that city; he wrote a brochure
on tne subject in 1902, and in 1904 was appointed a member of
the Austrian commission to inquire into lead poisoning. The com­
mission found that reliable statistics of lead poisoning could only
be obtained for Vienna, in which the number of cases rose from
130 in 1901 to 253 in 1906. The report lays very great stress upon
the danger of dry rubbing down, it having been found that the
air of a room in which dry rubbing down was being done contained
from 1 to 25 milligrammes of white lead per 1,000 Eters of air, i. e.,
from 10 to 250 milligrammes per 10 cubic meters of air. This
dangerous process of dry rubbing down is in Austria practically
confined to inside pointing; the report of the Austrian commission
therefore draws a sharp distinction between inside and outside
painting. To the general absence of dry rubbing down on exterior
work the Austrian report ascribes the relatively small amount of
load poisoning due to outside painting, notwithstanding the large
amount of white lead used therein. At that time (1905) moreover
the commission found that “ the question qf substitutes for outside
painting is still in the stage of experiment and inquiry.” As a
result of the report of the Austrian commission a set of regulations
was issued by tne minister of commerce in 1908. These, which are
set forth in extenso in Appendix IX ,1include as the chief provisions:
(1) Prohibition of dry rubbing down and pumice stoning
(sec. 7).
(2) Prohibition of white lead for inside use (sec. 4).
(3) Notification of lead contents on paint cans, etc. (sec. 3).
(4) Provision by employer of (a) washing accommodation in
all cases; (6) overalls and head coverings where more
than 20 workers are employed; and (c) respirators for
all workers in processes entailing the generation of
much dust (sec. 8).
(5) Provision by employer of special rooms for washing and
for keeping clothes where more than 20 are employed
(sec. 2).
(6) Periodical medical inspection where more than 20 are
employed, and medical certificate before reemploy­
ment of a workman once lead-sick (sec. 6).
(7) Provision of instructions as to the danger and nature of
lead poisoning and the means of avoiding it (sec. 11).
At the time of Dr. Kaup giving evidence the regulations had been
in force some 2| years and a diminution in the number of cases
could already be traced, the number of cases of lead poisoning among
members of the Sickness Insurance Fund, Vienna, being the highest
in 1904, 1905, and 1906; 197, 198, and 253, respectively, in those
three years. In the year in which the commission was sitting
(1907) the cases were only 108; in 1908, 167; in 1909, 143; and in
1910, 138. These last quoted figures, however, are higher than
those for 1901 and 1902, when the cases numbered 130 and 125,
respectively; it appears, however, that the number of painters has
increased materially during the 10 years 1901-1910, and therefore
the figure of 138 for the last year may represent some improvement
1 In Minutes of E vidence, presented in a separate volume of the original report.




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BUREAU

OF L A B O R S T A T IS T IC S .

on the figures of 130 for the first year of the decennium, but at best
the improvement is very slight.
GERMANY.

Regulations for the painting industry wore established in Germany
on June 27, 1905, and include the following provisions:
(1) Prohibition of dry rubbing down and dry pumice stoning
(sec. 3).
(2) Provision by employer of washing appliances (sec. 5).
(3) Provision of special rooms for wasting and for clothes
(sec. 8).
(4) Rules by employer (a) to require special work clothes, and
prohibiting (6) spirit drinking and smoking during work,
and (c) eating or drinking before washing (secs. 4 and 9).
(5) Half-yearly medical inspection, and prohibition of work
before recovery from lead poisoning (sec. 10).
(6) A medical register (sec. 11).
(7) Provision of instructions as to the danger and prevention
of lead poisoning (sec. 6).
There is no obligation to notify cases of lead poisoning in Germany,
and any statistics are therefore necessarily incomplete. In Dr.
Kaup’s opinion the available records of hospitals are “ reliable for
an estimate of the increase or decrease of lead poisoning, but do
not give an accurate picture of the full extent of it, inasmuch as
workmen only go to the hospitals as a last resource. ” These
records show a decrease in the number of the cases from 178 in
Berlin and 1,050 in the whole of Prussia in 1904, to 130 in Berlin
and 900 in the whole of Prussia in 1908. The full table printed in
Appendix X V 1 shows the decrease since 1906, when the regulations
came into force, not only in the number of cases, but even more
so in the number of days of illness and the proportion of cases among
painters to total cases of lead poisoning. The statistics of the
sickness insurance fuiad for the painters of Berlin show similar
reduction, e. g., the number of cases of lead poisoning falling from
379 in 1907 to 268 in 1910. These last statistics Dr. Kaup considers
quite reliable, but unfortunately they are only available for important
centers, such as Berlin, and not for the country as a whole.
Dr. Kaup considered that the decrease in tho amount of lead poison­
ing among painters was directly due to the effect of the regulations.
He was strongly of opinion, however, that the provisions of the
regulations must be supplemented by thorough and well-organized
methods for the medical instruction and medical supervision of
the workmen, and he considered that neither Austria nor Germany
was in so favorable a position as England in regard to such enforce­
ment of the requirements, inasmuch as England already possesses a
system of local sanitary inspectors and medical officers o f health.
Dr. Kaup considers that the notification of lead poisoning should
be made compulsory: that vessels containing lead paints should be
labelled “ containing lead, and poisonous.” He regards dry rubbing
down as the most important source of danger, and in his opinion it
would be possible to dispense entirely with dry rubbing down.
Dr. Kaup was questioned with regard to evidence taken by the
Austrian commission. He stated that master painters, working
1 In Minutes of Evidence, presented in a separate volume of the original report.




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81

painters (that is working men), factory owners, and the technical
staff of factories were examined. Mr. Meissl, who gave evidence
later before the present committee, was examined as a practical
man who might be regarded as a leading authority amongst paint­
ers. He told the Austrian commission that he had made extensive
experiments with zinc white and had found it not sufficiently
durable for outside use. A number of other master painters cor­
roborated this statement and said that they had also made
>ractieal experiments, though not scientific experiments, and had
ormed similar conclusions. As a whole the master painters of
Vienna said that for outside painting they considered white lead
to be absolutely necessary, but on the other hand the master painters
of Galicia, one of the northern Provinces, stated that quite satis­
factory results might be obtained with zinc white. This difference
of opinion Dr. Kaup attributes to the inferior quality which would
satisfy the people ox Galicia. Mr. Meissl and the other house paint­
ers who appeared before the Austrian commission gave no evidence
based on scientific experiments, but stated that in fulfilling contracts
it had frequently been observed that zinc white was very easily
wiped off, while this was not observed with white lead. An inspector
of the Austrian State railways had also made experiments with
leadless paints and found that surfaces coated therewith showed, after
a very snort time—not stated more definitely—fissures and ruptures
rendering the coat of paint.pervious to moisture; this was not the
case with lead paints. Mr. Meissl and one other witness were the
only ones who were examined or cross-examined at any length
by the A.ustrian commission; the others simply agreed and stated
that they had nothing they wished to add. Three or four cases
were quoted of experiments which had proved unfavorable to leadless
mints; for example, two houses at Lemberg, one painted with white
ead and found after five or six years to be in a condition capable
of being washed, the other painted with lithopone, which had been
found not in as good a condition after some time, the exact period not
being stated. A second illustration was given where a painter in
Lemberg had painted his kitchen with lithopone, which after nine
months could be wiped off with the dry hand. In addition to the
master painters, who gave their opinion in support of Mr. Meissl
and against leadless paints, there were also present at the inquiry
certain experts, such as Mr. Andes, the owner of a paint factory,
and Mr. Stebzl, the owner of a zinc white factory. They made
statements that lithopone or zinc white might yield very satisfactory
results, but they only said that in their formal answers to the ques­
tions put without producing proof. Dr. Kaup desired to emphasize
the fact that he attached particular importance to the evidence
iven by the master painters, but very little to the evidence given
y the factory owners.
The chairman referred Dr. Eaup to the eminently satisfactory
experience with leadless paints on a large scale in England, e. g., the
savings bank buildings, many post offices and sorting offices, the top
structures of the Orient Steamship Co.’s liners, tne royal yacht,
and other ships, the railway bridges and station roofs and other
iron structures, the exterior of the London stock exchange, the
Midland Railway Co.’s carriages and wagons, the Daimler Motor Co.’s

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vehicles, and the Bradford Corporation trams. In reply to t.Tiia
Dr. Kaup said that he considered for outside purposes the only
thing that is necessary is a final coat of lead paint much will resist
moisture and other influences. Dr. Kaup said that the successful
instances of leadless painting in England coincided with the results
obtained by the Dutch and French commissions, and are not in
agreement with the evidence of the German and Austrian commis­
sions. In
'
* tents were carried out and
reported
report being that leadless
paints could be used for inside painting, but with regard to outside
painting the experiments did not lead to any conclusion either way.
At the same time an international movement was on foot for tne
prevention of lead poisoning, and a communication addressed to
each Government concluded with a request that the use of lead
paints be entirely prohibited for inside purposes, and that those
used for outside purposes should be labeled as containing lead and
poisonous. Dr. Kaup said that in the Austrian and German experi­
ments zinc paints were mixed with the same medium as is used for
lead paints.
The enforcement of regulations is intrusted to the factory inspect­
ors, who are more numerous than in England. Dr. Kaup stated that
Germany has the biggest number of factory inspectors per factory and
Austria the second biggest number, so that England comes third.1
Cases of infringement of the regulations are also detected by means of
complaint sent by the workers. All painting operations are liable to
inspection, whether in private houses or otherwise. Dr. Kaup was
not quite sure as to the right of entry into a private house, but said he
had never heard any objection raised. In Dr. Kaup’s opinion the pro­
hibition of the use of lead for interior painting is quite strictly ob­
served in Vienna; inspections and tests are made by the inspectors
and the control is greatly facilitated by the declaration of lead con­
tents required to be placed on vessels containing lead paints. Dr.
Kaup agreed that the control was quite insufficient to prevent the use
of lead throughout the country, but thought that in Vienna very little,
if any, white lead is used for internal purposes, because the prohibi­
tion oi the use of white load for such painting was made at the sugges­
tion of the master painters of Vienna.
With regard to the requirement of washing accommodation for
painters^ Dr. Kaup stated that this provision is only carried out effi­
ciently in fixed workshops. The periodical medical examination
takes place in Austria every three months and in Germany every six
months at the expense of the employer. In Belgium there is a similar
periodical medical examination paid for partly by the State and partly
by the employer.
In neither the Austrian nor the German regulations is there any
specific exemption for people who voluntarily use leadless paints.
Dr. Kaup thinks such an inducement to use leadless materials to be
very desirable. The Austrian exemption applying to firms who
employ less than 20 workers was a particular concession to the small
employer.
Referring to the statistics showing progressive decrease in the number
of cases of lead poisoning, Dr. Kaup considered that the reduction from
* The actual numbers of factory inspectors are for Germany, 516 in 1910; for Austria, 110 in 1909—see
Appendix X V I [Minutes of Evidence]; while the number for the United Kingdom was 197 in 1909-10.




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83

5.5 per cent down to 3.5 per cent represents a very considerable im­
provement; he agreed that the lowest figure 3.5 per cent in 1910, is
still very much higher than a fair industrial risk. Dr. Kaup referred
to Dr. Teleky’s figures of lead poisoning in Austria, based on the
returns of the sickness insurance society,1and gave his opinion regard­
ing the proportion of cases due to inside and outside painting. Dr.
Kaup considered that the prohibition of lead for inside work would
reduce the number of cases to a figure which would constitute a fair
trade risk; while he did not think there was a very grave danger from
the use oi lead in outside painting he attributed very few cases to
inside painting, and gave as an example Mr. Meissl’s experience in
1909 when he had 40 lead poisoning cases, none of them ascribable to
inside work.
On the subject of inspection Dr. Kaup reiterated that the number
of inspectors in Austria is very insufficient, and added that he re­
garded it as necessary to have inspectors dealing only with this par­
ticular branch of industry. In Germany the proportion of factory
inspectors is slightly higher, and every factory and workshop must be
inspected at least once a year, but the arrangements for visiting temporary working places are not so drastic as in Austria. Dr. Kaup
agreed that the rate of improvement, as judged from the lead poison­
ing figures, leaves much to be desired; he attributes the slow rate of
improvement to lack of control. In England, in the witness’s opinion,
the factory inspectors could rely on much support in their work from
the sanitary inspectors. The witness also stated that a recent move­
ment in Germany would probably result in the prohibition of the use
of lead for inside painting as in Austria.
Dr. Kaup indicated the lines on which he would suggest to improve
the Austrian regulations and said he thought a proper apprenticeship
system would gradually reduce the danger of lead poisoning.
Dr. Rambousek is a Government official of the Kingdom of Bo­
hemia, one of the chief industrial Provinces of Austria; he is a member
of the highest administrative authority of the Kingdom, and has been
stationed at Prague since the beginning of 1907, when he was also
appointed professor of hygiene of the German Technical High School
at Prague. He has written numerous works on industrial poisoning.
He described the organization of the inspecting authority of the
Kingdom of Bohemia, and explained the maimer in which the officials
are able to collect statistics of lead poisoning cases, which are as
follows:
KINGDOM OF BOHEMIA—CASES OF LEAD POISONING.




Year.

(1)

1907......................
1908......................
1909......................

Number of
Total num­ house paint­
ers Included
ber of cases. in column
(2).
(2)
106
91
147
132
89
70

(3)
20
17
18
24
13
9

1 See Appendix X X X I I I (Minutes of E vidence].

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Dr. Rambousek pointed out that these-figures are not complete as a
eat many cases escape reporting. The figures, even allowing for
e more exact inquiries made in 1910 than in previous years, show
the beneficial results of the efforts to check lead poisoning; the wit­
ness attributed the improvement mainly to the regulations of 1908.
The figures of course include cases of industrial poisoning occurring
in factories; they are not confined to house painters. Dr. Rambousek
however, quoted them as showing the effect which can be obtained by
regulations without prohibition; but at the same time deplored tho
imperfect observance of regulations in Austria owing to the lack of
inspectors and official doctors. He added that he understood that
‘ ‘in England circumstances are far more favorable.”
With regard to the prohibition of the use of lead for inside painting,
Dr. Rambousek referred to the difficulty of distinguishing between
inside and outside work, and stated that in his opinion the prohibition
of lead for inside work was largely evaded. l)r. Rambousek con­
sidered the prohibition of the use of a dangerous article to be a mode
of dealing with the danger which is “ somewhat childish in its sim­
plicity” ; he thought it would lead to an intolerable interference with
the machinery of civilization if it were applied to all substances which
are of greater danger than white lead.
Among the regulations to be observed by workers who use lead,
Dr. Rambousek laid great stress upon personal cleanliness and the
instruction of the workman. First it would be necessary to prohibit
dangerous processes such as dry rubbing down, and to provide for the
workmen the means of cleanliness. Dr. Rambousek attaches great
importance to the duty of declaring when a pigment contains lead,
e. g., by labeling the receptacle. He added that in any scheme ol
regulations there should bo provision for periodical medical inspection.
Dr. Rambousek was questioned closely regarding the number of
factory inspectors in Boncmia and the extent of their duties. Ho
admitted that the inspection could not be frequent enough to establish
with absolute certainty the observance of the regulations in all places
to which they relate. Dr. Rambousek dealt further with tho incom­
pleteness of lead poisoning figures in Bohemia, and made it clear that
tho special case which he naa quoted as showing the most gratifying
improvement, namely, a reduction from 25 cases in 1906 to 2 per
annum in recent years, was a white lead works. In reply to a question
as to whether the inspection of a factory is not a very different thing
from the inspection of a large number of private houses, Dr. Ram­
bousek replied, “ I still maintain that this snows that in every case, if
regulations are well enforced, the regulations will show beneficial
results.” He admitted that if the majority of the employers pre­
ferred the prohibition of the use of lead to a system of cumbrous and
irksome regulations, there is nothing more to be said; he added that
the greatest resistance in Austria does not come from the master paint­
ers, but from the makers of white lead, because Austria, and particu­
larly Carinthia, has a very big lead industry. The witness expressed
grave doubts as to the existence of satisfactory substitutes for lead,
and referred to a number of experiments carried out in Bohemia on
Government works by big private contractors; the latter’s replies
were to the effect that thelead-free paints were not satisfactory sub­
stitutes for white lead; the chief objection was insufficient covering

f




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85

power and insufficient durability. Both lithopone and zinc paints
were used, and the result was always the same. •
In Bohemia a workingman suffering from lead poisoning is entitled
to compensation during the time that he is actually ill.
Dr. Kambousek reiterated (answer to Q. 14598) that the commis­
sion on the question between prohibition and cumbersome regula­
tions hatl to decide in favor of the latter “ because they had to place
a very high value on the white lead industry- Austria is otherwise an
industrially poor country and the prohibition would cause a very
great industrial loss and general economic disturbance. ” This, how­
ever, Dr. Rambousek did not consider the sole reason for the decision
in favor of regulations; in his opinion the impossibility of replacing
white lead by any substitute was an oqually big factor.
Mr. O. Meissl stated that he was a master painter in Vienna with
over 30 years’ experience and possessing also chemical knowledge;
he employs 300 to 400 hands. He referred to the evidence given by
him as representing Viennese master painters before the Austrian
Commission on Lead Poisoning, and spoke of the beneficial results
which had accrued from the regulations issued on 25th of April, 1908.
As regards enforcement, he explained that the painters of Vienna all
belong to a sickness insurance office; many of the trade-union officials
being also officials under the sickness insurance scheme, there is a
strong tendency for the sickness insurance office to report every pos­
sible breach of the regulations to which its attention is called by a
painter applying for sick pay; from the employer’s point of view the
regulations are quite sufficiently enforced in this way.
Mr. Meissl stated that he had spent a good deal of time and money
in endeavoring to procure or make an effective substitute for white
lead, but in his judgment and experience the latter material is indis­
pensable for outside painting owing to its special properties and its
exceptional durability and covering power. For inside painting
white lead has not so great an advantage over zinc white, but even
there white lead is indispensable for specially damp places.
Mr. Meissl undertakes large contracts in connection with the paint­
ing of bridges and other steel structures and considers red lead to be
indispensable for this purpose.
In his opinion, one of the most important provisions of the regula­
tions is the requirement of a declaration when a pigment contains
lead. In his experience smoking, especially cigarette smoking,
greatly increases the predisposition to lead poisoning. He further
considers that no one should be reemployed after an attack of lead
poisoning without a certificate of recovery. He agreed with the
report o f the Austrian commission in attaching great importance to
the prohibition of rubbing down as the chief cause of lead poisoning
amongst house painters. In his own opinion and that of other ex­
perts in the trade, there is no process of dry rubbing down which
could not be replaced by wet rubbing.
Questioned in regard to the experience of the English office of
works with substitutes for lead pamts, Mr. Meissl thought that the
reason for the difference between their experience and ms experience
in Vienna may be found in the difference of climate.
With regard to bridge painting, Mr. Meissl acknowledged that very
good dark colors can be produced without lead for the protective
painting of ironwork. Mr. Meissl stated that it was common for him
to give a five years’ guaranty for work executed with white lead;



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but he declines responsibility for the durability of the paint whenever
using other than lead paints.
Since the regulations have come into force Mr. Meissl has had about
six or seven cases of lead poisoning per annum amongst his painters,
who number from 300 to 400 in the season, but fall off to about 120
or 130 in January. He contends that the majority of the cases are
slight. The regulation requiring medical inspection of the men is
not strictly enforced. With regard to the Austrian regulations in
eneral, he considers that another five or six years will De required
efore they will be quite understood and carried out; he regards the
lead poisoning evil as sufficiently serious to render regulations abso­
lutely necessary.
Mr. Ricker-Devroede stated that he had been in business as a mas­
ter painter in Brussels for 25 years, and is president of the Brussels
Chambre Syndicate of Painters and Decorators.
He used to mix all his own lead colors prior to July, 1910, when
this was forbidden by the Belgian decree.
Zinc white is largely used in Belgium for interiors and is a better
white color, but does not incorporate the oil. The witness said he
had found no efficient substitute for white lead for outside painting,
and even for certain inside work which is unduly exposed to moisture.
Mr. Ricker-Devroede detailed the steps which had led up to the Bel­
gian legislation dealing with the use of lead in painting.
The first decree, dated May 13, 1905, came into force on August 15,
1906, and included regulations dealing with the grinding and car­
riage of white lead, the prohibition of dry rubbing down, the provision
of working clothes and washing appliances, and quarterly medical
examination. These regulations drew forth an emphatic protest on
the 19th of May, 1907, from the master painters’ federation, who had
reiterated a resolution passed at their Liege congress in 1905 to the
effect that “ although white lead was irreplaceable for certain work,
they preferred a total prohibition of its use, making, or importation,
to a regulation which they were unanimously of opmion was inappli­
cable to their work places” (Q. 14841).
This was followed by a further report by the “ section centrale,”
who, on the 19th of February, 1908, reported that “ the Belgian
Legislature is justified in regulating, limiting, or even prohibiting the
use of white lead for painting, provided there is a real necessity to do
so relatively to the danger run” (Q. 14844); but they also reported
strongly in regard to the injury that would be done to the white lead
manufacturer, and concluded by recommending the adoption of addi­
tional regulations rather than prohibition. Alter further considera­
tion, the Belgian Parliament passed the law of August 20, 1909,
prohibiting dry rubbing down and providing for regulations to be
made controlling the use of white lead; such regulations were made by
royal decree of July 25, 1910, and provide further for the use of white
lead in paste form only, the avoidance of handling and splashing, the
keeping clean of material and tools, the provision of washing accom­
modation, and quarterly medical examination of workmen at the
expense of the employer; the employer is also required to see that
the workmen wear overalls and head coverings. (See Appendix VII.1
)
In further examination Mr. Ricker-Devroede said there were about
4,000 master house painters in Belgium, some of whom use only white

f

i In Minutes of Evidence, presented in a separate volume of the original report*




D AN GEE IN U SE OF LEAD I N

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87

lead; none of them use only zinc. If zinc white only were used, the
education of the painter would have to be recommenced. This is
the only difficulty with regard to interior painting.
The witness described the medium which he had used for zinc
paints, and said they never added varnish for interior work. He
would prefer to use white lead for durability wherever the paint is
exposed to moisture.
He estimated the number of painters in Belgium as 25,000 to
30,000, but said there were no statistics of any End as to the inci­
dence of lead poisoning. He admitted that certain of the regulations
dealing with dry grinding and carriage of dry white lead would not
be applicable in England, as the pamter obtains practically all his
white lead in the form of paste. He also agreed that it would be
impossible to enforce regulations by inspection in private houses, but
said in practice if dry rubbing down were done the worker would
report such breach of the law to his trade-union. Dry rubbing down
is a very dangerous process—the witness alleged that it would per­
haps be just as dangerous, but probably in a different way, with zinc
paints, and maintamed that dry rubbing down can be entirely dis­
pensed with.
The men supply themselves with overalls, apd various washing
appliances are supplied by the employer; the use of these is only
enforced by the interference of fellow workmen or as the result of
questions put to the workers by the medical examiners at the quar­
terly examination. He did not consider that the medical examina­
tion was sufficiently severe in Belgium at present.
Mr. Ricker-Devroede put in a letter1in which the Belgian Associa­
tion of Master House Painters state: “ Of all these regulations the
most iniquitous is the medical inspection imposed on the operative
painter. This provision, which is vexatious and humiliating, is with­
out any effect (Q. 14926). The witness stated that he signed this
letter in his capacity of president of the association; it does not rep­
resent his personal opinion.
The Federation of Master Painters in Belgium only embraces about
800 out of the 4,000 master painters in the country, but these 800
include most of the principal firms and employ more than half the
house painters in the country. These 800 passed a resolution at
their congress in Liege in 1905 in favor of prohibition of the use of
lead rather than regulations; they set forth the same views again
in a memorial dated May 19,1907, and again in a letter dated Sep­
tember 30; 1911. The other 3,200 master painters took no action
except to issue a protest before the regulations were passed claiming
that there was no danger in using lead m housepainting.
Mr. Ricker-Devroede further added that the Belgian State railways
had had trouble with zinc white, and had returned to the use of white
lead at their works at Malines, where 3,500 workmen, including at
least 500 painters, are employed.2
Mr. Ricker-Devroede further emphasized the importance of the
white lead industry in Belgium, and the danger which existed in his
opinion of a monopoly arising in regard to zinc white.
1 See Appendix X V III [Minutes of Evidence.]
* This statement was subsequently disproved by documentary evidence to the contrary submitted to
the committee (see Q. 21823), and confirmed through the Foreign Office (see p. 140).




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Mi'. E. Expert-Bezanpon stated that he is principal partner in
Expert-Bezanpon & Co., of Aubervilliers, near Paris, with works near
Lilfe, where both white and red lead are manufactured. He quoted
the French law of July 20, 1909, prohibiting the use of white lead
in the painting of buildings after January 1, 1915. He stated that
this law had had no effect *up to then, inasmuch as master painters
are using the same quantities of white lead as before.
The witness gave many details regarding the inquiry carried out
by the French Parliamentary Commission on White Lead, and
dealt with various distinguished men who expressed themselves against
prohibition. He strongly criticized the method of collecting statis­
tics of lead poisoning which were quoted in that report.
Mr. Expert-Bezanpon next referred to unsuccessful attempts to
manufacture zinc white, which he said was largely a monopoly of
the Vieille Montagne Co. He stated (Q. 15103) that his conclusion
is simple, namely, that a mistake has been made in France.
In further examination the witness said that he knew of only one
firm in France which uses zinc white exclusively, and quoted a num­
ber of authorities who disagree with the French law. He admitted
that he spoke as a white lead manufacturer, but he considered that
prohibition was also unfair to French master painters.
The use of white lead on public buildings in France has been aban­
doned for 10 years, but the witness maintained that the painting with
zinc had been more expensive.
Mr. Nooijen stated that he was a member of the Guild of Dutch
Master Painters and closely followed the work of the Dutch commis­
sion in 1903. He stated that his guild does not object to the accu­
racy of the final conclusions of the commission having regard to the
materials used for its experiments, but it is generally considered
that the zinc white paint prescribed by the commission was too thick
to work with, and it is alleged that it was frequently diluted with oil.
The opinion of master painters in Holland is that lead is much better
for exterior painting than zinc white as it resists the action of the
atmosphere, although the lead is liable to discoloration where there
is sulpnuretted hydrogen in the air.
Mr. Nooijen stated that he had tried all the substitutes for white
lead known to him; he painted his own house with zinc white mixed
with stand oil and found that it lasted three years at the southwest
side and four years at the northeast side. White lead mixed with
stand oil or boned oil would last several years longer. White lead is
not used in Holland for finishing interior painting; zinc white is nearly
always used. The interior of witness’s house; painted nine years ago
with zinc white mixed with stand oil, is still m excellent condition.
Mr. Nooijen explained that stand oil is linseed oil which has been
boiled for a very long time and is of two kinds, thick and thin. The
latter is most suitable for inside work and the former for outside work.
For inside work zinc white mixed with stand oil forms a very strong
glossy paint, but must be thinned with turpentine; zinc wmte with
stand oil forms a very strong paint for outside use, but must be thinned
with raw linseed oil. White lead mixed with stand oil and thinned
with linseed oil makes, however, the best of all paints for exterior
work except for its liability to change color in the presence of sul­
phuretted nydrogen. It is impervious to atmospheric changes and
does not crack with variations of temperature. Zinc white does not



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offer the same resistance to humidity, and in ordinary circumstances
the witness estimated its life for exterior painting at three years as
against five years for white lead. Zinc white, even when mixed with
stand oil, is very badly affected by sulphuric acid; this chemical is
present in the humid smoky atmosphere of Amsterdam, where zinc
white was found to last one year only, whilst in the clear air at Utrecht
it lasted four years. Mr. Nooijen stated that the outside of ships
are painted below the water line with red lead and linseed oil, above
the water line with iron oxide and linseed .oil, over which zinc white
is used.
For filling or stopping, white lead is still used in Holland, but in
witness’s opinion it can be replaced by zinc white. In Holland old
paint is generally rubbed down wet; there is no dry rubbing process
except among ship painters.
There are at present no regulations of any kind affecting house
painters in Holland, but it is probable that such will be issued as a
consequence of the findings of the white lead commission. Large
quantities of white lead are used by the Netherlands Government.
In further examination Mr. Nooijen stated that in his opinion lead
poisoning does not exist among house painters in Holland, notwith­
standing that the commission was appointed in 1903 to inquire into
the use of white lead paints. There are no statistics regarding lead
poisoning among Dutch house painters. The witness stated he was
m agreement with the conclusions of the Dutch commission regard­
ing the action of sulphuric acid and humidity on zinc paints; for ex­
ternal use he considered that white lead should stand over five years
in a humid atmosphere. For inside work in Holland there is never
such an excessive amount of moisture.
He was not in agreement with the fifth conclusion of the commis­
sion, which was that
Zinc white paints applied on zinc, Portland cement, or iron (the latter having pre­
viously been provided with first coats of red oxide of lead or iron) are able to withstand
the action of the open air during five years quite as well as white lead paints, and can
entirely replace the latter, provided tney are not exposed to the action of vapors con­
taining sulphurous acid.

In the witness’s opinion zinc white, if used for exterior painting,
would only stand for. 1£ to 2 years on the south side of a building in
a wet atmosphere. On the north side, where it is not exposed to
the sun, it would stand 2J years to 3 years as against 3 to 4 years for
white lead. The commission considered zinc white satisfactory ex­
cept for window sills and cornice work; witness estimated such work as
forming one-sixth or one-eighth part of the paint work of a building.
Mr. Nooijen disagreed also with some of the other findings of the
commission, partly because the tests were not carried out in a prac­
tical way, although he admitted there were two representatives of
master painters on the commission and these signed the report.
Mr. Nooijen expressed himself in favor of a regulation for the pro­
hibition of dry rubbing down. He considered that pumice stone
and water could be used on a fresh coat of paint after drying for 24
hours. He also advocated supply of* washing conveniences for the
workmen.
As regards the enforcement of regulations, M Nooijen stated that
i*.
the workmen usually report irregularities and there is also plenty
of inspection even in private houses; he believed the special rules



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to be applied to house painters would be as complete as those which
are in force today in the potteries in Holland.
Mr. Nooijen stated that the Guild of Master Painters in Holland
(outside Amsterdam) includes 1,300 to 1,400 master painters em­
ploying about 10,000 men. In connection with this organization
there is a large insurance society, of which the witness is secretary.
White lead poisoning is an accident under the Dutch law1 and if a
case occurred 70 per cent of the man's wages would have to be paid
as compensation. This law has been in force since 1903, but not a
single case has come to the witness’s knowledge.
Mr. K. W. Goadby is a consulting pathologist, of Harley Street,
London, who has devoted special attention to questions of lead
poisoning. Included in his publications on the subject may be
mentioned Appendices XXIV and XXV of the departmental com­
mittee on the use of lead compounds in the manufacture of pottery,
and a book on “ Lead Poisoning and Lead Absorption,” written in
collaboration with Dr. T. M. Legge, H.M. medical inspector of
factories.
In connection with lead poisoning amongst painters Mr. Goadby
made experiments with white lead, litharge, zinc sulphide, zinc
oxide, and basic lead sulphate. He also experimented with turpen­
tine and linseed oil. The apparatus used for the experiments is
fully described in his evidence, and the results obtained pointed
conclusively to there being no lead present in the emanations even
at more than tropical temperatures. Mr. Goadby had discussed
the matter with Professor Baly and agreed with him that emanations
are present; these emanations contain all sorts of organic com­
pounds, but no lead compounds. In experiments made with lead
and oil Mr. Goadby obtained a definite amount of vapor in which
even at ordinary temperatures the curious painty smell was clearly
observable. With zinc and oil this peculiar smell was scarcely
discernible at all at normal temperatures. This the witness accounted
for by reference to the chemical reaction between the lead and the
oil; apparently zinc does not interact at normal temperatures to
form Bnoleates. In these conclusions Mr. Goadby differs from the
conclusions of M. Breton, Dr. Heim, M. Hubert, and Dr. Marie, who
carried out experiments for the French Government inquiry. This
divergency of results Mr. Goadby attributed to an absence o f reliabili Inquiry made through the Forefen Office does not confirm this, except as regards an acute case. The
official reply is as follows:
MEMORANDUM.
Lead poisoning is not a professional accident according to the Butch lav/, but it is regarded as a profes­
sional disease, when the law had only been in operation for a short time a case was submitted to a court
of law in which compensation was claimed by a painter’s workman suffering from pain in the abdomen
which his doctor ascribed to white lead poisoning. The central council of appeal considered (verdict No.
64, December 30,1913) ‘ 'that it is unnecessary to ascertain whether the physical suffering which S. experi­
enced on 10th April, 1903, was caused by lead poisoning, and whether this poisoning was the consequence
of the carrying on of the trade, as, even if this were the case, this suffering could not be regarded as being
an accident in the sense of the Accident Insurance Law, 1901.”
This was also the standpoint o f the directors of the State Insurance Bank, and since that time courts of
Nevertheless, compensation was in one instance paid for poisoning by white lead, namely, when it was
possible to regard the case as acute poisoning, as, in fact, suffering which is the usual consequence of a
professional disease is generally regarded as an accident when it occurs in an acute form as a result of sudden
severe action (of a poison).
Thus, in September, 1907, two persons had opened a cask of white lead and had worked it, in doing
which white lead powder was diffused in the air to a much greater extent than was otherwise the case,
and a considerable quantity was probably imbibed through the mouth. When fairly shortly afterwards
both workmen became suddenly ill, suffering from severe abdominal cramp, hard swollen abdomen,
nausea, vomiting—in shortallthe phenomeaaof acute poisoning, it was decided that a professional accident
had occurred.
So far as is known this has been the only case of this nature.




DANGER IN USE OP LEAD IN THE PAINTING OP BUILDINGS.

91

ity in the test described by M. Trillat, which was mainly used by
the French observers. He agreed that it would be an excellent
thing to ask the Government laboratory to investigate and report
on tne tests in question.1
Mr. Goadby next dealt with physiological experiments and
described the apparatus used. Animals were exposed to the vapors
arising from paints made with white lead, zinc oxide, zinc sulphide,
and lead sulphate. Similar effects were produced in all cases, but
the distinctive structural changes in the kidneys were those indicative
of tubal nephritis, whereas the kidneys of animals suffering from
definite lead poisoning show, as reported in connection with the
potteries inquiry, interstitial nephritis. Although the ultimate
results were very similar, the annuals exposed to the lead paint
on the whole showed severer symptoms than those exposed to the
zinc paint alone. The emaciation in particular commenced earlier
in the case of the animals exposed to lead; the least damage was pro­
duced by the ordinary zinc oxide; the next by the lithopone paint;
the next, in order, by the lead sulphate paint; and then came the
white lead. So far as these experiments on animals were concerned
the effect of the turpentine vapor appeared practically as quickly
with the zinc oxide as with the lead paint, but the later changes,
those that are produced by the oil and lead, 'are more pronounced
in the case of lead than in the case of zinc.
Mr. Goadby also made experiments to compare the emanations
from white lead paste and zmc oxide paste made up in each case
with linseed oil only. He found no emanation given off by either
of sufficient extent to produce any effect at all on the animals
exposed.
He then experimented with the following painty constituents:
(1) Linseed oil alone; (2) turpentine alone; (3) turpentine and a lead
acetate drier. The animal exposed to the linseed oil vapor exhibited
no symptoms whatever; the animals exposed to turpentine showed
acute illness of a much more severe type than that shown by the
animals exposed to ready-mixed white lead or zinc oxide paints.
Mr. Goadby detailed the symptoms produced by turpentine, and
stated that he had formed the definite conclusion mat the symptoms
which he had found in the animals in the case of both lead and
zinc paints were due to the turpentine in those paints. The amount
of turpentine vapor in the air to which the animals were exposed
Mr. Goadby estimated at from 6 to 10 milligrams per litre; this
would be equivalent to about half a pint of turpentine vaporized
and filling tne air of a room say 20 by 15 feet by 10 feet high. Mr.
Goadby considered that this experiment indicated that the com­
monly noted symptoms of headache and nausea and also colic of
a certain type complained of by people on the smell of paint were
explained on the hypothesis of turpentine. He himself and his
laboratory assistant both suffered from nausea and headache during
the turpentine experiments.
Mr. Goadby also referred to some inoculation experiments, but
agreed as a matter of fact that a painter would not be likely to get
inoculated with either lead or zinc.
* See evidence of Dr. Dobbie, pp. 61 and 62, and Appendix X X V II (Minutes of Evidence].




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Mr. Coadby also made experiments on the inhalation of dust such
as painters would be liable to breathe in the dry rubbing down proc­
ess. The animal exposed to white lead dust showed signs of lead
poisoning at the encl of a fortnight; the one exposed to zinc oxide
showed no symptoms whatever except a loss of body weight* not­
withstanding that the quantity of dust used was four times as much
as in the case of lead.
Mr. Goadby gave details of post mortem examinations of these
animals; the one exposed to lead showing the hemorrhages and
ulceration and other lesions which he had previously described as
typical signs of lead poisoning; this he stated showed that “ a small
dose of lead over periods of roughly six hours a day is distinctly
serious,” but he pointed out that tne dose was bigger than a man
would get. In the case of the animals exposed to zinc oxide dust,
the doses being, as above stated, four times as great, the animal
had only lost a small proportion of the body weight, and the lesions
were comparatively slight, but sufficient to show that there was
some early inflammation irom metallic particles. From this Mr.
Goadby deduces that it is not a good thing for an animal or a man
to absorb even zinc oxide dust. He stated, however, in conclusion,
that that difference of the white lead animal and the zinc animal
was very marked. The blood of the animals experimented upon
was also examined; basophilia staining was found with both turpen­
tine and white lead, and even the animals exposed to zinc oxide
and zinc sulphide showed presence of a few basophils in the blood.
The general conclusion regarding these experiments was that
the effect of turpentine is a matter which calls for serious investiga­
tion; it could produce symptoms similar to those complained ,of Dy
persons who smell fresh paint; the illness from it is definite, and not
oasily confused with load poisoning, but has possibly been so confused
in the past because it has been associated with paint. Arguing
from the analogy of alcohol, which also affects the kidneys, it is
a priori probable that the inhalation of turpentine vapor would
make men more prone to contract load poisoning; in any case the
effect of turpentine might account in some measure for the high
incidence of Bright’s disease and other diseases of the kidneys
amongst painters. Some of the fatal cases certified as lead poisoning
may have been duo to kidney disease brought about by turpentine,
but Mr. Goadby agreed that tho average of 30 deaths a year amongst
house painters certified as due to lead poisoning represents a very
serious condition of affairs.
Mr. Goadby was recalled on October 17, 1912, and described
further experiments which he had made with a view to testing
M. Trillat’s and M. Marie’s observations of the effect of zinc and
lead compounds on bacteria. The broad result of these experi­
ments was that a distinct inhibition of growth takes place on exposure
to the gases given off from heated white lead and oil, and a slight
inhibition from the gases given off by heated zinc oxide and oil.
The witness satisfied himself in each case that this was due to the
formation of aldehyde and formic acid. The greater effect of white
lead and oil he ascribed to the chemical action between the white
lead and the oil.
With regard to experiments carried out at ordinary temperatures,
Mr. Goadby found that all pigments when mixed with oil and driers



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give off a vapor which kills bacteria. These emanations seem to be
independent of the kind of pigment, and depend mainly on the drier.
This vapor which kills bacteria would, in the witness’s opinion,
have a hygienic effect and disinfectant action, and would possibly
produce no ill effects as the amount would be very small and given
off locally. These vapors do not contain lead, and Mr. Goadby
therefore concludes that the lead poisoning which occurs amongst
painters must be due to the absorption of lead in some other form
than vapor. This confirms the view that the breathing of lead
dust is the most serious cause of lead poisoning.
Prof. H. E. Armstrong is professor of chemistry at the City and
Guilds of London Central Institute, and the author of several works
on chemical subjects. He stated that he made an extensive study
from the chemical point of view of noxious vapors of turpentine and
similar substances. He found himself entirely in disagreement with
the conclusions regarding emanations of lead compounds from drying
paints as enunciated.by Prof. Baly, of Liverpool University, in a paper
read on May 3, 1911, and subsequently published in various trade
journals.
At the outset of his own experiments, Prof. Armstrong confirmed
Mr. Klein’s experiments, in which lead was found in the distil­
late resulting from passing steam into a mixture of white lead and
oil only when lead acetate was present as well. This he accounted
for by the carrying over of fine particles with the steam; the same
applies when white lead is distilled in vacuo.
In the witness’s opinion there is no spraying effect or mechanical
separation of particles taking place during tne ordinary drying of
paint, and he considers turpentine to be responsible for the smell
which has been generally attributed to lead paints. Turpentine
vapors will produce headache and other symptoms which, as well as
the smell, may be much more pronounced in the case of white lead
than in other paints, because the latter substances do not promote
changes in the oil to the same extent.
Prof. Armstrong did not consider Prof. Baly’s test a practicable
one, and described experiments which he himself had made with
aucuba leaves.
The conclusions which Prof. Armstrong placed before the com­
mittee were that the vapors given off during the drying of lead paints
are not objectionable under ordinary circumstances, and do not con­
tain any lead compound; the rate at which the vapors are produced,
but not their total amount, is determined by the rate of drying, which
is more rapid in the case of lead paints; that vapors of turpentine
produce marked effects, but the workers seem to grow accustomed to
these, while they are transient and can be easily guarded against.
In further examination, Prof. Armstrong agreed that it would
be very desirable to ask the principal chemist of the Government
laboratory to report on the various tests for the presence of lead, such
as those relied upon by M. Breton, Dr. Heim, M. Hubert, and Dr.
Marie.1
The precautions against inhalation of turpentine vapor suggested
by the witness consisted simply in the opening of windows. The
witness found that all linseed oil paints will give off vapors sooner or
later; in the case of lead, sooner; and in the case of zinc white, later.
1 See evidence of Dr. Dobbie, pp. 61 and 62, and Appendix X X V II [Minutes of Evidence].




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The danger of turpentine vapor depends entirely on the quantity of
it which is inhaled; just as in the case of chloroform small quantities
may produce very little effect.
Lator, Prof. Armstrong said that the time during which a man
is exposed to turpentine vapor is within practical limits the deciding
factor of the extent of risk from turpentine rather than the propor­
tion of turpentine put into the paint; of course, if there be a large
amount of turpentine in the paint, it will continue to evaporate from
the painted surface over a longer period of time.
Turpentine substitutes, such as petrol and naphtha, have about
the same volatility as turpentine. If a zinc paint were made to dry
as quickly as a lead paint, the effect as shown by the vapor given on
would probably be similar, but the witness could, only speak theoreti­
cally on that point. He aid not think it would be possible to treat
commercial turpentine in any way which would materially reduce its
harmfulness.
Prof. Armstrong was recalled on the 17th of October, 1912, to
submit his criticisms of the French experiments referred to in M.
Breton’s report. He also referred to a further paper by Prof. Baly
on the toxicity of paints, in which he attributed the ill effects noted
amongst people inhabiting freshly-painted rooms to unsaturated
aldehydes and not lead. He expressed further the opinion that many
cases which have been regarded as lead poisoning may have been
attributable to other causes; that the interaction of oil and white lead
gives the toughest paint film; and that the vapor given off by paint
in drying may have a distinct hygienic value as a disinfectant.
In further examination, Prof. Armstrong said that the vapor
given off by drying paint might have a hygienic value in killing or­
ganisms. It might, however, at the same time produce headache
and other effects of that kind. These vapors arise from the inter­
action of lead and oil, not from the lead itself. In the early stages
the vapor given off is mainly turpentine, but the witness considered
that the ofl vapor given off subsequently was the more poisonous.
He agreed that the lead dust breathed in the process of dry rubbing
down was the chief source of danger. He considered that turpentine
might produce temporary effects, but it should not be regarded as a
poisonous substance. Turpentine is not innocuous; if used as a
beverage it would be poisonous, but as used in paint he did not think
it would be injurious to a workman in his daily occupation; he would
soon get accustomed to it, as it produces an effect wnich may be com­
pared with the effect of smelling salts. Smelling salts, Prof. Arm­
strong added, would be dangerous if taken in quantity.
Mr. A. Villemot is the president of the Color and Varnish Manufac­
turers’ Association of Paris and has carried on business there for 40
rears as a paint grinder and color manufacturer. He stated that as
ar as his business is concerned, it is immaterial whether he grinds
lead or zinc paints, but he considered white lead the most efficient
paint for external surfaces exposed to atmospheric variations, mois­
ture, and strong sunlight..
White lead is a hydrocarbonate which is neither acid nor basic
and is ground with about 10 kilograms of oil per 100 kilograms of
powder. Zinc white is a protoxide of zinc, is faintly acid, and is
ground with 18 to 22 kilograms of oil per 100 kilograms of powder.

?




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Both products are easy to use and give a very good finished surface in
competent hands.
Lead possesses more covering power and greater elasticity and can
be matched more easily if a portion of the painted surface has been
damaged. White and red lead form a good jointing material which
is easy to use.
In the witness’s opinion the dangers attendant on the use of white
lead are not great enough to justify its prohibition. He does not
agree with the findings of the French White Lead Commission which
he alleged were the outcome in a large measure of political agitation
and humanitarian considerations for the health of the workmen.
White lead is cheaper than zinc white and easier to apply.
Mr. Villemot referred to the failure of a factory established for the
manufacture of lithopone and also alleged that the marine depart­
ment and other French Government departments had been obliged
to revert to the use of white lead and red lead in certain cases. He
thought that the Maison Leclaire was using only zinc oxide, but they
do exceptional work and employ skillful workmen.
He did not consider that sufficient leadless paints would be avail­
able on the market if the French prohibition law is put into operation
at the end of 1914.
The witness agreed that white lead is a dangerous material and
precautions are required to prevent ill effects on the health, but he
considered regulations such as prohibition of the transport of dry
white lead, prohibition of dry rubbing down, and improvement of
washing conveniences and the like would, if properly enforced, remove
the danger.
The French Government provided that a period of five years should
elapse before the prohibition of white lead Decame absolute, for two
reasons: (1) to give time in which to replace white lead, to trans­
form the factories and so on; (2) to give something in the nature of
an indemnity to the manufacturers of white lead. Subsequent
inquiries have resulted in the adoption of regulations in Belgium and
in Germany; while in Austria the use of white lead has been forbidden
for interiors only.
Mr. TCm Niederhauser is a master painter of Cologne employing
il
about 100 hands. He has known very little lead poisoning among his
workmen and considers that the regulations now in force in Germany
amply protect the workmen. The men are given printed instructions,
which the witness thought might be made more simple, and the halfyearly medical inspection brings home to them the necessity for exer­
cising care. Nailbrushes and towels are supplied to men who are
working at private houses.
Hie witness referred to statistics presented by Dr. Kaup showing
a decrease in the incidence of lead poisoning; this in Mr. Neiderhauser’s
opinion is principally due to the prohibition of the dusty process of
dry rubbing down and the improved personal cleanliness of the
painters.
No additional factory inspectors have been appointed to secure
the carrying out of the new regulations in the district of Cologne.
In the witness’s opinion white lead is the best paint for exterior
work. Lead is also used on account of its great covering power for
priming coats on interior work, and a finishing coat of zinc white is
used where pure white color is desired.



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In 1903 inquiries were addressed to all users of paint in Germany
asking them whether white lead could be replaced by any other mate­
rial; the replies showed a universal opinion that wlute lead could not
be replaced for exterior painting and that it was also necessary for
undercoats for interior painting, while at the same time uncleanlmess
was stated to be the chief cause of lead poisoning. The witness re­
gards white lead mixed with oil as practically harmless as a paint, but
considers that in the preparation of the old surface the rubbing down
should be done wet.
The witness cjuoted a circular of September, 1907, of the Prussian
railway authority prohibiting the use of zinc white, lithopone, etc.,
for exterior use in consequence of tests which showed that white lead
alone was satisfactory for this purpose.
He summarized his conclusions by stating his opinion that there is no
efficient substitute for white lead where the durability of the paint is
important, and that there is no more danger to workmen handling it
than in many other trades provided that the rubbing down be done
wet.
In further examination the witness said he considered the new regu­
lations in Germany sufficient for the protection of the worker because
the statistics quoted by Dr. Kaup show a decrease in the incidence of
lead poisoning and because the regulations have brought about an
improvement in the cleanliness of painters; the witness considered
that all lead poisoning is due to lack of cleanliness on the part of
workers (Q. 16284); he regards the prohibition of dry rubbing down,
however, as very desirable and considers it quite possible to dispense
with such a process in all painting. He considers that the regulations
in Germany are enforced by the exchange of information regarding
irregularities among the men themselves.
His own central workshop has been inspected twice during the five
years that the regulations nave been in force, once by an industrial
inspector and once by a police inspector. No inspections have been
made at the places where the painting work is done.
Questioned further in regard to control of irregularities by informa­
tion given by the men, Mr. Niederhauser admitted that it usually
resulted in the man losing his place, the usual course being, that " the
man gives information to the trade-union; the trade-union informs
the authorities, that is the police or the industrial inspector; the
employer is fined and the man is dismissed” (Q. 16300), but the wit­
ness added that if the man were a very capable worker he might not
be dismissed.
When Mr. Niederhauser affirmed that dry rubbing down could be
dispensed with, he did not mean that wet pumice stoning could take
the place of sandpapering on a first coat of paint; after 12 or 15 hours
the paint can be sponged down and then rubbed with sandpaper. He
did not consider that this would be equivalent to dry rubbing down.
In connection with the lavatory regulations, every man entering
employment as a painter is supplied with a basin, towel, nailbrush,
ana a piece of soap; he carries these with him always. Hot water is
not provided and would not be practicable, but cold water is always
available and it is the duty of the foreman to see that the men use
their basins, towels, etc.
Mr. Niederhauser employs from 80 to 100 men, and during the five
years the regulations have been in force he has not had occasion to



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dismiss any man for uncleanliness. The men are required to wear
special blouses and trousers and to provide for their being washed at
reasonable intervals.
In conclusion, the witness said that he did not think that the regu­
lations can always be observed, but the welfare of the men is con­
sidered as far as possible. It would be impossible to control observ­
ance of the regulations by inspection.
Mr. Niederhauser considered the prohibition of the use of lead to be
impossible. The success of leadless paints on tramcars, motor cars,
and the like he attributed to the protective value of vamish; the suc­
cess of such paints where not varnished over he could not explain.
Zinc white in his experience is not sufficiently durable.
Mr. Hans Leyendecker is president of the German White Lead
Manufacturers’ Association, and was consulted at the time of the
drawing up of the German regulations for white-lead factories. These
regulations have resulted in a decrease in cases of lead poisoning.1
In 1905, an inquiry was addressed to the guild of painters in Ger­
many, and the replies, which were unfavorable to the substitution of
zinc for lead, were summarized by the witness. In June of the same
year the German regulations were made.*
Mr. Leyendecker considered that regulations can be applied to the
painting trade, and instanced the prombition of dry rubbing down in
house painting in Germany. The regulations are controlled by the
police or inspectors of factories. The witness stated that hot water is
always provided in Germany, and the wearing of overalls insisted on •
he advocates the provision of milk to workers, but considers this would
be difficult to enforce.
The inquiries addressed to the guild of painters were in the form of
questions, to which they replied; there was no cross-examination of
witnesses.
He admitted that the regulations in Germany have led to a slow
rate of decrease in the case of lead poisoning, and also that regulations
would be difficult to enforce, especially at first; he is nevertheless
convinced that they are preferable to prohibition. He instanced the
experiments of the Prussian State railways with substitutes which
extended over some three .or four years, and resulted in white lead
being again specified for railway work.
Mr. do Morsier is editor of a Geneva paper and formerly deputy.
The question of prohibiting white lead in painting was first raised in
1904, and the draft of a measure was referred to a commission of which
the witness was a member and reporter. This Swiss commission took
the evidence of 31 witnesses, and also made inquiries by circular. Of
the witnesses questioned verbally as to their attitude towards prohi­
bition of lead, 8 trade-union workmen and 2 employers expressed
themselves for prohibition by law, while 8 workmen, 9 employers and
1 manufacturer expressed themselyes against. Of the employers
questioned by letter, 5 replied in favor of prohibition and 46 against
it. Of the architects written to, 1 was in favor of total prohibition
and 1 in favor of prohibition for the interior; 9 were against. Of the
43 doctors who replied, 2 only asked for prohibition, while the re* The number of cases in white lead factories in Germany were as follows: In 1895,312; in 1899,310: in
1900.300: in 1901.282; in 1902,327; in 1904,134; in 1905,157; in 1906,160; in 1907,177; in 1908,172. (KaupArchiv fur Soziafe Hygiene, Sept. 1910, p. 10.)
* See Appendix V I [Minutes of Evidence].

25235°—Bull. 188—16------7



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mainder considered that regulations would be sufficient to meet the
danger. The commission accordingly arrived at the following con­
clusions:
(1) That though white lead is poisonous its use in house paint­
ing does not constitute a social peril sufficient to neces­
sitate prohibition.
(2) Zinc oxide can replace white lead in a large number of
cases, but the general opinion and experience of the
trade is that white lead is still sometimes necessary.
(3) White lead is not dangerous when simple precautions are
taken.
(4) White lead dust is dangerous when inhaled for a long time
or in too large quantities.
(5) Use of white lead m the form of paste removes the danger
of dust.
(6) The dry scraping off of old lead paint produces much dust
which is breathed; burning off is equally bad.
(7) Dry rubbing down of paint is not dangerous unless the
work is prolonged in unventilated rooms or the work­
man keeps his face too near the work. The amount of
rubbing down done in Geneva is regarded as negligible.
(8) The trade fear an increase in the price of zinc and conse­
quently in the cost of painting work.
(9) In the absence of regulations, precautionary measures are
not carried out with sufficient thoroughness.
(10) Lead poisoning is uncommon in Geneva, and the sufferers
probably have neglected elementary precautions.
(11) There does not exist in Geneva among the workmen any
special demand for the total suppression of white leaa.
Mr. de Morsier then criticised the conduct and conclusions of the
inquiry carried out by the French commission.
Following on the report of the Swiss commission a law was passed
to regulate the use o f white lead on 26th October. 1907 (Appendix
X IX 1 also regulations were issued on 21st December, 1907 (Appen­
),
dix X X 1 Mr. de Morsier put in a chronological statement o f the
).
steps which led up to these measures (see Qs. 16520-41). As a result
of further inauiries in 1908 it was resolved that the use of white lead for
inside work snould be prohibited in all the works executed by or con­
tracted for by the Federal Government departments.
In further examination Mr. de Morsier dealt with the difference
between painting in France and Geneva; he stated that he did not
know anything of English conditions. Although there is but little
lead poisoning in Geneva, regulations were considered desirable pro­
hibiting the use of white lead in powder, and forbidding dry pumice
stoning, scraping off and burning off of paint, and the direct use of
fillings with the hand is also prohibited. Provision of washing accom­
modation, overalls, and a place for clothing are required. These
regulations are enforced in the first instance by informing the workmen
regarding the regulations and by charging the police with the enforce­
ment of the regulations for overalls and place for clothing as well as
authorizing the police to receive complaints from workers. The
police very rarely enter a house unless they receive a complaint,
under the regulations all dusty operations are required to be carried
* In Minutes of Evidence, presented in a separate volume of the original report.




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out in a wet way; the witness could not say how far the regulations
are observed, as there is always a little difficulty in this respect in
Geneva. In the witness's opinion dry rubbing down could be dis­
pensed with.
Dr. M. Roch is chef de clinique at the cantonal hospital at Geneva.
He spoke of 44 cases of lead poisoning treated during the seven
years ending 1906 at the cantonal hospital; of these 24 occurred
among the house painters, who number from 300 to 400 in Geneva,
and 20 occurred among men following other trades. He stated that
he had studied the whole subject impartially. After dealing with
various aspects of the lead poisoning question he quoted the alleged
experience of the Belgian Government, who prohibited the use of
carbonate of lead for the railways, and have recently reversed that
decision.1 In Dr. Koch’s opinion lead poisoning can be prevented
without prohibition of the use of lead. Salts of lead, white lead in
particular, appear to form with the acids of linseed oil metallic soaps
which can not be produced either with zinc white or barium, and
this in Dr. Roch’s opinion accounts for the durability which results
from the use of the former for exterior work. Litharge can be re­
placed by oxide of manganese, but red lead appears in the meantime
to be indispensable for the priming of ironwork.
Dr. Roch suggested regulations which should include—
(a) The prohibition of dry grinding and mixing.
(b) Prohibition of the importation and supply of lead colors
not already mixed with oil and readv for use.
(c) Prohibition of handling of white lead by the workmen
when filling or making fillings.
(d) Dry rubbing down with glass-paper, which produces dust,
should also be prohibited, as should be burning off—
with a spirit lamp—of old paint, which is likely to pro­
duce toxical emanations.
(e) The cleaning down of old paint should be done wet and
with a liquid solvent.
(f) Workmen snould be prohibited whilst at work from smok­
ing (especially cigarettes). They should be compelled
to wear working clothes whilst at work, to take them
off immediately after they have finished and before
eating their food, and the working clothes should be
regularly washed.
(g) A strict regulation should be made for the washing of the
workmen's hands with soap, and the use of nailbrush
and clean towel before they partake of food. Per­
haps, also, it would be advisable to have a medical
examination of all painters once or twice a year.
In the witness's opinion these regulations would be very efficacious,
and he considered they should be tried before prohibition. Dr. Roch
stated that he found in nearly every case that lead poisoning was due
to the carelessness of the worker, ana he did not consider that this alone
constituted sufficient ground for prohibition of the use of lead.
In further examination Dr. Roch said he considered that the dust
from dry rubbing down was one of the most serious dangers. If it is
impossible to prevent the formation of dust, then prohibition would




* See, however, p. 140.

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bo better than regulations (Q. 16740). The witness agreed that
regulations must be enforced by inspection, and regretted that in
Switzerland there is hardly any control to enforce the regulations.
Mr. C. A. Klein is a technical chemist of Victoria University, sometime demonstrator in chemistry at Sheffield University College, and
at present chief chemist to the Brimsdown White Lead Co. He
detailed experiments which he had carried out at the requests of
the chemists’ committee of the white lead corroders’ section of
the London Chamber of Commerce. His first series of experiments
led him to the conclusion that it was impossible to prepare a volatile
lead compound even under conditions much more favorable to its
formation than those obtaining in painting practice. In view of the
animal experiments of Mr. Goadby, Mr. mein made experiments for
determining the rate of volatilization of turpentine from a paint film.
He found that the whole of the turpentine is practically removed at
the end of one hour, and that there is therefore little difference in the
behavior of the turpentine in the paint whatever be the pigment,
either lead or zinc. Mr. Klein also made experiments with substi­
tutes for white lead, namely, lead oxysulphate, zinc oxide, and litho­
pone, as well as with various ready-mixed white paints. He formed
the conclusion that there is no efficient substitute for white lead.
Apart from the determination of the merits or demerits of any paint,
which must depend on a practical trial, Mr. Klein submitted the
following points:
(1) That the effect of sulphuretted hydrogen on zinc is similar
to the effect on lead paints, but is not so apparent be­
cause the zinc paint does not change color whilst the
lead paint goes yellow.
(2) Sulphur dioxide, which is freely present in the London
atmosphere, produces with zinc oxide a compound
which is soluble in water; with lead it produces a com­
pound insoluble in water.
(3) The spreading power of white lead is better than that of
zinc white.
(4) White lead is not a powder of uniform size, and this gives
the paint film greater stability than that possessed by
substitutes for white lead, which are invariably in a
very fine state of subdivision and regular size. On all
these grounds Mr. Klein considers white lead the best
pigment.
Mr. Klein has known of no case of lead poisoning attributable to
the handling of white lead in paste form; he regards the inhalation
of dust as the source of practically all the trouble, and suggests that
respirators should be worn if dry rubbing down is permitted to be
carried on. The handling of dry lead colors is also a source of danger.
This could be avoided by regulations prohibiting their use except in
the form of paste.
' In further examination Mr. Klein reaffirmed his disagreement with
the observers who claim to find lead emanations from drying paints,
and repeated emphatically his opinion that dry rubbing down should
be prohibited or that the painter should be obliged to wear a respira­
tor whilst the work is being done. He considered that regulations
could be enforced in the painting trade just as they are enforced in
other lead industries, such as white lead works. In the first instance



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he would educate painters as to the dangers of lead poisoning. The
employer should be forced to see that the regulations are earned out;
washing accommodation is requisite, including hot water, if possible,
but he did not consider hot water necessary if pumice soap is used.
Mr. Hedley Miller is an official of the London Chamber o f Commerce,
and stated that he had collected certain statistics to present on behalt
of members of the chamber directly or indirectly interested. The
British white lead industry shows a production of 57,000 tons for
1910, of which he estimates that over 85 per cent is consumed in this
country. The white lead manufacturers employed, in 1910, 2,489
men, involving some 8,100 dependents. He estimated the wages
paid at £158,300 ($770,366.95), and the total capital employed at
£1,334,000 ($6,491,911).
Mr. Miller referred to the indirect effect- which prohibition would
have on other industries, and quoted the amounts spent annually by
white lead manufacturers on pots, timber, tan, and acetic acid. In
addition to the £864,660 ($4,207,867.89) spent in 1910 on pig lead,
the total consumption of pig lead in this country amounts to 200,000
tons per annum, and this the witness estimated would be reduced by
25 per cent if the demand for white lead ceased. He dealt further
with the employment of men in the British lead mining industry,
which he gave as 2,678 men with 6,945 dependents, and earning
£151,308 ($736,340.38) annually in wages. The smelting and refin­
ing firms employed 780 workmen with 2,439 dependents, wages
£72,970 ($355,108.51). The output of British red lead and litharge
is about 11,800 tons, involving an estimated capital of £150,000
($729,975).
Mr. Miller next dealt with substitutes for white lead, and stated
that he considered zinc oxide the only substitute in any way efficient.
This pigment has been known for a great many years and is largely
used for interior finishing work. The chamber of commerce addressed
a set of questions to the leading painting and decorating firms in the
principal cities of the United Kingdom outside London and received
125 replies, which the witness summarized as follows:
111 said that there was no substitute for white lead for out­
side painting effective for body, covering power, and
durability.
78 said that they had had experience of zinc white for exterior
work; of whom 52 said that it was unsatisfactory and
not equal to white lead. A few said that zinc white is
unsatisfactory except when used with enamel or varnish.
110 said that they have had experience of the use of zinc
white for inside work.
93 recommended the use of undercoats of white lead for
inside work.
91 have no objection to simple regulations, such as quarterly
medical inspection; the use of overalls; provision of
soap and water, etc., and the use of them before
meals.
He also stated that a number of firms volunteered the information
that they had little or no experience of lead poisoning. He referred
the committee to a statement by Mr. Stas, made in 1885, that “ to-dav
zinc white disputes with white lead for pride of place,” but he added,
“ zinc white can not replace white lead for all purposes; it is not



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prejudice or custom, that enemy of progress, and less still ill-will,
that is responsible, but the very nature of zinc white itself, whdcn
it is not in the power of man to change.” Mr. Miller quoted the
statement of the departmental committee of 1893 to the effect
that zinc oxide is good for inside but has not sufficient covering
power or durability for exterior work.
Mr. Miller was further questioned regarding the amount of British
white lead exported and used in this country for purposes other
than painting. On .November 14, 1912, he again attended before
the committee and offered supplementary evidence, in which he
stated that the figures for 1910 were as follows:
Tons.

Total home manufacture of white lead.......................................
Total import of white lead..........................................................

57,946
14,436

Together............................................................................
Total exports of white lead..........................................................

72,382
20,219

Balance, being total home consumption...........................

52,163

As far as the witness could ascertain the white lead corroders
in the United Kingdom delivered, during the year 1910, 2,984 tons
of white lead dry for purposes other than painting. Of 125 paint
grinders who were asked in regard to the same matter, 117 replied
disclosing total deliveries of white lead for purposes other than
painting of less than 11 tons. Mr. Miller therefore concluded that
approximately 3,000 tons of white lead are used in this country for
purposes other than painting. He agreed that this estimate was
based only on ex parte figures given by the white lead manufacturers
and that he had no means of having them verified. If the use of
white lead were prohibited for painting purposes in this country,
he agreed that the larger quantity of the 14,436 tons now imported
would cease to come into this country. The British white lead
manufacturers would, however, retain a market for some 23,000
tons made up of 3,000 tons for purposes other than painting and
20,000 tons for export, except in so far as the foreign markets for
the latter might be affected by the closure of a market in this country
for the 14,000 tons of foreign white lead at present imported.
Capt. Matthew Francis is senior partner in the firm of Matthew
Francis & Son, of Halkyn, near Holywell, Wales, and has practiced
as a mining engineer for 50 years in the Flintshire district. He
manages four North Welsh mines and is consultant for three others.
He pointed out that the prohibition of white lead would have a
prejudicial effect on the lead mining industry, especially as the
larger proportion of their output goes to white lead corroders. He
dealt with the fluctuations in the price of lead, and stated that
he felt sure that the British lead mining industry would be ruined
if the use of white lead for painting were prohibited. He maintained
that the dangers attendant on the use of lead could be adequately
met by regulations, but agreed that if the regulations can not be
enforced lead should be prohibited. He thought, however, it would
be very easy to carry out regulations.
Mr. E. N. Humpnreys is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered
Accountants, and is a director of two of the mining companies
referred to by Capt. Francis. He quoted the capital of those two com­



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panies as just over £71,000 ($345,521.50), and said the average
number of men employed by them was 200, earning from £11,000
($53,531.50), to £12,000 ($58,398) per annum in wages.
He dwelt upon the importance of the lead mining industry in the
county of Flint, and said he was informed that about 25 per cent
of the output of Welsh lead is used by white lead corroders; if the
use of white lead is prohibited, it would so reduce the demand as
to cause a serious reaction upon the price of lead ore. This would
in its turn extinguish the present small margin of profit, and result
in the closing of the mines and the throwing out of employment of
the men now engaged therein.
He considered that regulations should be adopted for the painting
industry, and considered that these, together with the education
of the workers, would reduce the risk to its lowest point. He
admitted there would be difficulty in enforcing regulations for
painting, and agreed that work can not be done on dry surfaces with­
out engendering a certain amount of dust which can not be removed.
In further examination, Mr. Humphreys was asked if he thought
it worth while trying to save an industry which can not pay a living
wage to its workmen and can only pay 1 per cent interest on its
capital; he replied that the average rate of wages works out at 22$.
($5.35) a week, which he did not admit was below the level of a living
wage in that district.
Mr. Henry Gardner is a director of the firm of Henry R. Merton
& Co. (Ltd.), and the Merton Metallurgical Co. (Ltd.), who carry on
business in London and Frankfort. He dealt with the causes of
fluctuations in the price of lead ore and said that the prohibition
of the use of white lead for painting would lead to a reduction of
the price of lead, and would ruin the lead mining industry.
Mr. Julius Matton is a member of the metal exchange, and has been
connected with the lead trade in London for 35 years. He esti­
mated the total consumption of lead in England at about 200,000
tons, of which approximately 45,000 tons are used for conversion
into white lead and 12,000 tons for conversion into red lead and
litharge.
The prohibition of the use of white lead in painting would cause
a decrease in the price of lead, and would practically destroy the
British lead mining industry. English lead commands a little higher
mce than most foreign lead because it is better for making white
ead, but it is no better than the average foreign lead for any other
purpose.
Mr. H. C. Lancaster is the technical director of Messrs. Locke, Lan­
caster, and W. W. & R. Johnson & Sons (Ltd.), desilverizers and man­
ufacturers of lead in all its branches, and grinders of zinc oxide. He
considers that no zinc ores exist in British possessions from which
a marketable zinc oxide can be made by the direct process; he referred
to several attempts to establish this manufacture in Great Britain,
and said all resulted in more or less failure. If made bv the indirect
method it could not compete with that made abroad by the direct
process. Prohibition of lead would make the paint trade dependent
on foreign supplies of raw material. He admitted that there is at
present a combination for maintaining the prices of white lead.

I




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BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS. .

The proportions of zinc and lead produced in the British Empire,
as compared with the world’s production, are about the same, as
shown by the following table for the year 1909:
Production in metric tons.

Great
Britain.

Lead............
Zinc............. |

British
colonies
and
depend­
encies.

Total
British
Empire.

All other
countries.

23,000
4,000

204.000
151.000

227.000
155.000

826,000
701,000

l

Mr. Lancaster thought if lead were prohibited there would be
great difficulty in producing the extra amount of zinc oxide needed,
and the price would presumably go up.
The witness stated that zinc is not as good as white lead for out­
side work, but when it was pointed out that some large users who
have tried it have found it just as good, Mr. Lancaster said no
doubt it is a very vexed question. One man will pin his faith to
zinc oxide and another to lead; in the witness’s opinion both lead
and zinc are useful for pigments and thev have their specific uses.
Mr. J. Sibthorpe said he was a master house painter of 45 years’
experience and has carried on business for many years in Dublin, where
he employs an average of 50 painters. He has only known of one
case of lead poisoning amongst his men for the last 10 years. Ho
agreed that the lead poisoning evil in this country was sufficiently
great to justify some action being taken; he would prefer the introduc­
tion of regulations rather than the prohibition of the use of lead. He
advocated the following regulations:
1. The labeling of all receptacles in which lead colors are kept,
sold, or sent to a painting job.
2. (a) Tho licensing of each master painter; the license should
be so worded as to bind the latter to observe all regula­
tions in force or to come into force for the use of lead
paint. (b) The licensing of each operative painter,
who should be required to keep a card upon which
should be noted tne places and times of his employ­
ment for at least 12 months and any attacks of lead
sickness; the card to be produced for inspection by any
employer, inspector, or examining doctor.
3. Prohibition of the use of white lead otherwise than in the
form of paste.
4. Prohibition of dry pumice stoning or glass-papering of old
paint or surfaces that have been burned off. The dry
scraping of painted woodwork should be restricted to
the very few cases, less than 5 per cent, where it is abso­
lutely necessary, and only permitted after notice to the
inspector, so that safeguards should be used. The wit­
ness did not consider that there was any danger from the
dry scraping of iron because, there being rust underneath,
the paint comes off in flakes. He also regarded glasspapering between coats of paint as nonhazardous,



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because fine paper is used to remove the small paint
protuberances called “ nibs” and almost all that is taken
off adheres to the glass paper. Alternatively the use of
waterproof glass paper or ground pumice with water
shoula be insisted on. If lead were prohibited dry
pumice stoning and the like should nevertheless be for­
bidden for at least 20 years afterwards.
5. Burning off. This the witness does not consider dangerous.
6. The provision of overalls by the workmen; the foreman to
see to the observance of this regulation, clean overalls
being insisted on every Monday. The witness consid­
ered that it would be unfair to put this burden upon the
employer, (a) because they provide all the brushes;
(b) because of the difficulties and delay arising from
fitting; and (c) because of the liability to loss which
the men can much more easily prevent.
7. (a) Facilities for washing, i. e., nailbrushes, soap, towels,
and hot water; the employer to-be absolutely responsi­
ble for the first three and primarily responsible for the
last, but with the right to demand it from an occupier
in the case of an occupied house, (b) Separate place
for mess room and for storing outdoor clothing apart
from the place where the paint is stored and mixed:
the responsibility for this to be the same as in regard
to hot water, (c) Provision of water-closet accommo­
dation; the responsibility for this in occupied houses to
rest on the occupier, subject to the liability of the em­
ployer to make good any damage.
8. All licensed employers to permit their paint shops to bo
inspected whenever called upon.
9. All licensed workmen to be medically examined at least
three times a year. The individual employer or the
local master painters’ society should keep a register in
which the doctor should make notes of his inspections,
and the dates of each inspection should be entered on
the workman's card by the inspecting doctor.
10. Men who have suffered from recurring attacks of lead pois­
oning to be deprived of their license to use lead and to
be restricted to nonlead employment; alternatively to
receive reasonable compensation, to which the employ­
ers during the preceding 12 months should contribute
pro rata.
Mr. Sibthorpe believed that such a set of regulations would be most
effective in preventing lead poisoning and would not impose an
unreasonable burden on the employer. He considered that they
could be efficiently enforced without great cost to the community by
the employment of special inspectors including possible expainters
who have nad to leave the trade owing to their susceptibility to lead
poisoning. He calculated that for the city of Dublin with a popula­
tion of 402,000 four inspectors at a salary of £2 ($9.73) rising to £3
($14.60) a week would suffice. The witness regarded the alternative
of prohibition of lead as impracticable, and said it would greatly
increase the cost of painting as the average life of paint would be at
least one-quarter less. In the witness's opinion the only substitute



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for white lead is zinc white, which is much less durable outside. In
certain branches of work, such as painting of ironwork on ships, he
claimed that there is no practical substitute for red lead. He thought
prohibition would involve inspection equally with regulations ana it
would be a more difficult kind of inspection, and would be more
unpopular both with employers and men. He submitted also a note
regarding the instructions of tho commissioners of Irish lights and of
public works, who specify for lead painting.
In further examination he said that he would agree to the provision
of overalls by employers if such a rule were found necessary. He
considered inspection could be carried out even in the case of private
houses, and maintained that the use of substitutes for white lead
would entail 25 per cent more labor as well as more frequent painting.
He agreed that if the use of lead were prohibited painters could use
zinc paints equally as well without any special training.
With regard to the number of special inspectors required, the pro­
portion of four inspectors for the city of Dublin might, if applied
throughout the United Kingdom, mean 450 such inspectors. In his
view the registrar’s fees would go a long way toward paying for these
inspectors.
Mr. G. Plumb is foreman of tho painting and decorating department
of Messrs. G. Trollope, of Pimlico. He has had 44 years’ experience
as a house painter and has been nine years in control of a large body of
painters averaging from 150 to 350 according to the season. In his
opinion white lead is superior to any other kind of pigment as regards
(1) efficiency and (2) durability. As regards ironwork he considered
that nothing can generally supersede red lead. In his opinion the
dangers of dry rubbing down have been exaggerated, but he could see
no objection to the prohibition of that process. He advocated medi­
cal examination, provision by the employer of washing facilities and
the wearing of overalls. Regulations should be made compulsory on
workmen, employers and householders alike. He agreed that inspec­
tors would be necessary for their enforcement, but considered that
this would be equally necessary with prohibition.
In further examination he stated that during his nine years’ con­
nection with his present firm there have only been three cases of lead
poisoning with compensation. At the time of giving evidence there
was a man away a day or two with colic, but such cases are not serious.
He did not consider that they had many cases of colic, certainly not 5
per cent of their men. These eases mostly happen on country jobs
where the men have not the conveniences of their own homes. He
was surprised to hear of cases where leadless paints had been used suc­
cessfully and affirmed that whenever he had used zinc paints he had
found them unsatisfactory. He agreed that red oxide of iron and
graphite paints are very good, but not equal to red lead as an under­
coating on iron. He stated that most of his own work had been highclass decorating work, including the decorative portions of five or
six ships of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. ana one of the Orient
Line. In regard to the latter he used lead and said there was no stipu­
lation to the contrary, but he is employed by the contractors on new
boats only. He considered that wet rubbing down was in certain
cases impracticable. The dry rubbing down of filling and stopping
for example, could not be abolished. The witness further alleged that



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all dust, even zinc dust, would be harmful if breathed, though he
admitted that he had no evidence that zinc was poisonous.
Prof. Bettink said he was a doctor of chemistry and a pharma­
ceutical chemist, and was for upwards of 30 years professor of phar­
maceutical chemistry and toxicology at the University of Utrecht.
He referred to the work of the Dutch White Lead Commission
appointed on September 13,1903, consisting of 15 members including
Government officials, chemists, technical persons, architects, and
three master painters. In October, 1906, they issued a provisional
report which mcluded the following opinion: “ Zinc white paint is in
no respect inferior to white lead pamt as regards covering power, and
may be said to cover even slightly better.” This statement was criti­
cized by Mr. Van Hoek, a master painter, and the Netherlands Master
Painters’ Association, on the ground that the zinc paint experimented
with by the commission was too thick for practical use.
Prof. Bettink detailed the final conclusions of the Dutch commis­
sion,1 and went on to say that although zinc oxide retains its color
in the presence of hydrogen sulphide it does not resist sulphurous
vapors as well as lead does. In the witness's opinion also it has a
smaller covering power in the proportion of 118 to 153. He also
referred to the better combination of lead with oil, and to the expec­
tation that regulations would be issued in Holland as the result of
the commissioners' report.
With regard to health statistics, he alleged that painters in Holland
are mostly men not physically strong enough to follow a more exact­
ing vocation, and that their illness is often more due to general weak­
ness than to white lead.
He considered that the fumes from burning off paint are not dan­
gerous, but rubbing down should be done wet. White lead should
also not be supplied to painters in a dry state.
He quoted the amount of lead used by the marine department at
Amsterdam, and summed up his evidence by saying that zinc oxide
is inferior to white lead in durability and is more costly.
In further examination, Prof. Bettink said he investigated cases of
lead poisoning on behalf of the Dutch Government, and found that
in six years there had been four cases of lead poisoning amongst
house painters in the city of Amsterdam, which has 600,000 inhabi­
tants. There were four hospital cases, as there are no official statis­
tics kept with regard to lead poisoning generally in the city. The
witness agreed that there would be a much larger number of cases of
lead poisoning which did not come to hospitals, but they would be of
minor interest as the serious cases all go through the hospitals. Prof.
Bettink thought a good many cases ofillness attributed to lead poison­
ing are not really lead poisoning at all, In an inquiry made m Sep­
tember and October, 1911, he spoke to 20 master painters employing
altogether 300 hands, and these could only recall one case of lead
poisoning in the last 40 years. He also questioned operatives and
found that they also were quite convinced of the smallness of the
danger of lead poisoning.
After some further criticism of the conclusions of the Dutch com­
mission, which the witness said were contrary to his own views, Prof.
Bettink said it had been noted that iron oxide paint on ships wasted




1 See Appendix X X X I V [Minutes of Evidence].

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away within three or four months. Other statements in regard to
the inferiority of leadless paints the witness said were not based on any
practical experience, but on his theoretical knowledge as a chemist.
Zinc paints properly mixed with oil could be used lor indoor work,
but can not stand exposure to a wet atmosphere. A regulation such
as the prohibition of dry rubbing down, which is already in force in
Amsterdam, is carried into effect by special inspectors of labor and
inspectors of buildings, who have a right to enter any house which is
being erected or repaired.
Mr. J. Holt Schooling is a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society,
and an associate of the Institute of Actuaries, and holds various sta­
tistical and actuarial appointments. He prepared and laid before
the committee a lengthy report on occupational mortality, based on
the supplement to the sixty-fifth annual report of the registrar gen­
eral for England and Wales.
In his first table he gives the mean annual death rate in each ago
group for a number of occupations which have a higher death rate
than the occupation of plumber, painter, and glazier, which is referred
to throughout as “ Occupation 64.” He also pointed out that there
are only six occupations in England and Wales where the death rate
in all age groups is lower than the death rate in occupation 64.
In connection with the third table, Mr. Schooling points out that
at all ages the death rate from plumbism in occupation 64 is one
fifty-fourth part of the death rate from all causes and actually amounts
to 0.23 deaths per annum per thousand living. He adds: This rate
is much smaller than the special death risks that attach to various
other occupations, and it is relatively trivial. ”
In the next table the witness points out that the death rates in
occupation 64 have been decreasing since 1880-1882 at a much
greater rate than the decrease in the death rates of all occupied males.
In the fifth table this decrease in the death rates is further com>ared with that for all occupied males in industrial districts of Engand and Wales. From these and other tables put in by the witness,
he deduces that the mortality in occupational group 64 “ Plumber,
painter, and glazier,” is in no way excessive or abnormal.
Mr. Holt Schooling next deals with occupational sickness and refers
to the extensive investigation by the Manchester Unity Friendly
Society published in 1903. The special data relating to house paint­
ers were, however, not available, as the detailed data were destroyed
on the completion of the investigation. From such data as are avail­
able, the witness deduces that “ there does exist some presumptive
evidence that the sickness from all causes in the occupation plumber,
painter, and glazier, is not in excess of the sickness among the general
population” (Q. 18622).
The witness also deduces that, assuming identical age distribution
in both cases the mortality from lead poisoning per 100 cases of sick­
ness from lead poisoning is slightly less than the mortality from all
causes per 100 cases of sickness from all causes, there being 4.3
deaths per 100 cases of lead poisoning as compared with 4.7 deaths
per 100 cases of sickness of all kinds. This relates to all occupations,
not house painters only.
In the absence of reliable data of occupational sickness, Mr. Holt
Schooling suggests that a large friendly society or a number of small
friendly societies should be induced to fill up experience cards, one

{




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for each member engaged in an occupation exposed to the risk of lead
poisoning; at present, in the witness’s opinion, no valid basis exists
by which to form any sound opinion as to the incidence of sickness
amongst house painters.
In further examination, the witness admitted that there are a cer­
tain number of deaths from lead poisoning and from diseases which
are accelerated by exposure to lead; if a painter could be safeguarded
against all risk of lead poisoning the mortality might be slightly re­
duced. The elimination of deaths attributable to lead poisoning
would not make much difference, as the witness considers that the
mortality from plumbism is relatively trivial. He pointed out that
he used the expression “ the mortality among painters is by no means
unduly high” in a purely statistical sense, meaning that it is not much
higher than the average; if it were possible to eliminate the lead poi­
soning, then it would be correct to say that the present figures are
unduly high by such an amount as represents the mortality from lead
poisoning. As pointed out in Table C,1the death rate from plumbism
is only one fifty-fourth part of the death rate from all causes; the
witness was disposed to agree that this might be paraphrased by
saying that out of every 54 painters, plumbers, and glaziers who
died, only 53 would die if there were no exposure to risk of lead
poisoning. He agreed that the one of 54 who now dies of lead
poisoning ought to be saved if possible, provided that care is taken
not to drive him to death from drink or unemployment or other
causes.
The witness was not in possession of the statistics of the painters’
societies, and agreed that if these are properly collated and properly
considered, they must carry great weight.
With regard to the tables of occupational sickness, the witness said
the data are entirely defective. He admitted (Q. 18726) that it was
not satisfactory to state (Q. 18630) that “ Perhaps the occupation,
paints, and colors plus coach building plus white lead, is the group
most likely to include house painters, inasmuch as house painters
are not included under the factory act at all. He minimized the
importance of any statistics which did not include age distribution.
He admitted that 48 and 35 deaths from lead poisoning among house
>ainters and plumbers, in 1911 and 1910, respectively, constitute a
act deplorable in itself.
Mr. E. M. Johnson is a director of Messrs. Locke, Lancaster & Co.,
and W. W. & R. Johnson (Ltd.), lead desilverizers and white lead
corroders; ho has also acted as chairman of the committee of the
white lead corroders section of the London Chamber of Commerce.
He submitted three reasons against prohibition:
(1) There is no statistical or other evidence that prohibition
is more necessary in the case of red and white lead than
in the case of other articles.
(2) That prohibition has not been possible elsewhere and is
not possible in the United Kingdom.
(3) That education and regulations have been successful else­
where and if tried here would be successful.
In connection with the first point Mr. Johnson summarized Mr.
Holt Schooling’s evidence, as well as that of'Mr. Goadby, Prof. Arm­
strong, and Mr. Klein.

{

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In connection with the second point, that prohibition has not been
ossible elsewhere, Mr. Johnson referred to the evidence of Dr. Kaup,
> Rambousek, M. Ricker-Devroede, Herr Leyendecker, Herr
r.
Dullens, Herr Niederhauser, Prof. Weiers Bettink, M. de Morsier,
Dr. Roch, and others. The witness also quoted a passage from the
report of the British consul at Lille to the effect that the law prohib­
iting the use of white lead for outdoor painting purposes, which comes
into operation on the 1st January, 1915, does not appear to be in
favor with the public, and pointing out that there is no sensible de­
crease in the amount of white lead used.
Under the third head, that education and regulations have been
successful elsewhere and if tried here would be successful, Mr. John­
son again referred to points in the evidence of foreign witnesses, and
emphasized the opinions expressed by Mr. Plumb and Mr. Sibthorpe
that there is no practical difficulty m dispensing with dry rubbing
down. He advocated the prohibition of this process as in the Aus­
trian and German regulations. He claimed that an effective system
of regulation need not be costly, as the workmen themselves might
assist through the trade-unions in the enforcement of the regulations,
as happens in Germany and Austria, and that the supervision 01
painting operations might be intrusted to the sanitary inspectors and
surveyors of the various local authorities; or, alternatively, the in­
spectorate set up under the national health insurance act might be
utilized—he suggested that 40 additional insurance act inspectors
would be ample for this extra work. Mr. Johnson said he did not
wish to draft a set of regulations, but he tabulated the points which he
thought should be included in regulations.

E

FOR BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE HOUSE PAINTING.

(a) The affixing of notices calling attention to the regulations and
to the dangers attendant on painting work; each employer to be
responsible that every workman has a copy of the regulations and
instructions before engaging him.
(b) Prohibition of mixing and use of dry colors except in white
lead or grinding works under Home Office regulations.
(e) Prohibition of dry pumice stoning and dry scraping off of all
paints.
(d) Clear labeling of vessels containing lead.
(e) Provision ana weekly washing of aprons or overalls or both,
and head coverings; washing facilities to be provided in all cases,
including hot water if convenient, otherwise special soap to be pro­
vided for use with cold water, and nailbrushes; ten minutes to be al­
lowed for washing before meals and on leaving work.
(f) Quarterly or half-yearly inspection by a doctor; proper register;
system of self-blood examination.
(g) Workmen to submit themselves to prescribed medical exami­
nations, and to produce to the employer or inspector their card show­
ing date of last medical inspection.
Q Doctor to have power to suspend for prophylactic reasons.
i)
(i)
Master to have power.to dismiss and not to reengage for same
reasons.
(j) If medical inspector certifies a man to be alcoholic, he is not to
be employed where he would come into contact with lead or other
metallic poisons.



DANGER IN

U SE OF LEAD IN

T H E P A I N T I N G O F B U IL D I N G S .

Ill

(J No workman to be employed without a certificate of good health
e)
from an approved doctor.
(I) Workmen handling white lead to work in such a way as to avoid
contact of the substance with the hands and also to avoid splashes.
(m) Workmen so employed to wear clothing and headgear exclu­
sively reserved for this work, and to keep them in a good state of
cleanliness and to take them off before leaving the work place.
(n) Before taking food or drink and before leaving the work place,
workmen to rinse their mouths and also to wash hands and faces with
special soap. Food brought into the work places to be inclosed in
boxes or coverings kept well shut until the mealtime.
(o)
Workmen to keep the material and tools under their charge in
a good state of cleanliness.
(p) Workmen to be forbidden to bring spirits or tobacco or to con­
sume either in the work place.
(q) Breaches of any of these regulations to be punished by a fine,
(r) Increased fines for repeated offenses.
ADDITIONAL FOR INSIDE HOUSE PAINTING ONLY.

(a) Rubbing off and pumice stoning off old paint only after pre­
vious and complete moistening. Everything rubbed off to be re­
moved before it becomes dry.
(b) Foremen to be responsible for above, and for seeing that a copy
of the regulations and instructions is displayed on every job.
In further examination Mr. Johnson admitted the official figures
giving the proportion of metallic lead imported into this country as
92 per cent of the total; approximately one-third of this comes worn
British possessions. Notwithstanding this, Mr. Johnson stated that
pig lead is mainly, if not entirely, a British product because of the
large amount of desilverizing which is done on foreign lead. He said
that he thought the pig lead as used in this country for white lead
making is mainly, if not entirely, a British product, and added
‘ ‘Whether it is foreign or English you are going to interfere with the
consumption in this country of some 25 per cent.”
He did not dispute the registrar general’s figures showing the num,
ber of deaths from lead poisoning among house painters and agreed
that everything possible and reasonable should be done to prevent
this part of the mortality among house painters. He agreed that
regulations or prohibition are the only alternatives. It was not his
impression that the enforcement of the prohibition of dry rubbing
down would be impracticable. He was not in a position to produce
statistics that lead poisoning had been stamped out by regidations
in any country; he said there had not been time yet to show the full
advantage gained. He advocated that regulations should be drafted
by an impartial committee, but stated emphatically that he realized
the present committee to be an impartial one, and did not wish to
suggest anything to the contrary. He withdrew the statements
made in his proof regarding the large reduction in the number of cases
of lead poisoning in the period 1909-1910, as it was pointed out to
him that he had taken factory cases and house painting together;
the reduction was entirely in the former class; the increase in the
cases in the latter class he attributed partly to recent compensation
legislation.



112

B U L L E T IN

OF T H E B U R E A U

OF L A B O R S T A T IS T IC S .

Mr. Johnson’s suggestions as to regulations were based on what
has been found necessary for factories and also on foreign regulations;
he admitted that some master painters might regard them as irk­
some, and ho recognized the difficulty, if not the impossibility, of
carrying out some of these regulations in the house painting trade.
He had not taken any steps to ascertain whether the regulations sug­
gested by the white lead corroders would be acceptable to the paint­
ing trade. He emphasized the hardships which the Welsh lead miners
would suffer under prohibition, and also said that it would not be
possible to adapt the machinery now used for making white lead to
the producing of zinc white.
Mr. Johnson was recalled and further examined on the following
day, when he called the committee’s attention to the importance of
the system of blood examinations of lead workers and dwelt further
on the economic disadvantages of prohibition. He stated that he
had no practical experience 01 the system of self-inspection, but con­
sidered that something of the kind was necessary to insure proper
observance of regulations. He also advocated the use of national
health insurance records for the collection of statistics and reaffirmed
the possibility of utilizing sanitary inspectors and other officers of
the local authority for the enforcement of regulations applicable to
♦house painters, lie alluded to the unfamiliarity of country doctors
with lead poisoning. He desired to call attention to special soap
intended for the use of lead workers. He also advocated trade guilds
for painters on the lines of the existing plumbers’ guilds. Mr. Jonnson
agreed that the cost of medical examinations, and indeed the cost of
compliance with regulations of any kind, would bo finally borne by
the consumer.




ANALYSIS OF EVIDENCE.
EXTENT OF THE LEAD POISONING EVIL AMONG HOUSE
PAINTERS.
STATISTICS OF FATAL CASES.

The employment of house painting is for the most part confined to
premises which do not come under the jurisdiction of the factory acts,
and to this extent, therefore, there is no compulsory obligation to
report to any government department the cases of lead poisoning
which occur W ong house painters. There are accordingly no com­
plete statistics available; indeed, as far as nonfatal cases are con­
cerned no reliable information can be obtained, and the committee
have been obliged to fall back on approximate estimates.
In respect o f fatal cases arrangements weie made in 1898 with the
registrar general for England and Wales 1 to forward to the Home
Office copies of all death certificates on which lead poisoning appears
as the cause of death, and in Appendix X 2 an analysis of them is given
extending over a period of 10 years, namely, from 1900 to 1909,
inclusive.
From this analysis it will be seen that of the deaths notified as due
to lead poisoning, Dr. Legge, H. M. medical inspector of factories,
Home Office, has critically examined 627 certificates, which respec­
tively represented 284 house painters, 79 house plumbers, and 264
factory operatives; these figures are not, however, quite exhaustive,
and the total notifications of such deaths are so important that, in
addition, it is advisable to give the following table, showing the actual
statistics (a) for the period 1900-1909, and (b) for the years 19101913, inclusive.
DEATH S FROM LEAD POISONING.

Year.

Occupa­
tions under
Occupations not under the jurisdic­ the jurisdic­
tion of the factory acts.
tion of the
factory acts.
House
painters.

House
plumbers.

Total.

Total.

1909.....................................................................................

31
30
26
32
30
19
30
32
29
34

11
11
6
7
9
9
6
7
15
13

42
41
32
39
39
28
36
39
44
47

38
34
14
19
26
23
33
26
32
30

Total, 10 years, 1900-1909........................................

293

94

387

275

1910......................................................................................
1911......................................................................................

31
35
37
31

6
13
10
6

37
48
47
37

38
37
44
21

427

1£9

556

421

1900......................................................................................
1901......................................................................................
1902......................................................................................
1903......................................................................................
1905.....................................................................................
1906......................................................................................
1907.....................................................................................

1913......................................................................................
Total, 14 years, 1900-1913................................ .—

* Similar arrangements have been made with the registrars general for Scotland and Ireland, but only from
1910 onwards.
2 In Minutes of Evidence, presented in a separate volum e of the original report.

 25285°— Bull. 188— 16--- 8


113

114

B U L L E T IN

OF T H E B U R E A U OF L A B O R S T A T IS T IC S .

These figures show that- the number of deaths from lead poisoning
among house painters, viz, 427, alone exceeds the total of all deaths
from lead poisoning among factory operatives, notwithstanding that
the latter include workers engaged in the manufacture of white lead
and other lead compounds, in the manufacture of pottery, in lead
smelting, and many other industries in which the risk of lead poisoning
has long been recognized, and which have been the subject of special
legislation as shown in the following table:







B U L L E T IN

OP T H E B U R E A U

Industry.

OF L A B O R S T A T IS T IC S .

Under general pro­
visions only of fac­ Tnder special rules. Under regulations.
tory acts.1

(1)
1

2

3
4
5

6
7

8
9

10
10a
11

12
13
14
15
16
17
18

(2)

Smelting oi lead and other m etals...
Brass works.......................................
Sheet lead ana lead piping...............
Plumbing and soldering...................
Printing..............................................
File cutting........................................
'1 inning and enameling....................
W hitefead.........................................
Red lead.............................................
China and earthenware.....................
Lithotransfers...................................
Glass cutting and polishing .........
Enameling iron plates......................
Electric accumulators.......................
Paints and colors...............................
Coach building.......................
Shipbuilding......................................
Pamt used in other industries.........
Other industries................................

1879-1894...............
1879-1896...............
From 1879.............
From 1879.............
From 1879.............
1879-1902...............
1879-1904................
1879-1883 2.............
1879-1893...............
1879-1894 *.............
1879-1898................
From 1879.............
1879-1893................
1879-1893................
1879-1893 4.........
From 1879.............
From 1879.............
From 1879.............
From 1879.............

(3)

(4)

1894-1911................ From 1912.............
1896-1910................ From 1910.............

1894-1909................
From 1883.............
1894-1911................
1894-1912................
1899-1913................

From 1903.............
From 1909.............
From 1912.............
From 1913.............
From 1913........ .

1894-1908................ From 1909.............
1894-1903................ From 1904.............
1894-1907.......... From 1907.........
(&)................. (5).................

to ta l..........................................
i In pectors have had power since 1879 to require fans where dust is generated to an injurious extent, and
.895 similar power regarding fumes. Washing conveniences nave been required since 1896 where
used. Mess rooms and exclusion from workrooms during mealtime have been required since 1901
lead is so used as to give rise to dust or




D A N G E R IN U SE OF LEAD IN

T H E P A I N T I N G OF B U I L D I N G S .

Deaths from lead poisoning.
1900

1901

1902

1903

1904

1905

1900

1907

1908

1909

1910

1911

1912

1913

Total.

(5)

(6)

(7)

(8)

(9)

(10)

(11) (12)

(13)

(14)

(15)

(16)

(17)

(18)

(19)

2

1

2

3

4
5

6

7

8
9

10

11

10A

11

12
13
14
15
16
17

1
8
38

34

14

19

26

23

33

26

32

30

37

44

27

421

* Employment of workers under 18 prohibited from 1879; taking of tneals in workrooms prohibited
L882.
* Taking of meals prohibited in dipping department from 1879, and in m ajolica pa inting from 1882.
4 Taking of meals prohibited in places where dry powder or dust Is used from 1882.
* Heading of yam only, under special rules, 1895-1907; under regulations from 1907*




118

B U L L E T IN

OF T H E B U R E A U

OF L A B O R S T A T IS T IC S .

INCIDENCE OF LEAD POISONING AMONG PAINTERS IN RELATION TO
NUMBERS EMPLOYED.

Census of occupation.—The number of painters and glaziers in
England and Wales shown in the census of 1911 was as follows:
Painters........................................................................................ 181,613
Glaziers........................................................................................
2,950
Total.................................................................................. 184,563

In the 1901 census, glaziers were not counted separately, but the
total of painters and glaziers was 160,201.
Assuming that the proportion of glaziers to painters was the
same in 1901 as in 1911, we obtain the following figures for 1901:
Painters........................................................................................ 157,640
Glaziers........................................................................................
2,561
Total.................................................................................. 160,201

The average number of painters in the years 1901-1911 in England
and Wales is therefore 169,627. Of this total about 12 per cent,
or approximately 20,000, may be taken as being employers, and
the balance, in round figures, 150,000.
Deaths from lead poisoning —Among these workers there occurred
in ten years 1900-1909, 293 deaths which were certified as due to
lead poisoning, or a mortality rate of 0.195 per 1,000 per annum.
MORTALITY RATES PROM LEAD POISONING IN OTHER INDUSTRIES.

For purposes of comparison, the following average mortality
rates for the 14 years 1900 to 1913, have been calculated for various
lead industries under the factory act; but the numbers employed
in most of these industries are too small to justify attaching very
special importance to a death rate per 1,000.
Industry.

Number
em ployed
in lead
processes.

W hite lead.......................
Vitreous enameling.........
Tinning of m etals............
E lectric accumulators___
Paints and colors............
Earthenware and china..
Smelting of metals..........
Coach building................
File cutting.....................
Printing........................... |

1,201
933
878
1,475
1,400
7,085
2,878
29,308
5,556
58.777

Total
M ortality
deaths in
per 1,000
14 years per annum.
(1900-13).
36
1
1
8
9
99
36
61
22
24

2.141
.076
.081
.387
.459
.998
.893
.149
.283
.029

In addition to the certificates of death due to lead poisoning
which were provided by the registrar general, accurate statistics
were obtained from the two principal societies of the painting trade,
namely, the National Amalgamated Society of House and Ship
Painters and Decorators, and the Scottish Society of House and
Ship Painters.
Of these two societies the former had, at the time of taking evi­
dence, a membership of 16,000 and the latter 3,240. Each society
has preserved accurate and up-to-date records of deaths occurring



DANGER IX

U S E OF L E A D I N T H E P A I N T I N G OF B U IL D I N G S .

119

among their members, the one from 1905 and the other from 1901,
and from these sources their secretaries 1 were able to place at the
disposal of Dr. E. L. Collis,1 H. M. medical inspector of factories,
Home Office, detailed particulars of 1,240 deaths.
Of these deaths, Dr. Coilis has given an analysis in Tables I and II
of Appendix X II,2and in the latter has compared the figures relating
to painters with— (a) the total number of deaths of all males which
occurred in England and Wales from 1900 to 1902, inclusive; and
(b) the class designated “ Plumbers, painters, and glaziers” in the
returns of the registrar general.
The figures quoted in Table I 2 further indicate two very important
conclusions, namely: (1) that in every 100 deaths which have occurred
among members of these societies between 13 and 14 occurred from
causes attributable to lead, and among the class “ Plumber, painter,
and glazier” about 12; (2) that the average age at death due to all
causes in the painting industry is no less than eight years younger
than that of all males.
ESTIMATE OF NUMBER OF NONFATAL CASES.

In respect of nonfatal cases of lead poisoning among house painters,
the committee, as already stated, have no miable statistics to sub­
mit. It is true that, although exempt from the legal obligation which
applies in respect of factory operatives, medical practitioners do
occasionally report such cases, but the percentage of those reported
to the total number it is clearly impossible to define, and in all
probability is constantly varying. Such as they are, however,
whether notified voluntarily or m the erroneous belief that the
legal requirement exists, the committee submit the yearly returns
for what they are worth in the following table.
Nonfatal cases of lead poisoning voluntarily reported:
Year.

190 0
190 1
190 2
190 3
190 4
190 5
190 6
190 7
190 8
190 9
191 0
191 1
191 2
191 3

House painters and plumbers.

199
, ...................................................................169
179
201
227
163
181
174
239
241
232
..............................263
256
..................................................................................291

In default of any complete statistics bearing on the point, Dr.
Legge, H. M. medical inspector of factories. Home Office, has sug­
gested that it would probably be reasonable to assume that the
proportion of fatal to nonfatal cases is substantially the same in
the house paintiDg trade as it is in all the factory industries taken
together. On this assumption the total number of lead poisoning
attacks among house painters and plumbers would amount to
1 Members of the committee.
2 In Minutes of Evidence, presented in a separate volum e of the original report.




120

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O F L A B O R S T A T IS T IC S .

nearly 1,000 per annum, but this estimate is a very rough one,
and can not be regarded as reliable for accurate calculation.
It is, however, worth while noting the figure at which, if comuted on this principle, the number of cases would work out among
ouse painters taken alone, and comparing it with the attack rates
which nave been calculated for the various industries under the
factory acts in which the number of workers in direct contact with
lead is definitely known. In this respect, in the years 1900-1909,
out of 6,762 cases of illness due to lead poisoning among operatives
employed on premises under the factory and workshop acts, the num­
ber oi deaths amounted to 275, ana during the same period the
number among house painters due to the same cause to 293. The
estimated number accordingly of attacks of lead poisoning among
house painters in ten years would work out as follows, viz:

E

6 76° X ^93
~ - '■= 7,205 cases, or an annual average of 720.5.
275

As, therefore, the average number of operative painters as above
estimated is 150,000, their attack rate from lead poisoning is approxi­
mately 4.8 per 1,000 per annum; those of the various industries
under the Factory ana Workshop Act with which, as above-men­
tioned, this rate should be compared, are as follows:
A TTACK R A TE S FROM LEAD POISONING—AVERAG E OF 14 Y E A R S, 1900-1913.

Industry.

W hite lead.......................
Vitreous enameling.........
Tinning of metals............
Electric accum ulators. . .
Paints and colors............
Earthenware and ch in a ..
Smelting o f metals...........
Coach building................
File cutt ing......................
Printing...........................

Number
employed Total cases
in lead
in 14 years.
processes.
1,201
933
878
1,475
1,400
7,085
2,878
29,308
5,556
58,777

1,422
102
192
422
501
1,376
576
1,026
265
523

Attack
rate per
1,000 per
annum.
$4.6
7.8
15.6
20.4
25.6
13.9
14.3
2.0
3.4
0.6

But while the rates of deaths and attacks- due to lead poisoning
among house painters are thus comparatively small, they are not so
insignificant as at first appears. In the first place the case incidence
is materially affected by certain conditions of employment peculiar
to the trade. Painting operations, for example, are not carried on
with full vigor throughout the year and very few painters therefore
are exposed to the risk of lead poisoning during more than nine months
out o f twelve. Moreover, such is the diversity of their occupation—
including, as it does, preparatory work of all kinds, whitewashing,
distempering and the like—that the estimated time during which a
painter is actually handling lead materials is not more than one-third
of his working hours. Inasmuch as a period of absence from lead
work assists the system to regain its normal condition, the above con­
siderations alone might be expected to reduce the incidence by more
than 75 per cent, and to that extent the rates—whether of death or
illness—as indicating the magnitude of the danger to which operatives
are exposed when in full work, would be very greatly underestimated.




DANGER IN

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121

Further, it must be remembered that a large and increasing propor­
tion of the 150,000 operative painters are partly engaged in applying
leadless paints, and tnat by their elimination the death and case rates
of those constantly using lead paints would be still further increased.
But notwithstanding the various circumstances which tend to
reduce the death and case rates per 1,000, the evil of lead poisoning
among house painters is shown to be productive of an actual average
of 29 deaths and an estimated average of 720 cases per annum. In
other relations of life it is generally admitted that against such an
amount of sickness and death every precaution ought to be taken,
and even in such instances as casualties, caused by London traffic,
which, if calculated per 1,000 of those daily using the streets would
show the smallest mortality rate, every effort is made to prevent them.
The committee, however, found that the employers in the painting
trade as a whole posseted but little knowledge of lead poisoning
among their workmen; little notice appears, as a rule, to be taken of
their absence on account of ill health, and no. evidence was forthcom­
ing to prove that any master house painter ever instituted even a
voluntary system of medical examination. Without such a system
it would be impossible to realize how much of a worker’s absence was
due to lead poisoning, and several employers, when questioned, while
admitting tne magnitude of the danger, expressed considerable sur­
prise at the extent to which, according to the official records, plumb­
ism among house painters existed.
Imperfect, however, as these official records may bo, it is abund­
antly evident that in the house painting industry plumbism consti­
tutes a very real evil. There can be no doubt that it materially
affects the workman’s expectation of life, and in this respect the table
of deaths on page 113 shows that no improvement has as yet taken
place. In the regulated industries, on the other hand, the statistics
published monthly in the “ Labor Gazette” of the Board of Trade and
annually in the report of the chief inspector of factories prove that
the attack rates are steadily falling. It is clearly evident therefore,
that the tendency to plumbism among painters ought, if possible, to
be controlled; practically every witness, whose attention was called
to the figures, admitted that the extent of illness and death attribut­
able to its ravages was very deplorable, and agreed that immediate
action ought to be taken to reduce it to a minimum.
Increased costof insurance against liability for workmen's compensa­
tion.—By the Workmen’s Compensation Act of 1906, which came
into force on July 1, 1907, provision was for the first time made for
compensation to be paid by the employer to any workman who could
obtain the requisite certificates showing that he was suffering from
lead poisoning. At first the premiums charged by insurance com­
panies for insurance against risk of claims under the workmen’s
compensation and employers’ liability acts were 20s. ($4.87) per
cent, but after three years’ experience the rate was increased to 30s.
($7.30) per cent. . . . .
Unfortunately it is impossible to say how much of the increase is
due to the new risk of payment for plumbism introduced by the 1906
act and how much to the general increase in accident risks; but it
stands to reason that the first-named risk must have had its share in
causing the premiums to be raised.



122

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OF L A B O R S T A T IS T IC S .

ACTION TAKEN BY FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS.
Sir Henry Cunynghame, K. C. B., who at the time of giving evi­
dence was legal assistant undersecretary of state for the Home De­
partment, outlined for the committee the various laws and decrees
affecting nouse painters in foreign countries, and translations of the
full text of these enactments will be found in the appendices to this
report. Further details were moreover furnished to the committee
by Dr. Legge and by the various foreign witnesses whose evidence
was submitted by the white lead corroded section of the London
Chamber of Commerce.
FRANCE.

After a lengthy inquiry and careful reports both to the Chamber of
Deputies and to the Senate, a law was passed on July 20,1909, proprohibiting the use of white lead in all painting operations on build­
ings whether on the exterior or interior. An interval of five years
was prescribed before the coming into force of this law, which will
take effect as from the 1st of January* 1915.
AUSTRIA.

By a ministerial order of the 15th of April, 1908, regulations were
issued to control the use of white lead paints, which was prohibited
in respect of interior painting as from the 1st of April, 1909. For
exterior painting, however, it was still permitted, subject to drastic
precautionary conditions, as well as for certain specific purposes, for
example:
(i) for the laying on of a first or priming coat over old lead
paint when pure white paint is being renewed;
(ii) for paint which is frequently Exposed to the influence of
aqueous or other vapors;
(iii) for internal painting m the case of work which would
otherwise not be carried out in Austria.
The conditions in question under which the use of white lead paint
is permissible include—
(i) provisions for the ventilation and cleanliness of work
places;
(ii) the prohibition of dry rubbing down and pumice stoning;
(iii) the equipment of washing and dressing rooms;
(iv) the marking of vessels containing lead paint;
(v) the prohibition of employment of women and young
persons;
(vi) the wearing of overalls and head coverings, which must
be supplied by the employer wherever more than 20
workers are employed*
(vii) quarterly medical examination of painters where more
than 20 are employed.
GERMANY.

Regulations applying to all States in the German Empire were
issued on the 27th of June, 1905, and provide for the prohibition of
dry rubbing down and pumice stoning; the wearing of overalls; the
provision or washing facilities. These regulations have been in force
since the 1st of January, 1906.



DANGER IN

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T H E P A I N T I N G O P B U IL D I N G S .

123

BELGIUM.

The earliest decree concerning the use of white lead in the painting
of buildings came into force on the 15th of August, 1906, and pro­
vides for the prohibition of dry rubbing down, the provision of work­
ing clothes and washing appliances and quarterly medical examina­
tion. Against these regulations, however, the master painters’ fed­
eration offered an emphatic protest, and in place of them memorial­
ized their Government in favor of prohibiting the use of lead alto­
gether. The whole question was therefore again made the subject
of inquiry, but by the law of August 20 [1909], fresh regulations were
enacted to which effect was given by a royal decree dated July 25,
1910. These have been in force since the 2d of September, 1910; on
the one hand they prohibit the sale, transport, and use of white lead
otherwise than in the form of paste ground and mixed with oil, as
well as the two processes of ‘ ‘ dry scraping” and “ dry pumice ston­
ing;” on the other they provide for the wearing of overalls, storage
of outdoor clothing, the supply of washing conveniences and quar­
terly medical exammation of workers at the expense of the employers.
HOLLAND.

An exhaustive investigation of the white lead question was under­
taken by a commission of the Netherlands Government, which re­
ported on the 5th of October, 1909, to the effect that zinc white paints
can be substituted for white lead paints with good results where there
is exposure to sulphuretted hydrogen vapors, but not where exposed
to frequent recurrent action of vapors containing sulphurous acid;
that zinc white paints applied on zinc, Portland cement, or iron (the
latter having been primed with either red oxide of lead or iron) are
able to withstand the action of the open air during five years quite
as well as white lead paints and can entirely replace the latter except
where exposed to vapors of sulphurous acid; that zinc white paints
applied on wood, iron, zinc, Portland cement, and plaster can entirely
replace white lead paints in the interior of buildings except where
much exposed to sulphurous acid vapors or to great dampness; that
zinc white paints remain in good condition during five years, and can
replace white lead paints with good results when applied on wood
exposed to the open air except in the presence of vapors containing
sulphurous acid, but where accumulations of water remain for a long
time, zinc white paints require renewal after three or four years for
the preservation of the wood, and to this extent are inferior to white
lead paints; that zinc white paints such as used by the white lead
commission cover at least as well as ordinary white lead paints used
in Holland, and the zinc white putty used by the commission is quite
as serviceable as ordinary white lead putty; that painting with zinc
white paint, such as that used by the commission on new woodwork
in the open air, is not dearer than painting with ordinary white lead
paints; but that repainting of existing paintwork in the open air with
zinc white paints as used by the white lead commission is dearer than
repainting with white lead paints; that lithopone paints are unfit for
use in the open air; that for ironwork above water priming coats of
oxide of iron are quite as good as priming coats of red oxide of lead,
but oxide of iron can not be used for coats of paint under water; that
while oxide of iron is cheaper than red oxide of lead, more technical



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ability is required for applying subsequent coats over oxide of iron
priming than over lead priming. No law has so far been passed bv
the Netherlands Government to give effect to the findings of this
commission.
SWITZERLAND.

As a result of successive investigations, a law was passed on October
26, 1907, prohibiting the use of white lead otherwise than in the form
of paste, and prohibiting the processes of dry pumice stoning, dry
scraping off and burning off of old paint. This law was amplified
by regulations issued on December 21, 1907, which provide in addi­
tion that the same workmen should not be set to pumice stone freshly
painted surfaces for more than half of each working-day, and that
apprentices should never be employed on this kind of work. The em­
ployers are also required to provide for their workmen without charge,
apparatus and utensils necessary for avoiding direct handling of white
lead; overalls, which shall be properly kept and frequently washed;
daces for storage of outdoor clothing ana the necessary appliances
or personal cleanliness, such as water, soap and towels.
It appears, therefore, that several countries have made very serious
efforts to grapple with the evil of lead poisoning among house paint­
ers, and tne English witnesses questioned by the committee agreed
practically without exception that it is undesirable that this country
should be behind other nations in such a matter.

f

METHODS OF DEALING WITH LEAD POISONING.
The committee, accordingly, proceeded to inquire by what methods
the effects of lead poisoning in the house painting trade could best be
mitigated. The problem, witnesses agreed—and indeed it was selfevident—resolved itself into two following alternatives; either—
(I.) the industry must be controlled by a strict code of regu­
lations; or else
(II.) the use of lead must be altogether prohibited, or at any
rate restricted within very narrow limits.
Of these two alternative methods the latter is at once simple and
effective; the former, therefore, as being essentially complicated and
less certain in its results, it will be convenient to discuss in detail.
I. REGULATIONS.
SCIENTIFIC DATA CONCERNING THE CAUSATION OF LEAD POISONING.

In connection with regulations intended to govern the use of a
poisonous material, it is important to consider the maimer in which
the poison gains access to the worker’s system.
Much of the modern research work on this subject is to be found
in “ Lead Poisoning and Lead Absorption,” the authors of which are
Dr. Legge, H. M. medical inspector of factories, and Mr. K. W. Goadby
both of whom gave evidence before the committee. The latter, more­
over, carried out a valuable series of experiments for the depart­
mental committee on the use of lead in potteries; these, taken in
conjunction with the further investigations detailed in Mr. Goadby’s



D AN G ER IN U SE OF LEAD IN

T H E P A I N T I N G O F B U I L D IN G S .

125

evidence before this committee, and in the appendices, have led to
the conclusions that lead may gain entrance to the human system—
(а) by the respiratory system as a consequence of inhaling
lead-dust laden air;
Q ) by the alimentary system as a consequence of swallowing
>
lead dust or lead-contaminated food.
The first of these modes of entry is by far the most dangerous to
the worker; the risk entailed in tne second mode is small but not
negligible.
One or two other modes of entry, e. g., through the unbroken skin,
possess points of theoretical interest, but the amount so entering in
practice is so small as to be entirely negligible.
The conclusion to be drawn from this is that lead-laden dust is by
far the most serious evil to which a lead worker is exposed; and with
this conclusion other scientific witnesses questioned were in complete
agreement.
The most recently concluded experiments of Mr. Goadby, more­
over, tend to emphasize the danger of long continued inhalation of
even very small quantities of lead-laden dust; he has demonstrated
that an animal exposed for 16 months to such an atmosphere during
eight hours each day, while showing no symptoms of poisoning, has
nevertheless undergone such constitutional deterioration as to suc­
cumb to an inoculated dose insufficient in amount to produce symp­
toms in a normal animal.
NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS.

Considering the extent of the evil, it is evident that any code of
regulations, to be effective, must include all the precautions which
have been found to be necessary in the case of other lead industries
for which regulations have been provided under the Factory and
Workshop Act. These involve—
(1) Efficient measures for the avoidance or removal of dust
or spray which is formed in the course of work and con­
tains lead in its composition.
(2) The provision of hot water for the purpose of washing,
and adequate washing accommodation.
(3) The provision of mess rooms.
(4) The provision of overalls and their washing‘ and main­
tenance.
(5) The provision of cupboards for the storage of overalls
when not in use, and of separate cupboards or cloak­
rooms at a distance from any source of lead-laden dust
for the storage of outdoor clothing which is taken off
during working hours.
(б) Limitation of hours of employment.
(7) Periodical medical examination, with power on the part
of the examining doctor to suspend from work.
LEAD-LADEN DUST THE GREAT DANGER.

The principal evil, as stated aboro, to *cKkh tlid .artlsan^engaged
fr
in the house painting and dsEQraQJre‘trades is exposed *fe thV.poison
contained in lead-laaeij du^ifcrmed from the materials wKg M
j&
has to use. This dust the 7s liable to inhale when at work, both* in
the course of its creation, and subsequently after it has accumulated.



126

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OF L A B O R S T A T IS T IC S .

or he may absorb tho poison of it into his system by swallowing it at
mealtimes with the food he eats. The quantity of poison assimilated
in the latter manner is small; slight, however as it is, it might well
be sufficient to cause the breakdown of a constitution already under­
mined by lead poison, and as such it must be taken into account.
For the purpose, therefore, of greater clearness, it will be best first
to consider the various processes whereby fresh dust is generated,
and to review those precautions against its ill effects which witnesses
suggested might be taken to protect the artisan while actually at
work; it would then be a simple matter to appreciate the various
ways in which the dust is accumulated, and any additional safeguards
which may be necessary.
PRODUCTION OF LEAD-LADEN DUST, THE PROCESS OF DRY RUBBING DOW N.

Of the various processes contributing to the production of lead­
laden dust witnesses unanimously agreed that the “ dry rubbing
down” of painted surfaces was by far the most prolific. Of this opera­
tion, however, there are two distinct classes, which consequently
require to be considered separately, viz:
(1) The dry rubbing down of old paint work in preparation
for tne application of fresh coats of paint.
(2) The dry rubbing down of newly painted surfaces, to pre­
pare them for the application of a second coat of paint.
With regard to the first of these two classes it is already the prac­
tice of manv house painting and decorating firms to have the rubbing
down of old paintwork done with pumice stone and water instead of
dry sandpaper, and the witnesses practically all agreed that for this
operation the use of dry materials could be discontinued.
The conditions, on the other hand, obtaining in the second class
of dry rubbing down are entirely different, inasmuch as in most cases
the work has to be done before the first coat of paint is sufficiently
dry to admit of the use of pumice stone and water. The majority of
the witnesses, therefore, insisted that the process must be a dry one;
there were, however, a few who held a contrary opinion; Mr. Sibthorpe, for example, a prominent master house pamter of Dublin,
emphatically stated that all dry rubbing down could be dispensed
with, and ought to be prohibited; with this view, moreover, seven
other employers were in substantial agreement, although two of them
modified their admission by adding that they would prefer not to give
up the process for fear the quality of the painting might suffer.
Again, it was suggested by a few of the employers that the process
of rubbing down could be made sufficiently wet to prevent the escape
of dust by moistening the sandpaper with some fluid other than water,
for example, with turpentine, but Mr. Parsonage, a member of the
committee, who represented the National Amalgamated Society of
Operative House and Ship Painters and Decorators, contended, as
did other operative painters, that such a proposal could not be carried
out, and no evidence was forthcoming to show that, even if it could
have been, itg obseijvaRcp- poulcl .be strictly enforced.
The#point^#
as*nlfeo
f&e risk attendant on dry rubbing
dowrf*% grfeatry‘exaggerated! * In tlpS;r#
Va&
esj)ect five of the witnesses
argpeHHhe possibility of considerably i^tu£ngthe extent to which
it as employed, while some maintained t]*q£/the sandpapering re­



D A N G E R I N U S E OF L E A D I N

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127

quired between coats was too slight to give rise to an appreciable
amount of dust.
The committee, however, are satisfied both as to the importance
of the process to the trade and the dangerous degree to whicn it pro­
duces dust. On the first point, 21 employers ana 4 out of 6 operative
painters freely admitted the impracticability of discontinuing it, and
m the second, many of the workmen who were examined, including
Mr. Parsonage, assured the committee that the amount of dust created
was very considerable; one witness even went so far as to assert that
it was sufficient to show the tracks of a man as he moved about.
QUANTITY OF LEAD-LADEN DUST PRODUCED BY DRY SANDPAPERING.

The amount of lead-laden dust floating in the atmosphere of a
room in which, in connection with house painting, the process of sand­
papering is in operation, can only be measured by means of special
testing apparatus, the introduction of which into private premises
has so far been prevented by insuperable difficulties. The amount
therefore in question has, as yet, never been directly determined;
but, in certain coach-painting shops, a series of tests have been car­
ried out by Mr. G. Elmhirst JJuckering, one of His Majesty’s inspec­
tors of factories, whereby the quantity of dust generated in the air
by rubbing down processes of a similar character has been properly
ascertained. In these tests the air was collected as near as possible
to the breathing level of the workers during the time that the opera­
tions under consideration were in progress, and, as shown in Appen­
dix X III, Table I,1was proved to contain lead in quantities more than
sufficient to render it dangerous,2 viz, in proportions varying accord­
ing to the amount of lead contained in the paint and the extent of
the work involved, from 3 to as much as 1,025 milligrammes per 10
cubic meters of air.3
Dr. Ignaz Kaup also gave evidence as to the comparative quanti­
ties of lead in dust determined in Austria as present in the air o f rooms
in which painted surfaces were respectively dry rubbed and dry
pumice stoned; these quantities he quoted at figures varying from
1 to 25 milligrammes of lead per 1,000 liters of air; the equivalent,
that is, of 10 to 250 milligrammes of lead per 10 cubic meters of air.
PRACTICAL SAFEGUARDS RECOMMENDED BY WITNESSES.

In view of this evidence the committee came to the conclusion that
the air of rooms in which paint surfaces are dry rubbed is sufficiently
impregnated with lead to constitute a definite danger; they therefore
inquired whether the dangerous dust could be removed at the moment
of its production, but it was found impossible to suggest any practi­
cal method of so doing. Two witnesses, indeed, were of opinion that
exhaust fans could be successfully applied, and no doubt in certain
operations'in other trades they have been found to be a most effective
means of disposing of vitiated dust. For example, the operation in
1 In Minutes of Evidence, presented in a separate volum e o f the original report.
2 Legge and Goadby in their work on “ Lead Poisoning and Lead A bsorption/’ stated on page 207, “ W e
believe that if the amount of lead present in the air breathed contains less than 5 milligrammes per 10 cubic
meters of air, cases of encephalopathy and paralysis would never, and cases of colic very rarely, occur.
* * * Somewhere about 2 milligrammes * * * o f lead we regard as the lowest daily dose which, in­
haled as fume or dust in the air. m ay, in the course o f years, set up chronic plum bism .”
• A fuller discussion of these figures w ill be found in the report o f the departmental committee on the use
of lead compounds in the painting of coaches, etc.




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OF L A B O B S T A T IS T IC S .

the pottery trade known as ware cleaning, in which the worker rubs
off superfluous particles of dried glaze from an article which has been
dipped in a glaze containing lead; there the ware cleaner when at
work remains constantly in one place with his materials in front of
him, and the exhaust fan can be so adjusted as to suck away safely
any dust which the process produces before he can either inhale or
swallow any of it. But no such device could be made applicable to
the work of a house painter. Its adoption is obviously, in the first
place, only feasible where supplies of electricity are available, and in
the second it is impossible to conceive any means of adjusting it so
as adequately to protect a workman engaged in dry rubbing down a
wall.
The only other safeguard proposed was that of respirators, and
several employers were of opinion that the workmen might with advan­
tage be compelled to wear them. It was, however, found to be impos­
sible to recommend any form of efficient respirator which could possi­
bly be worn for any length of time.
FINE SPRAY.

Fine spray is produced by the process known as “ stippling,” that
is to say, beating a fresh coat of paint with a hard flat brush m order
to spread it out evenly over the required •surface. The actual risk
entailed by a single operation of this kind is very small, but such as
it is, it constitutes an additional danger.
The process of ‘ 'stippling” is sometimes carried out by the work­
man who actually lays 011 tne coat of paint, but more often by another
workman, and in the latter case both are exposed to the risk of inhal­
ing the spray from the stippling tool. Some spray and splashing of
pamt is inevitable in painting molded or relief designs, particularly
in connection with ceiling ana other interior work, but for these lead
paints have already been largely displaced by leadless paints or dis­
tempers.
FUMES.

From all fresh paint fumes are constantly being given off, and have
in the past been held by eminent experts to contain the elements of
lead poisoning. The committee have therefore given the matter
careful consideration, but, guided by results of experiments carried
out by Dr. Dobbie, the principal chemist of the Government labora­
tory, and the statements of other distinguished scientists, viz, Mr.
K. W. Goadby, Prof. H. E. Armstrong, and Mr. C. A. Klein, as well
as Prof. E. C. C. Baly in his later evidence, they have formed the
opinion that fumes may be justifiably disregarded as in any way a
source of lead poisoning. The vapors or gaseous emanations from
drying paint surfaces are undoubtedly of a nauseous odor and in cer­
tain circumstances the reverse of wholesome, but the researches of the
experts named above have established the fact that they contain no
lead. It is true that by passing a current of air over freshly painted
surfaces for a very long time Dr. Dobbie was able to collect traces of
lead arising from the paint in the form of minute solid particles, but
the amount so collected was infinitesimal, and consequently, as a
poison, a negligible quantity.



D A N G E R I N U S E OP L E A D I N

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129

ACCUMULATION OF LEAD-LADEN DUST AND THE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS
AGAINST IT.

Such being the origin of the lead-laden dust, and the practical
impossibility of devising any effective means of protecting workmen
from it in the course of its formation, it now remains to consider
the question of its accumulation, and to ascertain what precautions
are now being; taken against it, and what, in addition, ought to be
insisted upon in future.
- In this respect it would appear that, since it is impossible to
remove the dust which, the workmen make while at work, it must
accumulate during the whole of that period, and the air ia the room
continue for some time afterwards to be vitiated. In such an
atmosphere, it is naturally dangerous for a workman to eat his
dinner, and for this purpose, therefore, it is of the utmost importance
that he should be able to go into another room; but this is not
sufficient: he must also be prevented from carrying the dust away
with him, and, as it is inevitable that his hands become smeared
with paint ana his clothes become splashed with it, he must be
provided both with suitable washing accommodation and with
overalls with which while at work his clothes may be covered up.
WASHING ACCOMMODATION.

All the witnesses who were questioned on the subject agreed as
to the great importance of providing means for maintaining personal
.cleanliness, ana especially for the removal of any paint containing
lead from the hands, so as to prevent the danger of food being
infected with the poison when conveyed by the hand to the mouth.
For this purpose hot water is most necessary, and while several
employers stated that the workmen could, and on occasion did,
heat water for their own use, it was generally recognized that it
would be very difficult to supply it to all painters where\er they
are engaged.
MESS ROOMS.

The importance of providing proper mess rooms requires no
comment, inasmuch as without them the workmen have to eat
their meals in dangerous surroundings. For those, however, em-(
ployed on the smaller decorating jobs satisfactory arrangements in
this respect are very rarely made, and the evidence shows that in
most cases it would be almost impossible to provide suitable accom­
modation.
OVERALLS.

At the present moment overalls are, as a general rule, worn by
house painters when at work, or at all events by the most skillful
of them, and it is usually the practice—although not one universally
observed—to wash overalls or renew them once a week.
The latter is an eminently necessary precaution. In order to
ascertain the amount of dust carried by overalls after use, the com­
mittee caused several representative specimens of them to be critically
examined; these were collected at a series of surprise visits paid
to premises where painting operations were in progress, and for the
purpose different classes of buildings were selected, ranging in
25235°—Bull. 1SS—16------9



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quality from a west end private residence of the highest order to
tne buildings of a suburban railway station. The overalls were in
each instance secured on a Saturday morning in order that the
dust which they might be found to Hold might fairly represent the
degree of contamination resulting from a lull week’s work; and
finally each overall was examined at the Government laboratory
in such a manner as to determine—
(1) The amount of lead in the dust removed by beating.
(2) The amount of lead in the fine dust secreted in pockets.
(3) Any remaining lead.
The full result of these tests will be found in Appendix X X X II,1
from which it will be seen that the average amount of lead contained
in the dust collected from one man’s overalls after one week’s use
amounted to no less than 92.7 milligrammes. To realize the full
extent of the danger which such a quantity entails these figures
should be compared with those given above on page 127, showing
the amounts of lead-laden dust, varying from 3 to 1,025 milli­
grammes per 10 cubic feet of air in rooms in which the most dangerous
painting processes were being carried on, and the generally smaller
amounts—varying from 1 to 124 milligrammes per 10 cubic feet
of air—which have been found in the atmosphere in various other
industries in which lead poisoning has been prevalent to a serious
extent.2
The necessity of overalls is, therefore, beyond question, but
according to the custom of the trade, each workman has to buy his
- overalls for himself; the attention of the employers’ representatives
was accordingly called to the acceptance by employers in other lead
industries—for example, white-lead making and the manufacture of
electric accumulators and pottery—of the duty of providing work­
men, free of charge, with the working clothes required for use in all
processes involving contact with lead compounds. The evidence,
however, of the employers of house painters revealed a strong dis­
inclination to adopt any such course; only a few were willing to
undertake to supply overalls and to provide for their washing and
renewal at the firm’s expense; the great majority maintained that
any such obligation would impose too severe a tiurden upon them.
STORAGE OF OVERALLS AND OUTDOOR CLOTHING.

Overalls when not in use, and outdoor clothing when taken off
by the men before setting to work, if left about on premises in which
the air is vitiated, must inevitably accumulate dust, and their proper
storage is proportionately desirable. As, moreover, the overalls,
after Deing once used, contain dust, they ought to be kept apart
from the outdoor clothing, and separate cupboards, respectively,
provided for them. In either case, however, suitable accommodation
is seldom available, and its provision would frequently be a matter
of the greatest difficulty.
LIMITATION OF WORKING HOURS.

In other industries in which lead is used the necessity of shorter
hours has been definitely established, and their adoption agreed to
by the employers. The evidence, none the less, showed that in the
house painting trade, owing to its peculiar character, no such regula­
i In Minutes o f Evidence, presented in a separate volum e of the original report.
* See also Appendix X III.




DAN GER IN U SE OF LEAD IN

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131

tion would be generally acceptable. The business is to a great
extent a “ seasonal” one, and therefore during that part o f the
year when most repainting is done comparatively long hours of
employment are often demanded.
PERIODICAL MEDICAL EXAMINATION.

The special rules and regulations made under the factory and
workshop acts also lay it down as a cardinal principle that workers
in lead compounds1_ must periodically be medically examined.
Incidentally the examining medical officer has the power on the first
appearance of any symptom of lead poisoning to suspend any
worker from a particular employment.
On the question of providing periodical medical examination in
the house painting and decorating trades, 35 witnesses gave evidence;
of these, 14 employers and 6 workmen were prepared to agree to
the adoption of the proposal; of the remainder, 5 employers objected
to any such examination being undertaken at the expense of the
employer; 6 employers and 2 workmen were altogether opposed
to it; and 2 employers failed to give a definite opinion.
It should also be noted2 that since 1910 a regulation has been in
force in Belgium requiring painters to be medically examined every
quarter, ana Mr. Ricker-Devroede, the president of the Belgian
corporation of painters, when giving evidence before the committee,
put in a letter,8signed by himself ana the secretary of the corporation,
in which reference is made to the regulation in question in the follow­
ing striking terms:
( t r a n s l a t i o n .)

Of all these regulations, the most iniquitous is the medical inspection imposed on the
operative painter; this provision, which is vexatious and humiliating, is without any
effect. The corporation of painters would prefer the total suppression of white lead in
their work.
COMPENSATION FOB WORKMEN SUSPENDED FROM WORK.

With regard to the question of compensation, the workmen’s com­
pensation act provides for half wages to be paid to all workers actually
certified as suffering from lead poisoning; but the attention of wit­
nesses was further called to the recommendations of the departmental
committee on the use of lead, etc., in potteries, in which it is laid down
that for a period not exceeding three months any workers suspended
from employment on account of symptoms indicating a tendency to
incipient lead poisoning should be entitled to a weekly allowance.
This recommendation is generally observed in the pottery trade, and
in reply to the inquiry whether a regulation on similar lines could with
advantage be applied to the house painting and decorating trades,
definite opinions were obtained from 20 employers. Of these, although
one or two of them foresaw the possibility of difficulties arising, 13
were agreeable to its adoption; one, on the other hand, while admit­
ting the principle of compensation, suggested that it should only be
payable m a lump sum, and the remaining six definitely opposed the
payment of any compensation.
i Except in the process of file catting by hand, the regulations for which do not require medical exam­
inations.
* See evidence of Sir H . Cunynghame and Mr. Ricker-Devroede.
* See Appendix X V III [Minutes of Evidence]*




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IMPRACTICABILITY OF AN ADEQUATE CODE OF REGULATIONS.

It has already been seen that it is impossible to devise any ade­
quate measuresfor the protection of workmen from lead-laden dust
at the moment of its creation, and consequently the particular risk
thereby entailed can only be prevented by the prohibition of the use
of lead. But the other precautions which have been discussed present
a more open question; before, therefore, coming to any conclusion
with regard to them, it is desirable to review the evidence of the prin­
cipal witnesses who were in favor of their adoption.
EVIDENCE OF WITNESSES IN FAVOR OF A CODE OF REGULATIONS.

(a) The representatives of the paint, oil, and varnish trades asso­
ciations admitted the need of taking action for the protection of house
painters and decorators; but, in view of experiments in which zinc,
when compared with lead, had been found to be inferior for exterior
paintwork, they considered that rather than lead should be prohibited
it would be preferable to adopt regulations. Their associations
embraced in tneir membership many of the leading firms of paint
grinders, and in support of their recommendation they drew attention
to the beneficial results obtained by regulations in the white lead
making and paint grinding industries.
They regarded periodical medical examination at the expense of
employers as imperative, and for the enforcement of this and all other
regulations, were of opinion that 50 inspectors would suffice. They
did not, however, deal in any detail with the manifest difficulties
which such enforcement, to be successful, would inevitably involve.
(b) Mr. Sibthorpe was also in favor of a code of regulations, and
dealt carefully witn the question of inspection. Mr. Sibthorpe is, as
already mentioned, a master house painter of Dublin, employing
some 50 workmen, and was put forward as a witness by the white
lead corroders> section of the London Chamber of Commerce; he
advocated a system whereby, on the one hand, each master painter
should be obliged to take out a license binding him to observe all regu­
lations in force or to come into force in connection with the use of lead
paints, and, on the other, each operative painter should also have to
take out a license requiring him to keep a card, to be produced when
asked for, recording the places of his employment ana particulars of
any attacks of lead poisoning from which he may have suffered, Mr.
Sibthorpe further recommended the prohibition of dry pumice stoning
or sandpapering of old paint or surfaces that have been burnt off; the
provision of overalls by the workmen; the provision of facilities for
washing, including nailbrushes, towels, and hot water; the latter, in
the case of occupied houses, to be demanded as a right from the occu­
pier; the provision, equally to be demanded from the occupier as a
right, of a mess room and a storage room for outdoor clothing separate
from any place where the paint is mixed or kept; and finally, medical
examination of all licensea workmen at least three times a year, with
suspension from employment on account of recurring attacks of lead
>oisoning, and either the restriction of workmen so suspended to nonead employment, or an allowance to them of reasonable compensa­
tion.1

{

1 It should be noted, as previously stated on p. 121, that workers actually suffering from lead poisoning
are already entitled by law to compensation.




DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

133

Mr. Sibthorpe believed that such regulations could be efficiently
enforced by the employment of special inspectors, including possibly
ex-painters who have had to leave the trade owing to their suscepti­
bility to lead poisoning. He calculated that four such inspectors at a
salary of £2 ($9.73) rising to £3 ($14.60) a week, would suffice for the
city of Dublin, which has a population of just over 400,000. For the
whole of the United Kingdom, at the same proportionate rate about
450 special inspectors would be required, a number more than double
that of the present staff of the whole factory department, which at a
cost of £ 100,000 ($486,650) embraces all the workshops and factories in
the United Kingdom; so large a department, therefore, appears to be
unjustifiable, and in addition^ although the class of special inspectors
proposed is a very poor one, it is notlikely that it could ba equipped
ana maintained for the same sum; but even if this extremely economic
estimate were correct, and if, as suggested by the witness, a substantial
portion of the c o 3 t could be recovered by charging registrars’ fees for
the licenses which he advocated, the creation of 450 new officials at so
great an annual cost to the country as £100,000 ($486,650) would be
an extravagance which the committee could not possibly recommend.
(c) Mr. E. M. Johnson, a leading white lead manufacturer, who also
urged the adoption of regulations, suggested that the supervision of
painting operations might be intrusted to the sanitary inspectors and
surveyors, or to other local authoritesj the committee, however, do
not think it desirable to rely for such assistance on any oi these officials
and indeed their time is already so fully occupied that it would eventu­
ally result in the necessity of appointing a large additional number.
As a third alternative, Mr. Johnson proposed that this work of inspec­
tion should be imposed on the insurance act inspectors, and contended
that 40 additional inspectors would be ample for the purpose. Such
a suggestion the committee do not regard as warrantable, and believe
that the vast amount of technical supervision entailed would necessi­
tate a very much greater increase in their staff.
(d) Mr. J. C. Vaughan, one of the representatives of the National
Association of Master House Painters and Decorators, suggested that
regulations might be enforced by the local policeman or the sanitary
inspector or the inland revenue officer, or alternatively by the appoint­
ment of subinspectors for this special purpose. Several of the other
advocates of regulations, in preference to prohibition, thought that
tho difficulty o f inspection might be overcome, but were unable to
satisfy the committee in regard to the means whereby this could be
accomplished. Mr. Vaughan and others admitted, moreover, that
there would be difficulties in ascertaining where painting operations
were in progress, and also that visits paid to private houses for the
purpose of inspection, without which the adequate enforcement of
regulations falls to the ground, would be likely to cause resentment.
EVIDENCE OF FOREIGN WITNESSES.

The case, therefore, for control by regulations, as shown by the evi­
dence of these four witnesses, is by no means a strong one.
In addition it appears from that of the foreign witnesses introduced
by the white lead corroders’ section of the London Chamber of Com­
merce, that although in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, where
regulations have been adopted for these trades, the number of lead



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BULLETIN OF THE BUBEAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

poisoning cases has to some extent been reduced, the progress made
in combating the lead evil has been comparatively slow; even in
Germany and Austria, where the dry rubbing down of lead painted
surfaces has been definitely prohibited by law, cases of lead poisoning
have become by no means rare, and its incidence is still far too high
to admit of its acceptance as a aegree of industrial risk which may be
regarded as negligible for workers in this country.
DIFFICULTY OF ENFORCING REGULATIONS.

Furthermore, all the foreign witnesses admitted that as a means of
thoroughly enforcing the observance of regulations in all painting
operations, inspection was very unreliable. Such an admission wifi
be recognized as the more important when it is borne in mind that in
Germany and Austria householders appear to have little or no objec­
tion to the inspection of their private premises. In this country it is
far otherwise; the difficulty, therefore, of insuring a proper and
effective inspection of painting operations in private dwellings would
be greatly increased, and it would be proportionately injudicious to
recommend the adoption of any measures which, for their enforce­
ment, would depend on it.
INSUFFICIENCY OF REGULATIONS, EVEN WHEN ENFORCED.

But apart from the difficulty of enforcing regulations a number of
witnesses admitted that regulations, even 2 properly complied with,
were in themselves sufficient to provide but a partial solution of the
lead poisoning problem. This view is strongly confirmed by the
experience of the admiralty, who have laid down a number of regu­
lations to be observed wnerever lead paints are used. Thus, at
Portsmouth dockyard, where 320 painters are employed, ample lav­
atory accommodation is provided, including hot water; time is
allowed for washing; and, in addition attention to personal cleanli­
ness is superintended by a charge man, who does not allow any
painter to leave until he has wphed; all painters are supplied, at
the expense of the admiralty, with overalls, which are washed fort­
nightly in a steam laundry on the dockyard premises; and a system
of periodical medical examinations is strictly enforced. Despite all
these precautions and the care taken to assure their observance, lead
poisoning cases still occur, the men attacked being transferred to
work not involving contact with lead.
RESOLUTION OF MASTER HOUSE PAINTER'S ASSOCIATION.

As an early stage of the inquiry, viz, on September 27, 1911, the
following resolution, proposed by Mr. Butterworth and seconded by
Mr. John Brown, was passed by the National Association of Master
House Painters and Decorators at a meeting at Derby:
That this meeting of the members of the National Association of Master Painters of
England and Wales, assembled at Derby, regrets the severe sickness and mortality inci­
dence of the use of white lead, but they are of opinion that great injury would be done
to the painting trade and to the larger interests of the public by the prohibition of the
use of white lead, and in the opinion of the meeting it is very desirable that a trial be
first given to effective regulations.

A copy of the resolution, signed by Mr. T, N. Richards, president
of the association, was forwarded to the committee and is accord­



DANGER IN TJSE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

135

ingly here reproduced verbatim. Obviously, however, the members
who voted on the resolution were not in possession of ail the evidence
that was laid before the committee, and their resolution therefore
only amounts to an expression of continued confidence in the white
lead pigments which they have been accustomed to use for genera­
tions, and no indication is given as to how regulations could be made
effective and adequately enforced.
CONCLUSIONS OF THE COMMITTEE.

The committee therefore consider that it is impossible to deal with
the evil in question by regulations for four principal reasons:
(1) The inadequacy of regulations to cope with the evil.
(2) The difficulty of prohibiting dry rubbing down.
(3) The cost ana difficulty of complying with various precau­
tionary measures.
(4) The insuperable difficulty of enforcing regulations by ade­
quate inspection.
n . PROHIBITION OR RESTRICTION OF THE USE OF LEAD.

_ But if it is impossible either to devise or enforce effective precau­
tions against the risks attending the use of lead, there is only one way
of obviating them. If the evil can not be controlled by regulations,
the cause of it must be removed, and the use of lead be either totally
prohibited or at least greatly restricted.
In order, however, to ascertain accurately the view taken by the
trade, the choice between these two alternatives, viz—
(1) The control of the use of lead by regulations;
(2) The prohibition or restriction of the use of lead;
was specifically submitted to 36 representative employers, of whom
10 appeared as members of builders’ federations, and the remaining
26 included representatives of the National Association of Master
House Painters and Decorators and of the London Association of
Master Decorators.
CHOICE OF EMPLOYERS BETWEEN REGULATIONS AND PROHIBITION.

The replies given by the witnesses are summarized in the following
table, the principal figures in each column indicating the number of
witnesses interrogated, and those in brackets the approximate num­
ber of painters employed by them.
CHOICE OF 36 EMPLOYERS SPECIFICALLY QUESTIONED AS TO THEIR PREFERENCE
FOR REGULATIONS AS AGAINST PROHIBITION.

Prefer prohibition.
Prefer regulations .
Doubtful..............
Total............

li P
U 0 [550]

Other em­
ployers.

III

Builders’
federations.

26 [1,500]

Total.
i 18
[800]
14 [1.150]
4
[100]
136 [2,050]

1 One of these (Mr. McHugh) spoke also for the Liverpool Master Builders’ Association, whose member­
ship, numbering 400, resolved unanimously that they “ would rather vote for total prohibition of white lead
than be hedged in with any regulations or restrictions.”




136

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOB STATISTICS.

From this table it will be seen that of the 36 witnesses questioned,
14 employing 1,150 painters declared in favor of control by regula­
tion, and 18 employing 800 painters in favor of the prohibition
of the use of lead. It is, however, clear from the preceding pages of
this report that but little serious thought has ever been given by
employers to the evil of lead poisoning, and the evidence of the 36
master house painters now under review pointed strongly to the
conclusion that no concerted action has ever been taken to put an
end to it. Even those employers who voted in favor of regulations
as opposed to the prohibition of the use of lead have only, in excep­
tional cases, taken steps to insure the observance by their own work­
men of necessary precautions, and they further admit that many of
the precautionary measures found necessary and enforced in other
lead industries would be either very difficult to carry out or quite
impracticable in connection with house painting operations.
Many of the witnesses, moreover, pointed out that any increase in
the cost of painting due either to the prohibition of the use of lead or
the establishment of regulations would ultimately fall to be borne by
the customer. Mr. J. W. Barker, of Leicester, one of the representa­
tives of the National Association of Master House Painters and Dec­
orators, in particular, when stating his preference for prohibition
added that the cost of precautionary restrictions would be far greater
than the cost involved in a change to nonlead paints; if the latter
course should be adopted, Mr. Barker felt sure that the national asso­
ciation would not raise any objection to carrying it into effect; this
statement is important in view of the prominent part taken by the
witness in the affairs of the association, of which he is a past president.
POSSIBILITY OF PROHIBITING THE USE OF LEAD.

In these circumstances it is evident that theoretically the prohibi­
tion of the use of lead would be by far the preferable policy to adopt,
but the question arises whether or not its abolition can be earned
into effect without causing undue detriment to the trade. At the
present moment lead forms the principal ingredient in the composi­
tion of oil paints, especially of those intended for exterior use, and,
in consequence, before coming to a definite conclusion, particular
attention must be paid to the two following important questions:
(1) Is there a reasonable certainty that leadless paints would
be efficient for all purposes ?
(2) Would the supply of such materials bo sufficient to meet
all the requirements of the trade ?
EFFICIENCY OF LEADLESS PAINT.

Taking the first of these two points, it should be noted that no
member of the various employers’ associations could refer to any
systematic attempt, made m the past, to discover a satisfactory
substitute for lead in the manufacture of paint. .This has in all
probability been due to the employers’ lack o f interest in the question
of lead poison, but, whatever the cause may be, there is—as the
evidence sufficiently proved, and as Mr. J. Milton, one of the repre­
sentatives of the London A ssociation of Master Decorators frankly
admitted—a real prejudice in the trade against the use of any
materials other than those to which painters have been for gener­
ations accustomed.



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137

EVIDENCE OF EMPLOYERS.

It is true that a certain number of employers examined claimed
to have used various leadless paints from time to time, but such
experiments appear to have been made in rather a half-hearted
manner. Thus, Mr. J. D. Crace, a witness representing the Institute
of British Decorators, stated that he had tried zinc paints a long
time ago, but had no recent experience of them; Mr. Honeychurch,
of the London Association of Master Decorators, had made some
individual trials, from which he found that zinc retained its color
better than lead, while, on the other hand, it was not so durable
and at that time more expensive; Mr. Puttrell, of the National
Association of Master House Painters, as well as Mr. Higgs and
Mr. Walker, who represented builders’ federations, had used leadless
paints from time to time, and found them not so satisfactory for
wear or covering power, but the inferiority of the zinc paints was
not great enough to prevent them from advocating the abolition of
lead rather than regulations; Col. J. R. Bennett, of the Scottish
Master House Painters’ Association, had tried zinc paints 15 years
ago, and found them unsatisfactory for exterior work; Mr. R. L.
Anderson, of the same association, said he had had very Uttle experi­
ence with leadless paints, as he had always been given to understand
that white_ lead was the best thing to use; Mr. Scott, also of the
same association, claimed that he had made experiments on a large
scale with substitutes for lead, but these were carried out some 20
years ago.
On tne other hand, it was generally admitted that for the painting
of interior surfaces it was quite possible to dispense with lead paints,
and further the evidence of the employers contains not a few exam­
ples, indicating that, with only a moderate persistence, it is possible
to discover leadless paints which, even for exterior painting, are
quite satisfactory.
LEADLESS PAINTS SUITABLE FOB EXTERIOR USE.

Mr. Morton, of the National Builders’ Federation, for example,
although he preferred prohibition to the onerous code of regulations,
said that he nad not on the whole found substitutes for white lead
to be satisfactory, but added that for exterior painting he had
recently used zinc paint, which covered rather better than white
lead and was quite as good in appearance. Mr. Milton, of the London
Association of Master Decorators, whjle admitting a preference for
lead rather than the zinc paints, considered that there was no neces­
sity to use lead for exterior painting, provided that a more suitable
medium were substituted for the oil and turpentine mixture at
present in use; in support of this theory he explained that in the
course of recent experiments he had used leadless white paint made
up with boiled refined oil and a good proportion of vamish, and
found the paint so composed to be more durable than white lead
paint.
Mr. McHugh, of the National Association of Master House Painters
and the Liverpool Builders’ Association, while recognizing the wide­
spread feeling against anything but white lead for outside work,
said he had himself used a good quality of zinc white well mixed
with varnish for exterior work, and found it to be quite as good
as white lead paint. This witness spoke as president of the Liverpool



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BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

Master Builders’ Association, who passed a unanimous resolution
in favor of prohibition rather than regulations, and added that
the use of zinc is finding increasing favor in Liverpool and by compe­
tent painters is applied as easily as lead. The experience, too, of
Mr. Cantrill—also a member of the National Association of Employ­
ers—was very significant, as he had used leadless paints for exterior
as well as for interior work, and found that the workmen handled
these paints in a satisfactory manner when they were ignorant
of the composition. Mr. J. R. Donald, who, as a representative of
the Association of Master House Painters in Scotland gave verbal
evidence unfavorable to the substitution of zinc white for white
lead, amended his evidence by a subsequent note in which he stated
that recent practical results obtained with leadless paints had
convinced him that white lead was no longer essential. Mr. Bonner,
a working master house painter, stated that he had used a substitute
for white lead for outside work ever since he started business, and
was more than satisfied with the results, as were also his customers.
He stated that besides keeping a better color it had proved at the
end of five years more durable than white lead; he said, “ I have
got some fronts done five years ago which are better than white
lead fronts done two years ago,” and in another part of his evidence
he expressed his confidence that, if the use of lead were abolished,
ways and means could be found of getting a good white pigment from
other materials. Mr. Styles, one of the witnesses representing
the London Master Builders’ Association, while preferring to retain
white lead, expressed his confidence, that if necessary, something
else would be invented to replace it without interfering with his
business at all. Mr. Vigurs Harris, of the National Association of
Master House Painters and Decorators, strongly advocated the
abolition of the use of lead rather than regulations; although he
was not so convinced of the efficiency of substitutes for exterior
work as for interior, he considered it quite justifiable taking the
risk evenfor outside work. Mr. Harris, moreover, hadhad along experi­
ence of zinc paints, and stated that, as all employers would be placed
on the same footing, the prohibition of lead as an ingredient of
paint would cause no injury. Mr. John Anderson, the president of
the London Association of Master Decorators, also laid stress on
this argument; if the use of lead were abolished all employers would
be treated alike, and would require no supervision; if, however, the
control of it were left to regulations, he feared that some employers
might in practice evade them, and so gain an unfair advantage
over those who did their best to observe the law.
EVIDENCE OF FIRMS EITHER MANUFACTURING OR USING LEADLESS PAINTS.

It is thus evident that not only are leadless paints suitable for
interior work, but it is also possible, although not the general practice
in this country, to apply them with success to exterior surfaces.
The committee learned, "moreover, that leadless paints which are
claimed to be of sufficient durability for application to exterior
surfaces, are already obtainable in considerable numbers, and there
is every indication that legislation affecting the amount of lead
permissible in paints would give a great impetus to the manufacture
of nonpoisonous substitutes. In addition, therefore, to the evidence
of the employers, which has been above considered, the committee



DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE FAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

139

have obtained the testimony of various leading manufacturers and
users of leadless paint.
MAKERS OF LEADLESS PAINT MATERIALS.

Mr. Garson, whose firm manufactures both zinc and lead paints,
and who would therefore be unaffected by an increased demand
for the former as compared with the latter, stated that for interior
painting the durability of both is about the same; the price of lead
paints was, at the time of his giving evidence, somewhat less than
that of zinc paints, but the latter cover 10 per cent more and retain
their color better. For exterior work zinc paints mixed in exactly
the same way as lead paints would have only about two-thirds as
long a life, but if varnish and, say, 5 per cent of lead are added to
the zinc paints the latter are as durable as lead paints. This witness
believed that the prohibition of the use of lead would give an impetus
to manufacturers to find efficient substitutes, and also that the
increased demand for zinc paints would reduce their price. Enamel
paints would not be affected, as these are to-day made on a base of
zinc oxide and not of lead.
Mr. Rivet also represented a firm who grind both lead and zinc
paints, and said that beyond some preliminary disorganization the
prohibition or restriction of the use of lead would not at all affect
them. He agreed that practically all good enamels are built up
from zinc oxide, and said that in certain comparative trials carried
out on premises at Westminster they had come to the conclusion
that after 15 months’ exposure the white lead paint had stood best,
while the next best was pure zinc, and mixtures of zinc and lead
were indifferent. He admitted that there were plenty of leadless
)aints suitable for work for which white is not required; satisfactory
eadless whites could also be obtained, but at somewnat increased
cost and less durability.
The Granitic Paint Co. make paints on a zinc oxide base which
are entirely free from lead. These were originally compounded
to a formula suggested by the principal architect of H. M. office of
works, and have been very largely used in the painting of Govern­
ment buildings, for particulars of which reference may be made
to the evidence of officials of H. M. office of works, summarized
on pages 64 to 69.
The Ragosine Paint Go. (Ltd.) manufacture a leadless paint called
“ Dixon’s White,” which is made up in paste form and can be thinned
down so as to take the place of white lead for all ordinary painting
as well as for priming, filling, and flatting.1
Mr. Wait, chemist to R. Gay & Co. (Ltd.), who manufacture both
lead and zinc paints, said he considered zinc oxide paint as good as
white lead for exterior as well as for interior painting; he referred to
a number of public buildings—including Buckingham Palace, home
office, admiralty, war office, new Local Government Board offices,
savings bank, general post office, also branch post and sorting offices
in London and the Provinces, British Museum, Science and Art
Museum, National Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, and St.
Thomas’s Hospital—on which Gay’s zinc paints had been used, and

1

1 For opinions of users of paints referred to by this and subsequent witnesses, see pp. 142 et seq.




140

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

stated that these had been found as satisfactory as the lead paints
previously supplied.
The Szerelmey Co. have been makers of nonpoisonous paints for
over 50 years, and consider that good covering power can be obtained
without the use of lead. The company have received no complaints
on the score of the durability of their zinc oxide paint, for which
repeated orders have been receivedfrom public corporations, breweries,
and many others. Favorable opinions were put m from the Furness
Railway Co.; the architect of Messrs. Mitchell, Thoms & Co. (Ltd.),
of Chard, in Somersetshire; and Mr. Langton Cole, official architect
of the London Stock Exchange.
Archibald Vickers (Ltd.) also make a paint which is intended as
a substitute for white lead. This is compounded on a zinc base with
various special media. It was stated that this paint had proved
more durable than lead under certain conditions for outside pur­
poses, as on the Brighton west pier and Southsea pier.
Mr. Pisart, managing director of the Maastricht Zinc White Co.
contended that zinc had been proved to be superior to lead as an
ingredient in pigment, and in support of this he quoted the extent to
which it was used as such in Sweden. The figures quoted showed
that in six years the consumption of zinc pigments m Sweden has
risen from 3,032 tons to 4,244 tons, while the consumption of white
lead has decreased from 511 tons to 501 tons; the committee regard
these statistics as instructive as showing the favor with which zinc
paints must be regarded by master painters in Sweden, a country
whose chief cities are to be found in a latitude not greatly different
from our own, and whose climatic conditions embrace substantially
all the varieties of weather met with in the United Kingdom. The
British Board of Trade have, from records in their possession of im­
ports and exports of foreign nations, verified the statistics quoted,
which may therefore be relied upon as absolutely accurate.
Mr. Pisart also referred to the practice of the Belgian Government,
which has exclusively used zinc oxide in place of white lead on the
State railways since 1909. In corroboration of this statement the
committee received through the Foreign Office the following note
from the Belgian minister of railways, marine, posts, and telegraphs.
(t r a n s l a t i o n .)
It is perfectly correct tliat since 1909, white lead has been prohibited for the above
works,1and that it has been replaced by the material named.
The figures given for the years 1909,1910,1911, and 1912, so far as concern the con­
sumption for rolling stock and the like, that is for all purposes other than those apper­
taining to ways and works, are respectively 47,958 K, 51,661 K, 52,057 K, and 50,254 K
of unground zinc white.2
As stated in the letter of the British minister of July 1 last, the quantities furnished
as public supplies for the ways and works do not include the quantities used by con­
tractors for works carried oiit by them, but only what is necessary for the works to
be carried out under the State department by operative painters forming part of the
staff of the State railway department.
These quantities vary from one cause or another, and depend on the importance of
the painting operations, the execution of which is found to oe necessary in the course
of the year.
1 The works carried out for the Belgian State Railway Administration, including locomotives and rolling
stock, buildings, bridges, and signals.
* That is, 47.1 tons, 50.8 tons, 51.2 tons, and 49.4 tons, respectively.




DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

141

The quantities of zinc white quoted in the above-named letter of the British minis­
ter, as purchased by way of supplies during the years 1909 to 1912 for the requirements
of the ways and works services, are correct.
The zinc white need not be absolutely pure, but must contain at most 4 per cent of
lead compounds and 0.2 per cent of arsenious acid.
The most careful investigation which has been made, and the opinions given by the
most competent authorities on the subject, have established the conclusion that this
ermittea limit could not present any serious objections from the point of view of the
ealth of the staff engaged in painting operations.
From the point of view of durability, there is no difference between white lead and
zinc white for interior painting.
The latter possesses indeed an advantage over the former, as it gives a softer and
more beautiful tint.
After washing, carried out under proper conditions, zinc white paintwork recovers
its pristine freshness. This is not the case with white lead paintwork, which after
washing is always more or less lacking in freshness.
Zinc white for interior work is therefore superior to white lead. For exterior work
so far as concerns surfaces which are not particularly exposed to severe conditions,
the two methods of painting under consideration are still practically of equal value.
But in special cases (for example, at the seaside) white lead painting possesses a cer­
tain superiority over the other.
White lead in this case has a greater durability and affords a better protection to the
surfaces on which it is applied.
In spite of this advantage, the administration of the State railways do not hesitate to
prohibit white lead, even in these special cases, and this has been done from the point
of view of the health of the operatives, whom the State was determined to safeguard
from plumbism.

E

Mr. Depierros, managing director of the Indestructible Paint Co.
also asserted emphatically that white lead can be dispensed with for
painting purposes. His firm supply large quantities of zinc paints
for the use o f the admiralty.
Mr. Chancellor, M. P., and another representative of his firm,
claimed that Messrs. Chancellor & Co.’s zinc paints are as well quali­
fied as white lead for any purpose; letters from contractors were
roduced showing the great covering power of these paints, and a
st was given of a large number of buildings, including various public
buildings, to which they have been applied. The same paints have
also been employed on the royal yacnt Victoria and Albert, foreign
railways and tramcars, and in garden suburbs near London.
M. Giraud and M. Petit gave evidence regarding the hydrated zinc
oxide manufactured by the French firm of Carlier Fr&res. This paint
material, which is guaranteed free from lead, is sold in this country
under the name of Zinox. Although it has been in use in France for
seven years, it has only recently been introduced into this country,
but since tne date on which the above-mentioned gentlemen gave
their evidence, it has made considerable progress in England.
Mr. Cruikshank Smith, D. Sc., F. C. S., in the course of technical
evidence regarding the essential differences between lead and zinc
pigments, stated mat he considered zinc oxide all round superior to
lead for interior painting and also for exterior painting if the zinc
paint isproperly prepared with a suitable medium.
Mr. Charles lin e gave similar evidence, and, with reference to a
number of houses which he quoted as examples of the use of zinc
paints for both interior and exterior work, maintained that they
showed greater durability than lead paints, when properly prepared
and applied.
The Kabok Co. manufacture graphite paints, mainly in the United
States of America, but have also a branch at Sheffield. They contend

E




142

BULLETIN OP THE BUBEAU OF LABOB STATISTICS.

that, apart from their preservative properties, Rabok paints can be
used as undercoats even with light colors on top.
Call’s Bitmo Co. manufacture bituminous compositions intended
for application on metal; they are-largely employed on ships and
are stated to be applicable as a priming on iron and steel to the entire
displacement of lead primings.
Schobert’s paints are made of zinc and iron specially composed for
use on ships; they can be successfully applied direct on iron and steel
without lead priming, and have been in use for some 45 years by rail­
way and steamship companies, gas companies and others, such as the
Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Co., the Great Eastern Railway
Co., Sir Frederick Bolton’s Steamship Co., and the Farrar Grove’s
Steamship Co.; also by Messrs. Pritchetts & Gold, accumulator
makers, and by a number of gas companies, including the Brentford
Gas Co.
Users of leadless paints.—The most important evidence under this
head relates to the use for a number of years of zinc paints byH .M .
office of works, the principal architect of which has under his super­
vision the royal palaces, the Houses of Parliament, Government
offices, Crown courts, post offices, inland revenue offices in England
and Wales, and foreign consulates throughout the world.
H. M. office of works.—Mr. Patterson, clerk of the office of works
in charge of the West London district, attended on three occasions,
and gave detailed evidence to the effect that the office of works had
replaced lead paints, though considerable difficulty had been at first
encountered. They found, he said, that zinc oxide paints required
different treatment to the white lead paints previously used, and were
not so easy to dry. The latter trouble was overcome by having the
paints made with boiled refined linseed oil with manganese borate
driers and a trace only of litharge, while sufficient opacity was obtained
by thickening them with as much as 60 to 70 per cent of zinc oxide.
Such paints have been found to cost, for identical quality, approxi­
mately the same as lead paints, and have been generally employed in
the painting of Crown buildings since 1907. Prior to May, 1913, a cer­
tain amount of lead paint was still in use; it was, however, confined
to the small proportion required for priming of iron and steel and new
woodwork; since that date it has been discontinued for the latter
purpose, but for iron and steel work an orange lead primer is still
required; apart from that and the compounding of green colors, the
office of works have discarded lead paints in all tneir operations. Mr.
Patterson further said that he had no doubt whatever that zinc paints,
with the addition of, say, 5 per cent of lead compound, could abso­
lutely replace all lead paints for ordinary purposes.1 Importance is
attached to the medium and, for finishing coats, a certain proportion
of varnish is always specified by the office of works, but even so, zinc
paints only cost the same as the corresponding lead paints. For all
ordinary painting the leadless paints have given results (juite as good
as lead paints over a period of five or six years during which they have
been under definite and careful observation. The formula originally
specified in 1906 has since been somewhat modified, the proportion of
zmc oxide being raised to 58 per cent, and a maximum of not more
than 5 per cent of lead compounds being permitted.




i W ith regard to colored paints, see p. 144.

DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

143

Sir Henry Tanner, the principal architect of tho office of works for
England and Wales, and in charge of the upkeep of diplomatic and
consular buildings abroad, also attended and corroborated the evi­
dence of Mr. Patterson; Sir Henry said he had satisfied himself that the
office of works’ formula for leadless paints would be applicable to all
kinds of outside painting, and that lead is not required, except for a
first coat on iron and steel, regarding which experiments are still in
progress.1 Sir Henry Tanner considered that if lead were prohibited
architects would specify paints with a zinc basis, and he thought the
experience of the office of works was sufficient to justify the abolition
of the use of white lead.
,
Messrs. Cadbury Bros. (Ltd.), the well-known cocoa ana chocolate
firm of Boumville, near Birmingham, have also given careful atten­
tion to the possibility of discarding lead paints. The firm employ
from 30 to 50 painters, who are engaged in all varieties of work; leadless paints were first adopted 12 years ago; they have been used
almost exclusively for the last 7 years, and during the last 3
years no lead whatever has been introduced into the composition of
any paint. The firm’s representative stated that the results obtained
were entirely satisfactory for office and factory painting, both exterior
and interior, whether on iron, steel, or wood work; there was also no
appreciable difference in cost one way or the other.
Commander Coysh, R. N. R., marine superintendent of the Great
Eastern Railway, stated that this company had decided to use zinc
paints exclusively on their ships; the change from lead to zinc paints
was made in consequence of experiments with the latter which had
proved to be entirely satisfactory, and it was decided upon, not on
account of the danger of lead poisoning, but solely owing to business
considerations. Up to the time of giving evidence the company had
not discarded red lead for priming on iron, but experiments were in
hand with a protective leadless oxide which was largely coming into
use.
Capt. Tuke, marine superintendent of the Orient Steamship Co.,
stated that for all ordinary internal and external painting on their
ships, zinc paints had been exclusively used for 35 years; these paints
include zinc priming paints for both wood and metal; zinc white paint
with a little coloring matter such as yellow ocher for stone color; zinc
white for the holds; and enamel paints over zinc undercoats for the
interior of cabins, while the hulls are painted with a leadless black
paint. At the time of giving evidence a small proportion of lead was
still required for the buff-colored paint used only for funnels and ven­
tilators, but Capt.' Tuke was of opinion that the entire prohibition of
lead paint would not affect his company in the least.
H. M. admiralty.—Mr. Arnold Philip, the admiralty chemist, tes­
tified to the progress made with leadless paints on the ships of H.M.
navy, red oxide of iron taking the place o f red lead on double bottoms
and iron casings of boilers. Zinc white paints have also replaced
white lead to a considerable extent during recent years, and zinc
enamels have proved the most satisfactory for the inside of cabins.
Mr. Philip considered that the widespread belief that lead paints are
best was to be ascribed to the length of time that painters have been
accustomed to them. In his opinion, leadless paints would be equally
as serviceable as lead for the outside painting of navy vessels.
1 Regarding the successful use of leadless priming on iron and steel, see the evidence of Messrs. Cadbury’s
representative, of Capt. Tuke, and of Mr. Ellson, referred to on pp. 143 and 144; and communications

summarized
 in the table at the end of this volume.


144

BULLETIN OF THE BUBEAU OF LABOB STATISTICS.

Mr. Mockford, foreman of painters at H.M. dockyard, Portsmouth,
gave similar eviaence, and said he considered the abolition of the use
of lead the only way to remove the danger of lead poisoning; he
thought, moreover, it would be practicable to prohibit it at once,
except for priming coats on iron and steel surfaces; this exception he
made because he had so far carried out no experiments on a large scale
with leadless paints for that purpose.
Mr. Ellson, resident engineer of the South Eastern & Chatham
Railway, in charge of the bridges and railway stations at Charing
Cross and Cannon Street, dealt almost exclusively with paints suitable
for engineering structures, for which dark colors are not considered
objectionable. Under very trying atmospheric conditions in which
sulphurous fumes are prevalent, e. g., inside a railway terminus, silica
graphite paints had boon conclusively proved to be superior to lead
paint. Two coats of carbonizing coating paint had also been found
as good as three coats of the bost lead paint for a period of six years
during which they were tried side by side on Cannon Street roof. * The
application of coal-tar paint to bridges has proved very efficient in
every way, and durable up to as much as 18 years. Mr. Ellson,
although not much concerned with white paints, has made small
experiments therewith which have proved them to be entirely satis­
factory and as efficient and durable as the best lead paints in the
severe atmospheric conditions of London railway termini. This wit­
ness’s conclusion, therefore, was that the prohibition of the use of lead
would cause no difficulty in his department.
Mr. Hunter, inspector in charge of the painting operations on the
Forth bridge, said that of the paint there used leadless materials, par­
ticularly oxide of iron, constitute 75 per cent, but that a mixture ot red
and white lead is still employed as a priming coat on naked steelwork;
he said he had never tried to find a substitute for lead for the latter
purpose, but was confident that if lead were prohibited a substitute
would easily be found. At the time of giving evidence he was already
experimenting with a bituminous paint which appeared satisfactory
for this purpose. As regards subsequent coats, Mr. Hunter considered
iron oxide distinctly superior to load paint.
COLORED PAINTS.

The evidence regarding the efficiency of leadless paints reviewed
above deals mainly with-(l) paintwork which has to be carried out
either with white paints or with paints which are only slightly tinted
with leadless pigments such as ochers; (2) paintwork of a dark color
for which graphite, bituminous, or coal-tar paints are suitable.
For decorative painting, however, colored paints are necessary,
and the question of the coloring materials or ‘ ‘ stainer ” is of importance.
A considerable number of the pigments at present in use with lead
base paints are themselves leadless; this category includes:
All shades of blue, made up from—
Prussian blue, a ferrocyanide of potassium and iron
compound;
Cobalt blue, i.e., oxide of cobalt;
Ultramarine, a complex sodium-aluminium sulpho-silicate;




DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

145

the various yellows, drabs, and browns, obtained from—
Ochers;
Umbeirs;
Siennas and other earths;
the purple reds made with—
Crocus Martis, an iron compound;
and a variety of calcined colors such as—
Dove color, containing manganese, iron, and cobalt; purple,
containing several different iron compounds;
Mulberry, containing manganese and cobalt;
Dove—another shade—containing chromium oxide and
cobalt;
Greens, made by calcining bichromate of potash with other
leadless ingredients;
as well as the lakes and anilin colors, some of which have, however,
been avoided on account of their want of permanency.1
In addition there are a few pigments which must of necessity be
mixed with leadless paint bases, and require to be carefully protected
from contact with any lead paint, because they would tena to turn
black owing to the reaction of the lead with the sulphur contained in
the color; these include:
Cadmium yellow (sulphide of cadmium);
Vermilion (sulphide of mercury).
On the other hand, evidence shows that yellows, greens, and reds,
compounded on a lead base, are to-day widely in demand; it will,
therefore, be convenient to deal with these colors seratim.
Yellows.—Dr. Crow, representing the color, paint, oil, and varnish
trades associations, contended that lead chromate was preferable to
zinc yellows, because the latter were deficient in opacity and gave a
smaller range of tints.
The amount of lead contained in ordinary chromate paints is about
10 to 20 per cent, and as such would probably be innocuous. In the
pottery regulations materials c o n t a i n i n g less than 5 per cent of lead
compounds soluble in a standard solution of hydrochloric acid are
regarded as nonpoisonous; a similar test has been applied to various
paint materials by the chemists of the Government laboratory and
others, aiid judging by these the proportion of lead chromate soluble
in dilute hydrochloric acid would be too small to be material.
These statements are also confirmed by the evidence of Mr. C. I.
Smyth, chief chemist to Messrs. Mander Bros., who examined various
grades of lead chromate and found the pure salt to have a solubility
of only 1 per cent, while commercial chromate containing also lead
sulphate has a solubility of 15 per cent, and the solubility of chrome
yellow with an admixture of white lead rises to 35 per cent. From
this it appears that lead chromate yellows used for the purpose of
tinting leadless white paints would result in a paint mixture of solu­
bility well under 5 per cent.
.Tne Szerelmey Co.’s yellow paints contain from 5 to 7 per cent of
lead compounds, which would also involve much less than 5 per cent
of lead soluble in dilute hydrochloric acid.
- Mr. Connell, giving evidence respecting the “ Hansa” colors manu­
factured by Messrs; Meister, Lucius & Bruning, pointed out that
1 Formulae for all the pigments referred to above may be found in standard rererence books of trade
recipes.

25235°— Bull. 188— 16--- 10




146

BULLETIN OF THE BUBEAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

they are made without lead, and although built up from anilin and
alizarin they do not fade in bright light and are even unaffected by lime.
It is claimed that they can replace chrome yellow for all purposes, but
they are from 10 to 50 per cent more expensive : in a paint containing
10 per cent of the yellow pigment, this would mean an increase of 1
to 5 per cent in the cost oi the paint.
It appears, therefore, that leadless yellows are not impossible to
obtain; and, moreover, that a restriction to not more than 5 per cent
of lead compounds soluble in dilute hydrochloric acid would still
admit the use of lead chromate as a color provided that it is mixed
with a leadless base paint instead of white lead.
Greens.—The ordinary greens, called Brunswick greens, at present
in general use, are for the most part mixtures of Prussian blue and
lead chromate. The former being leadless, it follows that the above
references to yellows will also substantially apply to greens.
H. M. office of works admit as much as 10 per cent of lead com­
pounds in their green paints; in view of the low solubility of lead
chromate, this is equivalent to considerably less than 5 per cent of
soluble lead. Dr. (Jrow stated that some of the best greens contain
20 to 35 per cent of lead chromate, of which only a small proportion
is soluble, while the usual commercial greens contain only from 3 to
5 per cent of lead compounds.
The Szerelmey Co.’s greens, like their yellows, contain only from
5 to 7 per cent of lead compounds, corresponding to a very low solubility.
The Hansa greens of Meister, Lucius & Bruning are entirely
leadless.
Messrs. Cadbury Bros. (Ltd.), of Boumville, use exclusively lead­
less greens made from barium or zinc, or from ferrocyanide of potas­
sium and ocher.
Thus the conclusion in regard to greens is the same as for yellows,
viz, that a 5 per cent solubility limit for lead in paints would not
prevent the use of the greens generally employed to-day.
Reds.—Many of the reds at present in use, such as vermiUonettes,
are made on an orange or red-iead base, and these are almost wholly
soluble in dilute hydrochloric acid.
Mr. Grant Hooper, superintending chemist at the Government
laboratory, suggested that red oxide of iron paints and vermilion
could be used; if at any time the high price of the latter is an objec­
tion, the lead vermilionettes could probably be replaced by alumin­
ium lakes.
Mr. C. I. Smyth also, while admitting that his experiments for the
purpose of discovering a suitable substitute for orange lead were as
yet very limited, said he thought success in the direction of a red
paint of solubility under 5 per cent was quite possible; since giving
evidence he has pursued his experiments further and has reported
the successful preparation of red paints entirely free from lead; these
have been produced at the same price as lead paints and in shades to
match every variety of tint; their permanency of color when exposed
to light, has, moreover, been tested by continuous exposure to south
aspect for periods of two years and upward.
The Szerelmey Co. claim that their red paints contain no lead, and
are prepared to supply any shade of red without any lead in its com­
position.



DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

147

Messrs. Cadbury Bros. (Ltd.), moreover, use no lead in red paints,
which are compounded with iron oxides for general paints and with
carmine and other special leadless colors for better-class “ signal”
reds; the committee nave also found other instances in which bright
red paints on a lead base have been successfully replaced by leadless
reds.
H. M. office of works have in recent years obtained very satisfac­
tory reds on an aniline, i. ev leadless, base.
Small proportion of coloring matter required in the composition of
colored paints.—In the composition of colored paints the proportion
of coloring matter which is added to a white base paint is in most
cases very small. The committee therefore consider that a restric­
tion of the use of lead to not more than 5 per cent of soluble lead in
any paint when mixed ready for use would not unduly hamper the
decorator in obtaining the requisite range of colors; for the same
reason it was clearly established by the evidence of Messrs. Cadbury’s
representative and others, that the compulsory use of such colors,
although in themselves somewhat more expensive than colors the
lead in which is not restricted, would only affect the total cost of
painting to an infinitesimal degree.
DRIERS.

While there are several leadless driers in general use, such as the
linoleates and borates of manganese, a number of witnesses called
attention to the valuable properties of certain lead compounds, such
as litharge, in promoting the drying of paints; the proportion of lead
added to a paint for this purpose is, however, quite negligible—as is
abundantly shown by the evidence of Dr. Crow, Mr. Patterson, and
others—and would be amply covered by admitting up to 5 per cent
of lead compounds in a paint.
CORROBORATION BV PAINT USERS.

In addition to the firms who were heard as representative makers
of leadless paints, there are of course a very large number of other
paint makers whose nonpoisonous paints are also on the market.
With a view to substantiating further the claims of leadless paint
materials to be regarded as efficient substitutes for white lead paints,
the committee have collected opinions from a number of users of such
paints, both those spoken of by witnesses and others.
As a result of this corroborative inquiry, replies have been received
from 102 users, the general trend of which indicates that a large num­
ber of leadless paints have been found satisfactory in finish, dura­
bility, permanence of color, and cost. These include statements
from six architects and others who have had under their observation
iron and steel casement and window frames which have been primed
with a leadless priming paint which has proved itself to be quite effi­
cient for this purpose.1
ADEQUACY OF SUPPLY OP LEADLESS MATERIALS FOR PAINTS.

With regard to the available supplies of leadless materials for the
manufacture of paint, the second point which, as stated on page 136,
the committee have to determine, they were assured that in the event
of the use of lead paints being prohibited the quantity of zinc obtain­
able would alone be sufficient to meet all demands.
1See table at end of this volume.



148

BULLETIN OF THE BUBEAU OF LABOK STATISTICS;

The total home consumption of white lead for painting purposes
was given by Mr. Miller, of the London Chamber of Commerce, speak­
ing on behalf of the white lead manufacturers, as approximately
50,000 tons; zinc compounds, on the other hand, are very much
lighter specifically than lead compounds, and, consequently, every
ton of zinc yields nearly 60 per cent more volume of paint than eacn
ton of lead. On this basis, therefore, one witness estimated the
amount of zinc required to replace lead for painting in this country
as about 34,000 tons, but against this a number of witnesses expressed
the opinion that more frequent painting of exposed surfaces would be
requisite if lead were prohibited; the committee, therefore, propose
to take a very liberal estimate, and with a view to considering what
effect the increased demand may be expected to have on the zinc
market, have assumed that the additional quantity of zinc likely to
be required would amount to 50,000 tons.
THE WORLD’ S OUTPUT OF ZINC.

Complete figures of the world’s output of zinc, with the yearly fluc­
tuations of its price, will be found in the General Report (with statis­
tics) on Mines and Quarries, Part IV. 'Die average consumption
and price in each of the last two quadrennials for which figures nave
been published are:
Average
yearly
quantity.

1903-1906..............................................................................................................
1907-1910...........................................................................................................
Difference between consecutive four-vearlv periods...................................

Tom.

633,887
834,297

+200,410

Average
price per
ton.
£
8. <
?.
24 6 9
22 17 11

-1

8 10

From this it appears that an average increased demand of just
over 50,000 tons each year has not only resulted in no increase in
price; but has actually been accompanied by an average reduction
of price by over 7s. ($1.70) per ton annually.
These figures alone the committee feel are sufficient to dispose of
the allegation that the supply of zinc might be insufficient to meet
the increased demand without a material increase in price: it is, how­
ever, also of interest to note a paragraph which has recently appeared
in trade journals1 concerning the syndicate which largely controls
the market price of zinc; the paragraph in question is to the effect
that in addition to reducing the current quotations of zinc, the syndi­
cate decidedj on April 28, “ to make a restriction of between 15 and
18 per cent in the output, to commence on May 1,” it being “ esti­
mated that stocks in nand at the end of April are likely to be well
over 80,000 tons.” The restriction of 15 to 18 per cent of the output
means an artificial diminution of the production by some 150,000
tons; an increased demand, therefore, of 50,000 tons would only
absorb about one-third of the recent overproduction.
1See*‘The Ironmonger” of May 2,1914, page 78. The statement quoted has, moreover, been confirmed
by reference to one of the leading members of the metal exchange.




DANGER IK USE OF LEAD I S T H E P A IN T IN G OF B U IL D IN G S .

149

MANUFACTURE OF ZINC OXIDE.

Chemically pure zinc oxide is obtainable by what is known as the
indirect process, which involves the conversion of the ore into metal­
lic zinc and the oxidation of the latter into zinc oxide; several wit­
nesses, however, stated that zinc oxide of the kind most suitable for
paint manufacture is obtained by the direct process, i. e., by the con­
version of zinc ore into zinc oxide without the intermediate process of
conversion into metallic zinc. Zinc oxide made by the direct process
contains usually from 2 to 4 per cent of lead compounds; as this im­
purity is mostly in the form of basic lead sulphate the proportion
soluble in dilute hydrochloric acid—and, therefore, as stated above,
definitely noxious—is negligible. At the present time the price per
ton of zinc oxide differs butlittle from the price of white lead per ton,
although, as previously stated, the former is specifically so much
lighter that it makes a larger quantity of paint.
It has, however, been suggested that for the first year or two the
increased demand for zinc might somewhat raise the price of it, but
on the other hand it was pointed out that such increase, if material,
might cause those zinc mines to be reopened which, owing to the ore,
obtainable being of too low a grade, can not at present be worked at
a profit; should this prove to be the case, it might well lead to a
reduction in the price of zinc paints below the present quotationseither for zinc or lead paints.
EFFECT ON WHITE-LEAD INDUSTRY.

A great deal of evidence was submitted on behalf of the white lead
corroders concerning the probable effect on the capital invested in
the white lead industry and the labor employed therein. The esti­
mated capital of the white lead manufacturers was put at £1,334,000
($6,491,911), the number of men employed by them 2,489, and the
estimated wages paid £ 158,300 ($770,366.95) per annum.
It was further alleged that the consumption of pig lead in this
country, which is at present 200,000 tons per annum, would be re­
duced by 25 per cent it the demand for white lead ceased. The British
lead miners number 2;678, earning £151,308 ($736,340.38) annually
in wages. The smelting and refining firms employ 780 workmen,
wages £72,970 ($355,108.51). All these, it was contended, would
be more or less affected, directly or indirectly, by any curtailment
in the demand for white lead.
While these matters may well be regarded as outside the terms
of reference to the present committee, and while the figures them­
selves are by no. means large, the committee feel that it is only right
to call attention to them in this report.
It was further pointed out by the advocates of white lead that
although one firm in this country is to-day engaged in making zinc
oxide and several in grinding zinc paints, the manufacture of zinc
oxide is in the main a foreign industry. The British Empire, how­
ever, produces 18 per cent of the world’s output of zinc as compared
with 21J per cent of the world’s output of lead,1 so that in its early,
stages lead can not be regarded as substantially more of a British
product than zinc.
1 These are the percentages calculated on the figures, quoted by Mr. Lancaster, for 1909; in 1910 the pro­
portions were, zinc 21 per cent., lead 23.6 per cent; in 1911, zinc 21.1 per cent, lead 22.2 per cent; in 1912, zinc
20.5 per cent, lead 23.1 per cent.




150

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.
EFFECT OF AN INCREASED DEMAND FOR ZINC OXIDE.

Again, notwithstanding the white lead corroders’ references to one
or two unsuccessful attempts which have been made to manufac­
ture zinc oxide in this country, the committee feel little doubt but
that an increased demand for zinc punts would eventually result in
the establishment here of zinc oxide works on a large scale. In this
respect it was stated in evidence that both the direct and indirect proc­
esses for making zinc oxide have been known for over 50 years, and
are no longer in the United Kingdom the subject of unexpired patent
rights; this statement has been verified by reference to H. M. patent
office, whose records show that the principal patents relating to the
manufacture of zinc oxide expired many years ago, and that the
patent restrictions at present in force affect only very minor details,
such as special types of furnaces. In these circumstances it appears
to be quite possible that an impetus to development of British enter­
prise in the direction of zinc products would lead to the employment
of British capital and British labor therein, which would take the
place of capital and labor displaced from the white lead industry.
ZINC HYDRATE AND ANTIMONY TRIOXIDE.

In addition to zinc oxide paints, several new pigments have come
to the notice of the committee, for example, zinc nydrate and anti­
mony trioxide. The evidence regarding the former, sold in this coun­
try as zinox, has already been reviewed; antimony paints have been
known to chemists for some time, and have been used on a consider­
able scale in foreign countries, particularly France, but as yet they
have not been introduced into the United Kingdom to any great
extent. One witness, however, when attending before the commit­
tee now sitting with reference to the painting of carriages and coaches,1
described a new and improved process of manufacture about to be
started on the Thames, and further quite recently two other English
firms, viz, the Thames Smelting Co. (Ltd.), of Gravesend, and Antimors
(Ltd.), of London, have begun to make a specialty of tins product,
which is being offered at prices comparing favorably with other paint
materials. Tnus it appears there are other leadless materials which
are likely to become important competitors of zinc oxide as the basis
of white paints in the event of the use of lead being restricted by law.
RESTRICTION OF THE USE OF LEAD TO NOT MORE THAN 5 PER
CENT OF SOLUBLE LEAD.

In view of the two important considerations discussed above,
namely—
(1) the necessity for permitting the use of a certain amount of
coloring material containing lead, as well as a very mi­
nute quantity of lead in the composition of driers*
(2) the desirability of admitting zinc oxide made by the direct
process,
the committee have carefully considered the advisability of recom­
mending a restriction of thie use of lead, rather than its entire
prohibition.
Allusion has already been made to exemptions, based on such a
restriction, which have been in force for several years in the pottery




* See Evidence, Vol. IV, p. 351, questions 126S9-12748.

DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

151

industry. A number of important firms engaged therein adopted
glazes which, though containing substantial proportions of lead, yield
to dilute hydrochloric acid less than 5 per cent of a soluble lead com­
pound; in 1903 these firms were allowed important relaxations wider
the special rules drafted by Lord James o f Hereford, and under the
later pottery regulations, cased on the report of the departmental
committee of 1908-1910, they were allowed still further latitude.
The effect of these successive concessions has been greatly to increase
the number of firms confining their operations to the so-called low
solubility glazes, and where such glazes are exclusively used, however
extensive that use may be, there is no record of lead poisoning directly
ascribable thereto. It may, therefore, be safely assumed that mate­
rials containing less than 5 per cent of soluble lead are substantially
harmless.
In other countries similar conclusions have been accepted:
In France, where the committee appointed to report on stand­
ards of purity of paint materials have recommended that
t more than 3 per cent of lead should
In .Belgium, where the administration of the State railways
specify leadless paints for all purposes, and admit, as leadless,
materials containing not more than 4 per cent of lead.
EVIDENCE OF REPRESENTATIVES OP THE ROYAL INSTITUTE OF BRITISH ARCHITECTS.

In addition to evidence to which reference has already been made,
the committee attach very considerable importance to that of the two
representatives of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Mr. Munby
and Mr. Wonnacott, who laid before them the results of an inves­
tigation undertaken by the science committee of the institute in the
years 1908-1910.
They found, as regards interior work, that—
(1) zinc and lead are equally suitable;
(2) the cost of decoration with either is the same;
(3) the covering power of zinc is less, but the spreading power
greater;
(4) the first cost of zinc is greater, but it works out cheaper in
the end because of its permanence and durability.
As regards exterior work, there was some doubt, inasmuch as Mr.
Munby nad come to the conclusion that lead is more durable on
exposedsurfaces and that certain dark colors are difficult to obtain
without any lead; Mr. Wonnacott, on the other hand, had formed
the opinion, as a result of the investigation, that zinc was as good as
lead for exterior work.
Both witnesses agreed, however, that a limitation of the amount of
lead in a paint to not more than 5 per cent would introduce no serious
difficulties. While the knowledge of zinc paints among architects is
not at present great, and the use of white lead is specified largely as a
matter of habit, Mr. Munby and Mr. Wonnacott both stated that
architects generally would welcome the prohibition of lead, and both
considered it would be perfectly safe for them to assent to a 5 per cent
restriction.




152

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.
SULPHATE OF LEAD.

Reference was made from time to time in the evidence to the value
of basic lead sulphate as a white paint material; while this is far from
being a nonpoisonous paint, it is less dangerous in use than the hy­
drated carbonate of lead, known as white lead, to the extent indicated
by its smaller solubility in dilute hydrochloric acid. This solubility has
been shown to be not more than one-quarter that of white lead, and it
follows therefore that a restriction o f the use of lead in paints to not
more than 5 per cent of soluble lead would permit of the introduction
of as much as 20 per cent of a basic lead sulphate into a leadless paint;
Mr. Grant Hooper, of the Government laboratory, in particular empha­
sized the importance of this, pointing out that a solubility limit would
encourage tne use of those forms of lead which are least soluble and
therefore least objectionable from the standpoint of health.
With respect to the application of such a restriction, the committee
consulted Mr. Grant Hooper, the superintending chemist of the Gov­
ernment laboratory, and as stated in his evidence, it has been proved
by experiment to be perfectly feasible to apply to paints a test similar
to that at present used for pottery glazes.
RECOMMENDATIONS.
The committee accordingly recommend that a law should be intro­
duced prohibiting in this country the importation, sale, or use, of any
paint material which contains more than 5 per cent of its dry weight of
a soluble lead compound when determined in the following manner:
If the paint or wash be mixed with water, turpentine, oil, varnish,
size, or other adhesive or waterproofing substance, it shall first of all
be freed as far as possible from such vehicle or adhesive or water­
proofing substance by drying or by treatment with ether, petroleum,
spirit alcohol, water, or other neutral solvent or solvents. If the resid­
ual substance so obtained should contain insoluble varnish matter, size,
or other adhesive material which can not be removed except by the
action of reagents which affect the other constituents of the paint or
wash, then tne proportion of such varnish matter, size, or other adhe­
sive material shall be ascertained by suitable means, and a deduction
be made for the same from the weignt of residual matter taken for the
determination of the soluble lead so that the proportion of soluble
lead found to be present shall be calculated as a percentage of the dry
matter free from varnish matter, size, etc. For the determination of
soluble lead, a weighed quantity of the dried or dry material, freed as
far as possible from oil, or other vehicle, or adhesive substance above
described, is to be continually shaken for one hour, at the common tem­
perature, with 1,000 times its weight of an aqueous solution of hydro­
chloric acid containing 0.25 per cent of actual or real hydrochloric
acid. This solution is thereafter to be allowed to stand for one hour
and to be passed through a filter. The lead salt contained in an
aliquot portion of the clear filtrate is then to be precipitated as lead
sulphide and weighed as lead sulphate.
Xn conjunction with such a restriction, it would be necessary to
exempt specifically certain special classes of colors, such as those used
by artists; and in addition it would be desirable to provide powers Of




DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

153

granting exemptions applicable only to very special branches of the
general painting industry, where it could be shown to the satisfaction
of the secretary of state that the use of lead paints containing more
than 5 per cent of soluble lead, calculated as above> can not as yet be
dispensed with; in such cases the secretary of state should have power
to enforce adequate precautionary measures, viz, abolition of dry rub­
bing down, provision for overalls, mess rooms, cloakrooms, lavatories,
medical examination and the like, all of which should be made com­
pulsory and be enforced by adequate inspection. The supply of lead
materials to any user to whom such an exemption is granted could be
controlled by only permitting paint manufacturers to supply the ma­
terials in question on condition of sending written notice of the cus­
tomer’s name and address to the proper Government department.
The committee have endeavored to indicate, in this report, all the
principal considerations on which these recommendations have been
based; in formulating their opinion they have devoted much time to
the most careful study of every point laid before them in the evidence;
and consider that on that evidence they could arrive at no other logi-'
cal conclusion; they have, moreover, every confidence that the i*estriction recommended will cause ho undue difficulties to employers
in the industry, and that it will insure the ultimate stamping out of
the lead poisoning evil among their operatives.
To give adequate time for paint grinders and others to arrange for
supplies of nonpoisonous materials, and also to facilitate the intro­
duction of modifications in painting methods where special wWk
necessitates such changes, the committee recommend that the re­
striction of the amount of lead in paints to not more than 5 per cent
of soluble lead should not be brought into force until three years have
elapsed from the date of publication of this report.
DANGERS OTHER THAN LEAD.

While the terms, of reference to the present committee deal only
with the use of lead compounds, the committee desire to call attention
to possible dangers to health arising from the vapors of the media
used equally in all paints—whether compounded with lead or lead­
less pigments—and to the consequent importance of investigating
the possible effect on health of vapors arising from the linseed oil ana
turpentine, or turpentine substitutes, used m ordinary paints. Mr.
K. W. Goadby in nis evidence describes experiments on animals sub­
jected to turpentine vapor, which, when a sufficient quantity was
mhaled, was shown to be capable of producing severe symptoms and
even death. Although Prof. Armstrong in his evidence stated that
the quantity of turpentine used in painting operations was insuffi­
cient to cause ill effects—and in fact compared it with smelling salts,
which would also be dangerous if taken in quantity—it may be found
that turpentine and other substances used in paints can produce ill
effects sufficient to require action on the part of the Home Office; the
committee, therefore, consider that, in any bill to be laid before Par­
liament to give effect to these recommendations, powers should be
provided for the secretary of state to make regulations, if he finds it
necessary, similar to those which he can establish in factories and
workshops under section 79 of the Factory and Workshop Act, 1901.



154

BULLETIN OF THE BUBEAU OF LABOB STATISTICS.

The committee desire to express their warmest thanks to Mr. E. A.
R. Werner, who has throughout the inquiry acted as their secretary,
and to record their high appreciation both of his great ability and lus
untiring assiduity<
E r n e s t H a tc h , Chairman.
G o d fr e y B a r in g .
H e n r y B e n t in c k .
E d g a r L. C o llis .
F. G. R ic e .
A rch d. G ard n er.
J . P a r so n a g e .
N o v e m b e r , 1914.




MEMORANDUM BY MR. W. G. SUTHERLAND.
It is with great regret that I find I am unable to associate myself
with the conclusions arrived at by my colleagues on the committee.
I desire to acknowledge here the extreme courtesy with which I
have been treated by the chairman all through the inquiry, though
it has been my misfortune to have to traverse his questions and
findings.
It is a grave step to set my individual opinion against the collective
judgment of the whole of the other members, but I feel I have no
option left me.
To have signed the report of the majority would have been to turn
my back on a life-long experience and knowledge of the materials
involved, and I respectfully submit, on much of the«weightiest evi­
dence put before the committee.
This course of action must not be taken as showing any lack of
appreciation on my part of (a) the problem created by the use of
white lead as a paint pigment, or (6) of my desire to mitigate its con­
sequences.
I am very solicitous to meet the grave effects of lead poisoning
amongst painters, but before resorting to the extreme course of pro­
hibiting the use of so valuable a material as white lead, I am of opinion
that, in view of the evidence, a trial should first be given to regula­
tions.
The data before the committee are not, in my opinion, sufficient to
justify the step proposed by the majority, involving, as it would, the
crippling of a Large industry, the destruction of almost the whole of
the plant engaged in its operations, and the turning adrift of a large
body of workmen (unfitted for other occupation), who are certainly
entitled to consideration.
LEAD POISONING “ FATALITIES” AND “ CASES” IN HOUSE PAINTING
OPERATIONS.

Doubtless the consideration that prompted the appointment of the
committee was the deaths and disablements whicn ensue from the
use of white lead as a paint pigment, and the desire to find a remedy
either by way of prohibition, regulation of its use, or an efficient sub­
stitute.
NUMBERS ENGAGED IN PAINTING OPERATIONS IN ENGLAND AND
WALES.

The painting trade is (numerically) the largest section of the buildingtrades, as shown by the recent Census of occupation. ”
The last census of occupation (1911) gives the number of painters
in England and Wales as 181,613.
As set out in the majority report, the number of painters in 1901
was approximately 157,640.



155

156

BULLETIN-OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

This gives an average of 169.627, from which about 20,000 should
be subtracted to allow for employers, leaving a round figure of
150,000 operative painters.
It is essential to keep this figure clearly in mind, as its relation to
deaths and cases is important.
DEATHS.

The number of deaths in England and Wales differ from the “ cases”
in this respect, they are definite figures. All certified deaths from
lead poisoning have to be returned to the registrar general, so we
have nere definite data to work upon, whereas the “ cases” are esti­
mated numbers.
Over a period of ten years, 1900-1909, 293 deaths were certified as
being due to lead poisoning amongst painters in England and Wales
(Scotland and Ireland are excluded). This gives 29.3 deaths per
amium out of an occupation number of this trade in the same area
of 150,000.
The 29.3 deaths per annum amongst 150,000 persons equals 0.195
per 1,000 of the occupied painters.
A LOWER INCIDENCE OF DEATHS THAN IN THE SCHEDULED
INDUSTRIES.

This is a much lower incidence of deaths than obtains in the com­
bined lead industries which come under factory supervision.
OCCUPATION MORTALITY.1

Mr. Holt Schooling’s evidence (pp. 581-607) as to the mean annual
death rates per 1,000 occupied males living at seven age groups from
15 to death, given on page 582, is based on the Blue Book [Cd. 2619],
published 1908, and contained in pages 3 to 159 of that book.
The tables put in show the age distribution of the years of life
exposed to risk and death (p. 82, Blue Book [Cd. 2619]).
The comparison is not unfavorable td occupation (64). Plumber
and painter and glazier (p. 106), Blue Book. (See pp. 584-585 of the
Evidence, Vol. IV, of this report.)
In the comparative mortality figure (Table F), pages 587 and 588,
plumber, painter, and glazier is fourth from the bottom.
The figures for all occupied males in industrial districts are 1,122,
London districts 1,099, plumber and painter 1,041.
In Table H the-mean annual death rate per 1,000 of living painters
and plumbers compare favorably at all ages with rates o f occupied
males in London and the other industrial districts of the country.
Mr. Schooling, in his evidence, expressed the opinion that the elim­
ination of the lead risk would not affect the death rate, and taking the
figures of deaths from lead poisoning, 1900-1909, as 293, or 29.3 per
annum, and distributing them over 150,000 occupied painters, we
have the low incidence ol 1 death for every 5,120 persons. Statistic­
ally, it would hardly affect the mortality rates.
THE INCIDENCE OF “ CASES” OR ATTACKS.

Dr. Legge’s estimate, based on the proportion of deaths to attacks
In factory occupations, gives 7.205 “ cases of lead poisoning amongst
painters in the 10 years, 1900-1909, i. e., 720.5 cases per annum
1Page and table references in this section are to other volumes of the original report.



DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

157

amongst 150,000, an attack rate of 4.8 per 1,000 per annum, but it
must Be remembered that the figures of the “ cases,” as distinct from
the deaths, are estimated, and calculated on the ratio of “ cases” to
“ fatals” which obtain in other lead industries, subject to factory
supervision in which returns have to be made.
Further, of the “ cases” of lead poisoning per annum, many may be
headache, stomach pains (colic), slight or serious, and many of these
“ cases” assumed to be lead poisoning may arise from the effects of
the vehicles used—oil and turpentine and the driers; but positive and
exact data of sickness figures on which to found sound calculation is wanting.
COMPARISON WITH INDUSTRIES UNDER SUPERVISION.

The table on page 120 of the majority report shows the attack rate
for lead poisoning in the scheduled industries under the Factory and
Workshop Act. Taking the average over all these, the mean attack
rate works out at 4.05 per 1,000; Dut if we exclude “ printing,” in
which the rate is very low indeed, and in which large numbers do not
come into any considerable contact with lead, the average cf the
other nine scheduled trades is 8.3, as against 4.8 per 1,000 lor house
painters.
It has to be borne in mind that, though there is plenty of variety in
a painter’s work, he is in contact with lead at intervals over the whole
period of his working time.
It is a general impression that painters lose many months in a year
through slackness of work; this may be true of the unskilled work­
man, hut the unemployment returns of the largest society of opera­
tive painters in the United Kingdom, embodying skilled workmen,
does not average three weeks in a year over the who\e membership.
THE SOURCE OF THE EVIL—LEAD DUST AND DRY RUBBING DOWN.

It is established by the evidence of the medical authorities who
have been before the committee, that the great source of the danger
resides in the lead dust created by sandpapering and dry rubbing
down. (See Mr. Goadby’s evidence, 22006, 22040, 22041.)
This (the dust) is common ground in all lead industries under
regulations.
Dr. Legge, H. M. medical inspector of factories, ascribes to dry rub­
bing down the great source of the trouble in painting operations.
This testimony is supported by that of Dr. Kaup, Germany; Dr.
Rambousek, Austria; Dr. Collis, a member of the committee; Mr.
Kenneth Goadby, an authority on lead poisoning; and Dr. Dobbie,
of the Government laboratory.
Dr. Legge further says that lead poisoning can not come through the
skin by way of absorption, and he questions whether it can come
througn a cut (Q. 80), and Mr. Goadby doubts whether it could, in the
normal way of trade occupation, come through the alimentary canal
(22063), all of which conclusions definitely curtail the area of danger.
PERSONAL CLEANLINESS NOT NEGLIGIBLE BUT SUBORDINATE.

Personal cleanliness is very desirable, but Dr. Legge thinks the
danger from this source (inattention to cleanliness) slight compared
with the danger from the dust produced by dry rubbing down;in this



158

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

he is supported by Mr. Goadby and the other medical and scientific
witnesses.
‘ ‘ Yery little trouble is brought about by not washing hands.’ ’ Mr. Goadby. (22056.)
Replying to Mr. Bice as to the provision for cleanliness, Dr. Legge s a id , “ My feeling
about that always is this, that unless you can go to the fountain head of the mischief,
the dust, and stop that, you are not going to secure much improvement by all the per­
sonal cleanliness in the world. ’ ’ (273.)

The danger from lead dust settling on the clothes and afterwards
being distributed in the air and inhaled, slight though it is, is depend­
ent on the same source of origin—the dry rubbing down of lead paint.
No danger of lead dust can attach to the workman’s jacket hanging
in the paint shop, for there is no lead dust there. All the lead there
is in paste or pamt form,1and “ lead” emanations are not given off.
The same argument holds to the taking of meals in the paint shop
(it is only in occasional instances that this is necessary); ifthe hands
are kept clean, no danger arises, because there is no lead dust present,
and “ lead emanations are not given off.”
I am not recommending these places as mess rooms. In the great
majority of cases in house painters’ work there are alternative rooms,
but only pointing out that in the few cases where it does happen, the
danger o f lead poisoning, indicated by the questions put to most wit­
nesses on these points, would not arise (if dry rubbing down were
abolished) if we are to take the medical and scientific evidence as true.
According to Mr. Kenneth Goadby—
Dry rubbing down is the main source of lead dust. (22006.)
The only danger of lead poisoning arises from the dust. (22040.)
If dry rubbing down is prevented the danger is obviated. (22041.)
No absorption through the skin. (22053.)
Absorption through the alimentary canal very small indeed compared with the dust
danger. (22063.)
Hot water for washing not important. (22063.)
Medical information not sufficiently precise to determine the prohibition of white
lead. (22008.)
OTHER POSSIBLE SOURCES.

The other possible sources of lead dust in the painting trade outside
these are very slight.
In this country white lead is supplied to painters in paste form,
ground in oil, and can not, therefore, be a source of dust except by
rubbing down after application as a paint.
The practice, until recently common on the Continent, of master
painters buying their white lead dry and grinding it in their own shops,
is to-day unknown in the United Kingdom. It has been obsolete for
more than a generation.
Dry white lead is sometimes used by house painters to make “ white
lead putty” for stopping purposes, occasionally for mixing a paste
for affixing canvas to walls or Doards, but these two outlets affect so
minute an amount of material that they can readily be dispensed with
without any inconvenience.
i Red lead: If any is in the paint shop it is there only in small quantities, and in thousands of cases it is
not there at all.




DANGER IN U SE OF LEAD IN T H E PA IN TIN G OF B U ILD IN G S.

159

THE IMMUNITY OF SCOTLAND.

Painters in Scotland, on the testimony of Dr. Legge, are practically
immune from lead poisoning outside the Glasgow area, and even there
it is comparatively slight (12 cases in five years) and 20 “ cases,”
including Glasgow, over the whole country‘for the same period of
time.1 (Q. 153.)
This is sustained by the evidence submitted by Mr. Archibald
Gardner in 1907 to the departmental committee on building accidents.
(Cd. 3848, p. 59.)
“ I commenced to work at the trade in 1878 and during the whole of my experience
I have only come across two cases; that is, two cases which have come under my per­
sonal observation. ’ ’ (1716.)
“ We have had so few cases of lead poisoning that we do not think many precautions
are necessary.” (1729.)
“ Well, we have so few cases of lead poisoning, but it should be recommended, ” i. e.,
the provision of soap and towels. (1735.)

These very definite answers of a man of Mr. Gardner’s experience
are confirmatory of Dr. Legge’s opinion.
Mr. McKillop and Mr. Arthur Smith came before the committee to
give evidence on the prevalence of lead poisoning in Scotland; the
evidence of both witnesses was of the most straightforward character,
but in the case of Mr. McKillop, who is secretary of the Edinburgh
branch of operative painters, with 550 members, he had amongst ms
members only one case of lead poisoning in 10 years, for which com­
pensation was paid (for eight weeks); all the other cases cited by
him were “ only general conversations.” (20963.)
Mr. Arthur Smith is an official of the Aberdeen branch of the Oper­
ative Painters’ Society. Mr. Smith’s evidence of lead poisoning
related to five cases, none of them occurring in his own branch (one
of them in America); all of the men were working to-day and two of
them were over 70 years of age. Mr. Smith himself when working
in London had suffered for three days from an attack of colic.
From a close knowledge of the painting trade and the painters of
Scotland, I know that the work is done m a thorough manner, and
the methods of preparation and finishing (using dry rubbing down, as
a regular process of their trade in the same manner as in England)
are as exacting as in any part of the kingdom, and yet, notwithstand­
ing this, lead poisoning outside Glasgow is almost unknown and neg­
ligible. Some of the leading master painters in Scotland came before
the committee and testified that in their experience they had not
known a case of lead poisoning, which confirms the opinion of Dr.
Legge as to the slightness of the rate of attack, yet in all cases the
lead is the same, and the thinners employed, linseed oil and turpen­
tine, are the same as in England.




* These were cases voluntarily reported.

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BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

SOURCES OF LEAD POISONING.
OTHER ALLEGED SOURCES OF LEAD POISONING—LEAD EMANATIONS
FROM DRYING PAINT AND FROM FUMES CAUSED BY BURNING OFF
OLD PAINT.

The committee investigated the question of the possibility of lead
poisoning arising from paint in the course of drying, and from the
fumes arising from burning off old paint.
The question of the oil and turpentine used in the mixing of paint
is not specifically mentioned in the reference appointing the committee,
but the inquiry, if it has accomplished nothing else, has evolved a
large body of most valuable evidence on the subject, which in its
bearing on the question of the use of paint can not be ignored.
It is only in recent years that the attention of scientists has been
directed to this aspect of the paint question, and it is one that is
quite independent of the pigment employed.
SICKNESS FROM NEW PAINT.

It is common knowledge that the smell of wet or new paint se­
riously affects certain people, causing sickness and nausea.
The question to be solved was, is this sickness (as some thought)
due to the drying paint giving off volatile emanations containing
lead compounds? Or is it due to other emanations not lead?—a
vital point to determine.
The French commission which conducted the inquiry that pre­
ceded the passing of the law prohibiting the use of white lead in
France, relied largely on. the conclusions of its medical and scientific
witnesses, Dr. Heim, Dr. Hubert, and M. Jules le Breton, who con­
ducted experiments on behalf of tRe Government. These gentlemen
decided that volatile lead was thrown off paint in the process of
drying.
JThese conclusions were dissented from by Prof. Armand Gautier,
who stated that rooms painted with white lead paint do not emit
either lead emanations or lead dust.
M. Jules le Breton, the rapporteur to the commission, stated that
by means of Trillat's reagent he had been able to detect the presence
of lead in the vapors given off by white lead paint, but M. Trillat,
who at the request of M. le Breton repeated these experiments, was
unable to confirm this conclusion.
At an early stage of the Home Office inquiry, Prof. Baly, of Liver­
pool University, appeared before the committee and submitted evi­
dence corroborative of the conclusions of the French experts.
At the outset of the inquiry it was assumed that the results of the
experiment made by Prof. Baly and the conclusions on these points
of the French experts, M. Heim, and M. Hubert, contained m the
report of the French commission, were correct.
The evidence submitted by Mr. C. A. Klein, Prof. Armstrong, Mr.
Goadby, and Dr. Dobbie, of the Government laboratory, as the result
of their exhaustive and separate experiments, proved that neither
Prof. Baly's nor the French tests could be maintained.
Sickness and nausea and other distressing complaints, but not
lead poisoning, may arise from emanations and fumes of paint.




DAGGER IX USE OF LEAD IX THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

161

Many of the symptoms of lead poisoning, nausea, headache, dizziness,
stomach pains, etc., on the evidence of M r. Goadbv and others, may
be produced by paint in which there is no lead, and may be mistaken
for lead poisoning.
Many of these symptoms are produced by the vapors which are
given off from the oil and turpentine in the mixing and drying of the
paint.
EMANATIONS—FORMIC ALDEHYDE.

Paint containing drying oil gives off vapors containing formalde­
hyde, formic and other organic bodies. This is common to all paint
containing such vehicles, leadless or otherwise, and this, on the medi­
cal testimony placed before the committee, whilst wholesome in the
destruction of bacteria, is hurtful to the operatives using the paint,
and may be the source of many of the complaints and “ cases” which
now are attributed to lead.
PROF. E. C. 0. BALY (SECOND APPEARANCE).
Do these experiments lead inevitably to the conclusion that there is no lead in the
emanations?—Yes, I think I can say that, certainly. (17013.)
Your further experiment really disposes of your first evidence?—Yes, as regards
volatile lead, but nothing more than that. I was wrong, I confess, but I was misled
somewhat by the doctors and somewhat by our own tests. (17027.)
Should we have to revise our vocabulary as to poisoning from paint?—I think so, I
think that there is a certain amount of poisoning which arises from these aldehydes
without any connection with lead, as lead. (17043.)
DR. DOBBIE.

Dr. Dobbie, the principal chemist to the Government laboratory,
undertook on behalf of the committee to test the suggestions con­
tained in Prof. Baly-s first evidence, and the reliability of the experi­
ments of the French commissioners’ experts re emanations giving off
ead.
His conclusions are that:
No volatile emanations containing lead, from dying [drying] paint. (22506.)
Drying paint not a possible source of lead poisoning. (22513.)
Formic acid and formic aldehyde come off zinc as well as lead paints. (22518.)
Trillat’s reagent is unreliable. (22503.)
Should not weigh with the committee. (22504.)

The evidence submitted by Mr. Goadby, Prof. Armstrong, Mr. C. A*
Klein, is sustained entirely by Dr. Dobbie's conclusions, as is set out
in the majority report.

THE TESTIMONY OF THE OFFICE OF WORKS.
THE OFFICE OF WORKS.

A prolific source of questions which, in my opinion, diverted the
inquiry into wrong channels and led the majority of the committee
to what I regard as a mistaken conclusion, was the assumption that
the office of works had solved the problem for the community of dis­
pensing with white lead paint by the use at the post offices, Kensing­
ton savings bank, etc., of a well-known varnish paint.
With all due respect to the opinion of an important Government
department in a matter of this kind, affecting as it does so largely the
25235° Bull, 18S— 16--- 11
—



162

BULLETIN OF THE BUBEAU OF LABOB SXAXISXXCS.

interest of the community, such testimony must be judged by the
same standards of evidence as apply to ordinary folk.
It is the more necessary to keep this in mind, because at a very early
stage of the inquiry, in the questions put from the chair to the wit­
nesses, it was assumed, and that on the bare statement of Mr. Patter­
son without any corroboration,1 that the question of alternatives and
substitutes for white lead had been solved by the experience or ex­
periments of H. M. office of works.
This assumption, in my opinion, colored the whole inquiry, and its
importance must be my apology for devoting so large a space to con­
sidering the value of the evidence submitted.
In my review of the evidence of the office of works I wish to dis­
claim any intention of attacking Mr. Patterson personally; I have no
cause to do so. I have only endeavored to show that his evidence is
inadequate to build upon it such conclusions as the committee has
come to, and my comments go no further than this.
ANY SUBSTITUTE FOR WHITE LEAD MUST BE IMPERSONAL.

I would respectfully lay down this proposition, that as white lead
is an impersonal product, so any suggested substitutes or alternatives
must partake of the same impersonal character, and be divorced from
particular firms.
THE TWO ALTERNATIVE WHITES.

The only two alternative white pigments to white lead are zinc oxide
and lithopone. These, like white lead, are impersonal products, in
the sense that both or either can be bought under its generic name
and apart from the name of the maker, and the standard of quality
can be specified and exacted as a condition of sale or purchase. There
are brands of zinc oxide and lithopone which may carry a preferential
claim on the open market for their particular merit; but that is only
the open claim of excellence of quality; they still remain in the cate­
gory of impersonal and basic materials.
But in accepting and placing reliance on the testimony of the office
of works, this important and fundamental distinction has not, in my
opinion, been sufficiently considered, because the whole experience
of the office of works rests exclusively on what is known as “ ready
mixed” proprietary paints, and those of two or three firms only.
PROPRIETARY PAINTS.

Proprietary paints should have had no locus standi in an inquiry
such as the committee was charged with, and I submit that no con­
clusions that should have weight with Parliament can be deduced
from the evidence tendered by Mr. Patterson on behalf of the office of
works.
As a matter of procedure, all that the office of works did in their
so-called experiments (which were put before the master painters
who came before the committee as so conclusive that they admitted
of no cavil) was to advertise for paints to be sent in.
These were received and tested on iron plates and other surfaces,
and on the results obtained certain “ brands” were approved and
adopted.
i Except that of Sir Henry Tanner, given Nov., 1912, towards the close of the inquiry*




DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

163

This may be, and no doubt is, perfectly satisfactory to the office of
works for their own requirements. I am not questioning this for one
moment, but it does not go beyond that, and 1 submit that it has no
bearing whatever on the question the committee was instructed to
inquire into.
LIMITED EXPERIENCE.

The limited experience of the office of works in paints is revealed
in Mr. Patterson’s answer to question 12916:
“ Do you use flatting paints?” —“ Only occasionally. Our specifica­
tion is for glossy paints.”
As every architect and decorator knows, an enormous proportion
of interior work is finished with flatting paints, and the office of works
glossy paints would not satisfy the requirements of the decorating
trade or of their customers, nor meet the standard of any aesthetic
requirements. At the South Kensington savings bank buildings, to
which Mr. Patterson attached great importance, and where ‘ ‘lead
paints” and “ zinc paints” were used, there was the same absence of
any scientific method or plan, and the same simple adherence to pro­
prietary paints made by two or three particular firms. In Mr. Pat­
terson’s words: “ The lead paints and the zinc paints were the same
brand of paints,” i. e., made by the same firm, and sold as their par­
ticular brand oi paint.
NO SPECIFICATION BY THE OFFICE OF WORKS.

Referring to the 1906 test plates, Mr. Patterson said:
These paints that were put on were from all comers. , They were not supplied to any
specification of ours, but every caller who chose to come and say: “ We mould be glad
to have our paint tried, will you put it on? ” had it put on. (12962.)
Do I understand that you do not specify definite proportions of oil and varnish and
driers separately?—We do not, we wanted carefully to guard ourselves from the posi­
tion that we were dictating to the manufacturers. We wanted to leave manufacturers
as far as possible with a free hand; we wanted to gain the benefit of any experience
they might have had. Our specification was given as a general one, and not as a defi­
nite something to which everybody must toe the line to a fraction. (12903.)

Again, Mr. Patterson:
We have, however, to deal with lead paints as they are presented to us on the market,
and we take the various makers as they come to us.
NO RECORDS*
Have you a record showing the conditions of the paint of the post office savings bank
buildings, and the condition of the paint of the buildings which have been painted
under your superintendence?—No. I have no records. (22798.)
Why has no record been kept?—We have too much to do to allow of making any
unnecessary records. (22800.)
Now you say that you mixed some samples (paints) yourself from zinc and lead?—
Zinc. (22880.)
That will do. Have you the formulas of those mixtures?—No. (22881.)
No records whatever?—No. I can tell you roughly what I was after and what they
were. (22882.)

Such evidence would not be accepted as satisfactory by any scien­
tific body.
I am not questioning Mr. Patterson’s judgment on the paints with
which he is satisfied as suitable for his department, but I do respect­
fully submit that his evidence does not go beyond his personal opin­
ion, that in no way can it be regarded as scientific evidence, or as



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BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

proving anything more than that the paints satisfied him and his
principals.
_The office of works never developed a formula of their own for
either lead or zinc paints.
All that they did was to have the paints which suited them analyzed,
and then adopt the analysis as their “ specification.”
They kept no records of the paints except the analysis, because
they are too busy for making unnecessary records.
They have no evidence as to the bearing of these paints on the
health of the workmen; “ the contractor takes the burden of that.”
Their paints are mainly—
(a) Vamish paints.
(b) Enamels.
(c) Proprietary paints.
These particular makes of paints have been known for many years,
through the advertisement columns of the building papers; hundreds
of His Majesty’s subjects are familiar with them, but no one ever
dreamed for a moment that here was a solution of the white-lead
question.
The manufacturers of these proprietary paints are reputable firms,
but they do not exhaust the scientific enterprise and skill of the paint
industry, nor would they claim to do so. The number of readymixed proprietary paints on the market are to be counted by the
score, the makers o f which would not admit any inferiority to the two
or three brands adopted by the office of works, and their contention
would be upheld by the trade and others. Yet in fact, if not in form,
so far as conclusions are based on the experience of tho office of works,
the paints of these two or three firms, supplied to the office of works,
are singled out as having solved the white lead problem.
A BETTER WAY.

If the office of works had bought their own ingredients, detached
from any particular firm or firms, and mixed them themselves, if they
had carefully recorded their formulas and their inspection results over
a long period of time, and had them adjudicated upon by independent
experts, their evidence would have been entitled to serious considera­
tion, but as it was presented to the committee it has, in my opinion;
no value whatever for the purpose of this inquiry.
The paints used by the office of works have this feature, which
separates them from ordinary paints; they are all vamish paints, or
enamels.
The two more expensive grades cited would come under the cate­
gory of enamels, though only one is so specified, and it is not reason­
able to classify them as “ paints.”
PAINT, NOT ENAMEL.

It is essential for a clear apprehension of the position to discrim­
inate between what is known as enamel and what is generally under­
stood as paint.
Enamels are all made from special materials, special oils and var­
nishes and the formula of their ingredients and manufacture are tho
secrets of the proprietors.



DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

165

Varnish paints are made of inferior and cheaper materials, and are
also based on secret formulae.
Paint in the generally accepted use of the term is a substance mixed
from ordinary pigments, to which are added oil and turpentine for
thinning purposes, and dryers to make it dry.
The great bulk of the paint used in this country is entirely innocent
of varnish.
The paints put forward in the table of comparative tests of lead
and leadless paints which were submitted to the committee were
simply “ proprietary paints” ; even the lead paints were of the same
character, and one paint supplied to H. M. office of works as lead
paint, in the analysis had not a trace of lead in it. (See 12962.)
Analysis o f office o f works.— Slone-color 1 Lead paint. ”
1

Oxide of iron_
_
Barium sulphate.
Vehicle............. .
Lead.................

19
52: 06
38,00
Nil.

This could never have happened if the office of works had mixed
their own paints.
The generous percentage of vehicle 38.0 conveys no information
as to the amount of varnish incorporated; this is a feature common
,
to all the analyses of the office of works paints, yet it is the essential
point; the analysis is further incomplete by 3 per cent.
It is not unreasonable to say that such “ evidence” as a serious
contribution to the comparative value of white lead and zinc oxide,
on which the committee could found conclusions from a scientific
point of view, is worthless.
Further, whatever value there is in this testimony, it rests entirely
on the word of Mr. G. D. Patterson, one of the clerks of works under
Sir Henry Tanner.
If the recommendation of the committee be adopted and the use
of the white lead abolished, it appears to me it will be done on the
grounds that an efficient substitute is available. The proof of this
rests largely on the mere statement of a Government official who is
neither a scientist nor a practical painter, and who has no knowledge
whether these paints arc hurtful to the workman or not.
In an issue involving such large consequences to the community
as would be the case if the use of white lead be prohibited, a more
definite proof should have been demanded.
LEAD FREELY USED BY THE OFFICE OF WORKS.

It was proved that at the very time when Mr. Patterson was assert­
ing to the committee that the office of works had abandoned the use
of white lead, that in May, 1911, no less than 5 tons of white lead
were used on the Menai suspension bridge, under the control of the
office of works; and an equal amount on buildings in the London
area, including Buckingham Palace, St. James’s Palace, etc. (See
Qs. 12991, 13081.)
Mr. Patterson later on explained to the committee that a large
amount of this lead used in the London area was used for bedding
window and door frames. The deliveries of this lead on to different
jobs was always accompanied by the necessary oil arid turpentine,



166

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOB STATISTICS.

to make it into paint, and it was always specified to be genuine white
lead, which is quite superfluous for bedding purposes.
PROPRIETARY PAINTS.

Mr. Patterson’s experience in “ leadless” paints, therefore, rests
entirely on ready mixed “ proprietary paints” supplied by certain
firms, and of which the constituents are not disclosed except by
analysis.
For the best decorative work, which amounts annually to a very
large volume of trade, these ready-mixed varnish paints are entirely
unsuitable, and not comparable to the paint mixed by the trained
painter for his particular work.
These ready-mixed paints depend for their durability on the var­
nish which is mixed with them, and the life of the varnish is the life
of the paint.
It should be impossible to recommend the prohibition of white
lead to Parliament on the basis of proprietary paints. These may
be all that their owners claim for them, but to ask Parliament to
abolish a pigment so universal and impersonal as white lead for a
particular make or makes of paint, would be to set up a monopoly,
which is not conceivable.
If I lay stress on the evidence of the office of works, I do so because
in my opinion, the inquiry was prejudiced and deflected on to wrong
lines by the committee attaching such importance to the experience
put forward, as solving the question. It solves nothing.
Men with life-long experience of the trade and its conditions, and
in the habit of conducting painting contracts comparable witn the
operations of the office of works, were confronted with these experi­
ments as a final solution which could not be gainsaid, and their reluc­
tance to accept such a conclusion, so opposed to all their knowledge
and experience, was pressed against them as being wanting in openmindedness.
Your answers will not look well in the evidence.
Not a fair answer. (1004.)

(1002.)

NO BEARING ON THE HEALTH OF THE WORKMEN.

Nor can any conclusion be drawn from the experience of the office
of works as to the innocuousness to the workmen of their “ leadless”
paints.
NO RECORDS OP HEALTH STATISTICS—“ WE KNOW NOTHING OP IT.”

The office of works have no knowledge of this aspect of the case,
for in reply to Dr. Collis (Q. 1132): “ Do you keep any statistics of
the amount of illness that occurs amongst the workpeople of the
department?” Mr. Patterson said, “ No; the contractor takes all
responsibility for that under the conditions of his contract; when a
workman falls out of the ranks, we know nothing of it. They have
to take any burden in that way.” So that, so far as the aspect of
the case that is most pertinent to this inquiry is concerned, we get
neither light nor leading from the office of works.
Not only painters, but paint manufacturers and chemists of stand­
ing, were pointed to the office of works as exemplars of scientific



DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

167

enterprise and research, and they were asked “ were they not behind
the times.”
Valuable and disinterested evidence was tendered by Mr. Holzapfel,
a paint manufacturer of Newcastle, who appeared before the com­
mittee to give evidence on behalf of the pamt manufacturers of the
northeast coast (Newcastle and Hull).
Mr. Holzapfel has no interest in white lead, his interests are in zinc
enamel paints. Notwithstanding this, Mr. Holzapfel told the commit­
tee that zinc paint (not enamel) was not as good as white lead paint,
and although his firm employ 25 chemists constantly investigating
paints of all kinds, the experiments of the office of works were pointed
out to him as having solved the problem in zinc paints.

THE ALTERNATIVES TO WHITE LEAD.
ALTERNATIVES TO WHITE LEAD.

When we come to the other two white pigments, zinc oxide and
lithopone, the evidence shows they both need fortifying or strength­
ening for external work by special oils or varnishes, and even men
they do not give the permanence of lead.
Indeed, as to lithopone, it is common ground amongst painters
and paint makers that, however useful for inside painting, for out­
side work it is not suitable.
The community has in white lead a known and reasonably cheap
pigment that, when mixed with linseed oil and turpentine (common
and accessible articles), gives a sound, stable, and inexpensive paint
possessing qualities of permanence and protection for whatever
structures it is put upon.
White lead is the most useful, as it is the most permanent, white
pigment we possess for external painting.
Its use as a paint does not involve the addition of varnish or special
oils to give it stability for outside painting.
Is may discolor or darken more rapidly than zinc oxide, but its
stability and protecting qualities remain unimpaired.
Zinc oxide changes in the same way under sulphuretted hydrogen
acids, but as it turns white it does not show, though the surface is
broken through and the protection impaired.
ACTION OF SULPHURETTED HYDROGEN ON WHITE LEAD AND ZINC
OXIDE.
The charge frequently made against white lead is that exposure to sulphuretted
hydrogen gas produces discoloration, a statement which is obviously true, yet it is
seldom recorded that an exactly similar change takes place when zinc oxide is sub­
mitted to like conditions, though, of course, this is not apparent owing to the absence
of color change.
In the case of lead sulphide there is produced lead sulphite and sulphate, both
practically insoluble in water, whilst with zinc sulphate a water soluble sulphite and
sulphate is formed which crystallizes and is fatal to the painted surface. (C. A.
Klein, 16832.)
It is generally considered that sulphuretted hydrogen is the destructive agent to
which painted surfaces are exposed, yet this is entirely untrue. Sulphuretted hydro­
gen is a minor evil except under special conditions, such as in the vicinity of chemical
works; when it is the product of chemical operations. Sulphur dioxide is by far the
most important agent, and it is the action of this gas wnich must be considered.
(C. A. Klein, 16833.)




168

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

The effect of sulphur dioxide is apparent on historic buildings in London; Sir
Arthur Church, in discussing the “ Conservation of historic buildings and frescoes,’ ’
says that the amount of sulphuric add poured annually into the London atmosphere
is estimated by Rideal as being between 500,000 and 1,000,000 tons.
This is a factor of great importance, and its effect can shortly be stated to be the
production of a soluble compound with zinc oxide, as against the production of an
insoluble compound in the case of lead. (C. A. Klein, 16834.)

The Dutch commission in their report give attention to this point
(Appendix X X X IV , p. 69 0 in consequence of the failure of paints
containing zinc, more particularly on the zinc roof of the Palace of
Justice at Amsterdam. The chemical subcommittee reported that
the roof had been painted with zinc oxide paint, white lead paint, and
lithopone paint, and it was found that these paints, more particu­
larly the zmc white paints, had been especially affected in the comers.
In the first sample of soot, 0.13 per cent of zinc was found, indicating, therefore, that
the soot had acted either on the zinc white or on the zinc roof itself, which is not sur­
prising, considering the percentage of free sulphurous and sulphuric add contained in
freshly fallen soot.
The three samples of zinc white, white lead, and lithopone paint collected from the
roof also contained sulphates soluble in water.
For the purposes of control the paints originally used by the white lead commission
were examined as to the presence of soluble sulphate, and it transpired that Silesian
zinc white did contain such soluble sulphates, but old Dutch and German white
lead, zinc white containing lead and lithopone, did not contain them.
The conclusion may be drawn from the above facts that the sulphurous and sulphuric
acid, respectively, of the soot acted on the zinc white paints and changed these partly
into sulphate of zinc, which combination, being easily soluble in water, was probably
washed away by rain water.
As the same agents, when acting on white lead paints, do not form soluble sulphate
of lead, it is clear that in these circumstances zinc white paints are decidedly inferior
to white lead paints.
Attention should further be drawn to the high percentage of sulphur contained in
soot, while in the event of all the sulphur not being in the form of sulphate, the possi­
bility is not excluded that the sulphur which is not in the form of sulphate will pass,
in the long run, to that condition tnrough oxidation, when it will again have a destruc­
tive effect on the paint.
Finally, the action of sulphurous acid, sulphuric acid, and moisture was also shown
experimentally by suspending strips of white lead and zinc white paint in a damp
atmosphere in which sulphur was burnt.
After these strips had been kept in that atmosphere during 32 days they lost when
in cold and warm water:
White lead, 0.03 and 0.05 per cent, respectively, of white lead.
Flatting zinc white, 12.32 and 9.21 per cent, respectively, of zinc white.
The great difference in the solubility of the two kinds of paint clearly confirms the
supposition above mentioned.

These are established scientific facts, carefully checked and con­
trolled, which entirely confirm Mr. Klein’s conclusions, and which, in
face of the estimated amount of sulphuric acid (between half and one
million tons) poured annually into London, it is not wise to ignore.
This conclusion is of fundamental importance in that it recognizes the
immutable or characteristic chemical properties of the two metals',
lead and zinc.
THE FINDINGS OF THE (HOME OFFICE) 1893 COMMITTEE.

The departmental committee of 1893 said:
With regard to all these so-called substitutes (to white lead), the committee have
invariably found that on close inquiry of persons competent to judge and’ unpreju­
diced on either side, the substance in question was in some particulars inferior, and
they have come to the conclusion that there is at present no substitute that can take
the place of carbonate of lead made by the old Dutch process. (Rivet, 15472.)
* In Minutes of Evidence, presented in a separate volume of the original report.



DAN GEE IN U SE OF LEAD I X T H E PAIN TIN G OF BU ILD IN G S.

16&

THE POSITION TO-DAY.

The position to-day is exactly the same as it was in 1893, when the
last departmental committee investigated the subject.
The three possible bases of white paint then were white lead, zinc
oxide, and lithopone.
They are the only three available today, commercially. The only
new element in the position is that the value of zinc oxide and litho­
pone is more understood, and their use for interior painting more
widely extended by reason of better manufacture and methods of
mixing with vehicles.
It would not be possible to displace white lead for external work
with any equally efficient material except at enormously increased cost.
The great and distinctive difference between white lead and zinc
oxide is that in the case of the former the lead and the linseed oil form,
by interaction, a tenacious compound known as linoleate of lead,
which is neither lead nor oil, but a fusion of the two; this has great
tensile strength in resisting atmospheric influences.
Zinc oxide when mixed with linseed oil is simply held in suspension
by the oil and when once the oil film is penetrated, its powers of
resistance to the weather and its protective qualities are weakened.
Except where special conditions prevail, zinc oxide and lithopone
may be substituted for white lead for interior work, without any ser­
ious loss io the community.
VALUE OF WHITE LEAD TO BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES.

The total annual production of white lead in this country at its
source, i.e., the corroders, is about 50,000 tons, which, at £25 ($121.66)
per ton, represents a sum of £1,250,000 ($6,083,125), a relatively
small industry.
Its importance, however, to the community as a protector of build­
ings and structures of all kinds, whether of wood, iron, or plaster, is
out of all proportion to its monetary value; and it is from this point
of view that the prohibition of its use seriously affects the stability
and permanence of buildings, in the aggregate worth very many mil­
lions sterling.
White lead can be mixed into paint readily and easily by thousands
of painters who know from a life s experience that when they are mak­
ing use of it they have a material that has a definite fixed stability and
will give a specific and known protection.
IMPORTANCE OF WHITE LEAD FOR OUTSIDE WORK.

For outside work there is no other white pigment so useful.
It does not need the addition of varnish to give it permanence, as
does oxide of zinc.
Of itself, it forms with the oil used a homogeneous compound, elastic
and responsive to variations of temperature, which has the elements
ef durability in its nature.
ODO MARIA MEISSL.

The testimony of Mr. Odo Meissl, of Vienna, is very weighty. Mr.
Meissl is one of the largest contractors for the painting oi structural
ironwork in Europe. Before becoming a painting contractor, he was



170

BULLETIN OF THE BUBEAU OF LABOB STATISTICS.

a chemist, so has a scientific and practical knowledge of his materials.
The evidence of a man who for years, amongst his other work, has
painted the large bridges crossing the Danube, is of a great importance.
GUARANTY FOR WHITE LEAD, NO GUARANTY FOR ZINC OXIDE.

Mr. Meissl is called upon to give a five years’ guaranty for all the
Government work done by him with white lead, and he freely gives it,
but he will not take any responsibility for external work executed
with zinc oxide, although he is using it in large quantities in his daily
practice for interior work. In answering a question from the chair,
Mr. Meissl stated that he painted from 30,000 to 40,000 square meters
per year with zinc oxide, which is a considerable amount :
I paint every year some 30,000 to 40,000 square meters with zinc paint only by
express stipulation of the person giving the order, but whenever I use paint other
than lead, I decline all responsibility lor the durability of the paint. I completed one
big contract for the railway offices of Wiela, and after one year the paint nad to be
renewed.
I painted a large wooden fence at Voslau with zinc paint, and after one year, when
the fence had to be washed, all the zinc paint came off by washing as if it had been
chalk. (13792.)

Yet Mr. Meissl was confronted with the “ experience” of the office
of works as refuting his life-long knowledge of paint, and he was
repeatedly pressed on the point of—“ Had he made any experiments
with zinc paints?”
THE EVIDENCE OF MASTER PAINTERS.

The great weight of the evidence given by master painters of the
United Kingdom and from the Continent is in the same direction,
viz, that white lead is far and away the best white pigment known to
them, and is essential for external work. They can rely upon it
to do good work and it does not fail them. _
The addition of good vamish to a paint may give additional
stability to it whether it be made of white lead or zinc oxide, but
in the latter case it is a necessity for outside work, whilst in the
former it is superfluous.
To either pigment it is a serious addition to the cost.
It is true that in view of the irksome and impossible conditions
foreshadowed as accompanying regulations, some of the employers
ultimately admitted that they would prefer prohibition to regula­
tions, but it is fair to point out that the conditions outlined would
strangle the trade, and it was only to escape from this dilemma
that an assent to prohibition was ultimately and reluctantly given
by them.
It was weak but very human.
THE CONDITIONS PRECEDENT TO ABOLITION.

The conditions precedent to the abolition of white lead shoijdd be
that consumers and the community should have a material or
materials to take its place as accessible, as impersonal, and, for
outside work, as permanent as white lead.




DANGEB IN USE OF LEAD IX THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

171

THE DUTCH COMMISSION.

Attention is directed to the work of the conmission appointed
by the Dutch Government to find an alternative to white lead as a
base for white paint. (See Appendix X X X IV .1
)
The toxicity of lead does not arise in their investigations, though
it may have been behind them. It is entirely ignored, the commission
simply devoted itself to find an adequate substitute for lead.
Seven years were expended in experimenting with the three
pigments, white lead, zinc oxide, lithopone.
It has to be borne in mind that in Holland large quantities of zinc
oxide are used annually. The master painter is as familiar with it
as he is with lead; he buys it in the dry state as he buys his white
lead, and grinds it in his own mill in his shop. So that the Dutch
committee was not experimenting with a pigment unfamiliar to
the trade, as would be the case in this country.
The thorough and scientific manner of investigation of the Dutch
committee is a matter for admiration; they took nothing for granted.
They mixed their own paints on a previously determined formula.
They employed their own expert to put on the paints, they tested
them on bridges, on a ship, on houses exposed to the sea air at the
Hook of Holland, and on State buildings at Amsterdam.
They investigated them at intervals, and finding in some experi­
ments that they had been faulty in their preparation, they started
again on a new basis.
The Master Painters’ Association of the Netherlands, which
covers the whole of Holland outside Amsterdam, took exception to
the composition of the zinc oxide paint used, and made representa­
tions to the commission that it was not possible to use it so thick
(as the commission used it) in the ordinary way of trade, yet with
whatever advantage accruing to the paint from being thick, it
did not prevent tne commission in their "final conclusions” from
seriously qualifying the virtues of zinc oxide for outside work.
Their final conclusions are of the most qualitative character,
and they had to admit that on the vital places such as lintels, sashes,
cornices, and window sills, where protection is very important to
the structure, zinc oxide did not give as good results as white lead.
DUTCH COMMISSION, “ FINAL CONCLUSIONS.”
Zinc white paints are not so well able to withstand frequent recurrent action of
vapors containing sulphurous acid as white lead paints are. As the vapor occurs in
coal smoke of locomotives, steamers, tall chimneys, etc., zinc white paint, which is
much exposed to such smoke, for instance, in railway stations, etc., will soon become
corroded, and is certainly not able to replace white lead there. (14231.) (See
Appendix.1
)

WHAT PROHIBITION WOULD MEAN.
ZINC OXIDE.—THE DIFFERENCE IN TECHNIQUE REQUIRED.

The use of zinc oxide paint necessitates an entirely different
training on the part of the painters from that required for white
lead paint. This is due to the difference in the structure of the two
paint pigments.
• Good painting with white lead paint is tested by the thinness of
the coat; this is an axiom of all good painting.
1In Minutes of Evidence, presented in a separate volume of the original report.



172

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS*

Cheap work is always done with a thick layer of paint.
Good painting work consists in the careful spreading a;nd laying
off of the paint so as to insure a thin film whicn dries through and
hard. As each successive coat is laid on and dries, there insures a
series of hard homogeneous films which give the maximum of wear
service to the paint. This is possible with lead paint, because its
density enables it to be brushed out thin and still cover.
But zinc oxide must be laid on with a thick coat or it would not
cover; if brushed out thin, it involves more coats to get the necessary
opacity. In the one case you have inferior painting, in the alterna­
tive you have a more costly process. ^
All fair-minded writers on the subject agree on this point.
M. Petit, a French engineer and a manufacturer of zinc paint,
admits this in a book which
It is obvious from tliis (the prohibition in France) that the house painter accus­
tomed as he is to the use of white lead, will, if lead is prohibited, have to recast all
his ideas as to his method of painting, a difficult thing to do, especially for men of
mature years, and a very great hardship and expense will be inflicted on the trade.

This is well brought out, too, in M. de Morsier’s evidence.
15,633. In paragraph 15,511 you state, “ The question of the thickness of the coat
is equally important, because a painting composed of a number of thin coats is much
more lasting than one composed of less coats applied thicker. ” Is not that a very
strong argument in favor of white lead? Will you tell the committee why you can
spread white lead into a thin serv iceable coat, and why you can not do the same
with zinc?—“ The chief point is that the durability of paint depends not on the
number of layers of paint, but on the thinness. The maximum durability of paint
is obtained if you have a great number of extremely thin layers, and it is possible to
obtain much thinner layers with white lead, because the white lead itself forms a
more solid coat than zinc white; the reason for this being that lead carbonate forms
with the linseed oil a soap, whilst zinc white does not do so. ”

This difficulty of technique does not exist to the same extent
with paints made on a lithopone base; they can be used with much
greater facility than zinc oxide, but they are entirely unsuitable
for exterior work.
EFFECT OP THE PROHIBITION OP WHITE LEAD.

France is the only country that has made laws for the total prohibi­
tion of white lead, and even there exemptions are to be allowed,
on the order of the minister of the interior, an unsatisfactory pro­
cedure if leadless paints are the best.
But in France the authorities gave a probationary period of five
and a half years between the passing of the law, July, 1909, and
the date of its coming into operation, January 1, 1915.
THE GRAVITY OF THE COMMITTEE’S PROPOSALS.

The majority of the committee advise a term of three years from
the date of the signing of their report for the prohibition of white
lead to become operative.
Even admitting the necessity of prohibition, which I do not, I
feel that the members of the committee can hardly have realized the
full import of their recommendation.
White lead is made a long way in advance of its sale and its use,



DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

173

Many large users stock it for a period of two years to mature, in
the belief, based on their experience, that the lead so held gains
in covering power and durability.
The corroders and grinders also hold large stocks in order to meet
the demand made upon them.
Were the recommendation of the majority of the committee
adopted, it would mean that a large quantity of this valuable ma­
terial would be rendered worthless, a destruction of property which
nothing in the case justifies.
In France, notwithstanding the fact that the use of zinc oxide is
common and familiar to a large number of painters, both masters
and workmen, the term of five years was thought to be necessary in
which to effect the change.
The difficulty of transference from one material to another,, quite
distinct in its nature and in its mode of mixing, and the technique of
application, could not possibly be overcome m the course of three
3 ears.
T
SOURCE OF ZINC OXIDE AND LITHOPONE.

Practically the entire English supply of zinc oxide is drawn from
Continental sources. Several attempts have been made to manufac­
ture it on a large commercial scale in England, but without much
success.
LITHOPONE.

Lithopone is made by two firms only in the United Kingdom,
and they use their entire output for their own specialties, so that in
case of the prohibition of white lead English grincfers would be entirely
dependent for their raw material on the Continent and America.
From the latter source the amount sent us is small, as it is largely
used on the spot.
ZINC OXIDE NOT MADE IN ENGLAND (COMMERCIALLY).

Zinc oxide is not made in England except by one firm, and that on
a relatively small scale, as their chief industry is the making of litho­
pone. The consequence in case prohibition were enforced at the end
of three years would be that the entire painting trade of this country
would be held up, and dependent for its supply on foreign countries.
Under such conditions the painting trade would be brought to a stand­
still for lack of material.
I do not attach importance to a material not being made in the
United Kingdom if it can be made better elsewhere, and in any refer­
ence to our being dependent for zinc oxide and lithopone on foreign
countries, my objection to it is that it is proposed to set aside some­
thing of known and definite value which we produce in this country
for something which at present, and for a long time to come, we can
not produce nere, and which when produced is not as good as the
material we possess.
WHAT WILL BE REQUIRED TO REPLACE WHITE LEAD.

The production of 50,000 tons of zinc oxide and lithopone is not
to be easily achieved. The reply suggested is that the demand will
create the supply.



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BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

A sufficient answer to that is, the manufacture of both zinc oxide
and lithopone, though not secret processes, are matters of very deli­
cate and complex manipulation, and depend for success very largely
on accumulated experience, which takes many years to bring to per­
fection, and involves the training of skilled workmen and overlookers
and the expenditure of enormous capital.
A FAILURE TO MAKE ZINC OXIDE IN GREAT BRITAIN.

The manufacture of zinc oxide was attempted on a large commer­
cial scale in this country a few years ago at Ellesmere Port, on the
Manchester Ship Canal; it ended in a disastrous failure and a great
loss of capital, not from financial causes, but from lack of experience
and skill in manufacturing the material. (Mr. Lancaster, 1756917583.)
Mr. Lancaster’s evidence on the possible sources of supply of zinc
oxide and the difficulties of making it in this country is of the utmost
importance.
We have not the facilities for making zinc oxide in this countrv. We have not the
material for making it in this country. We have not the knowledge of making it even
by what you call the indirect process. (17583.)

The fact that we produce so many tens of thousands of tons of zinc ore
within the bounds of the Empire would bring no comfort to the paint­
ing trade (brought to a standstill for lack of material) if we did not
convert it into zinc oxide, and there is no possibility of this being
done inside three years. The works and equipment to produce 50,000
tons of zinc oxide per annum could hardly be built in the time, and
the men to work them presents an even greater difficulty.
A FAILURE IN FRANCE.

Mr. A. Yillemot in his evidence stated:
Three factories, for instance, were established for the manufacture of lithopone, with
a capital of 3,000,000, francs ($579,000), and three factories were also established for
the manufacture of oxide of zinc, and all these institutions have gone into liquidation.
(15206.)
But it is impossible, according to that, to produce zinc oxide of a good quality?—No,
I mean that it is a question of knowing how to manufacture. (15238.)
70.000 TONS OF ZINC PIGMENT REQUIRED—AN IMPOSSIBLE PROPO­
SITION.

Further, when prohibition is enforced in France, something like
25.000 tons additional to the present world supply of zinc oxide and
lithopone will be needed annually in that country alone, making,
with what would be required here to replace the white lead withdrawn
from use, something like 70,000 tons. An impossible proposition to
effect in three years.
ADMITTING 5 PER CENT OF SOLUBLE LEAD.

The majority of the committee propose to admit a 5 per cent solu­
bility of lead in “ leadless” paints, sucn a proportion being necessary
for tne production of greens and yellows and other colors, but a 5 per
cent solubility can not be regarded as leadless paint, except if so defined
by statute, and, more important still, it is a question whether it would



DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

175

obviate the present trouble of diagnosing lead poisoning amongst
painters.
Further, if the use of lead is restricted to a 5 per cent solubility,
it cuts out entirely the large range of valuable reds which are to-day
in use, and which depend For their permanency of color on a red lead
base.
The difficulty of proving that the suggested limitation of 5 per cent
is being observed would be enormous, and very vexatious to all in­
volved, and its enforcement would necessitate a very large inspecto­
rate
DIAGNOSING LEAD POISONING.

The diagnosis of lead poisoning by the medical profession in the
past has leit something to be desired on the grounds of accuracy, and
in its effect on the statistics of lead poisoning; this is being recognized
to-day by medical referees.
It is a fair comment to say that, in view of recent investigations
as to the action of volatile vapors given off from drying paint by tur­
pentine, some of the sickness which has occurred amongst the work­
men (credited to lead poisoning) must be credited to that important
and essential ingredient of paint, turpentine.
TURPENTINE AND ITS EFFECTS.
I think that my experiments show that the commonly noticed symptoms of head­
ache and nausea, and also colic of a type, that is to say, stomach ache complained of
by people from the smell of paint, are explainable on the turpentine hypothesis.
(K .W Goadby, 14740.)
If turpentine acts on the kidney as one has shown that it does (and one knows that
lead does) it is highly important. (14751.)
FRESH PAINT AND SICKNESS.
I have also inquired into and seen cases of poisoning or illness produced by smelling
fresh paint, and such illnesses are always more nearly allied in their symptoms to those
of turpentine poisoning than of lead poisoning. In fact, I think it is quite easy to
distinguish. (K. W. Goadby, 14790.)
Then your conclusion is that there is a definite illness from tuipentine not easily
confused with lead poisoning?—Not easily confused, but I think it has been confused
a good deal, because it has been associated with paint. (K. W. Goadby, 14791.)
Yes, quite. You say, in fact, that turpentine introduces the danger of a new
illness?—I think so. (K. W. Goadby, 14794.)
THE TENDENCY OF MEDICAL DECISIONS.

The tendency of doctors to give the benefit of the doubt in cases
where the man has been engaged in lead occupations, and bring in a
verdict of lead poisoning, is thus referred to in Mr. Goadby’s evidence:
There is always a tendency, recently at any rate, to bring in a verdict of lead poison­
ing if possible. 1 think that that is the general tendency. (14813.)
What makes you say that, because you know there is a medical referee?—Yes, I
know. I know several medical referees, and they each of them take this view, ana I
am not criticizing their view, that in a case of doubt, where the evidence is almost
evenly balanced and there is evidence of the man having been employed in a lead
industry in which he might have contracted lead poisoning, it is common justice to
give the benefit of the doubt on the point of lead. I think that is right, but for the
purposes of statistics it is a little disturbing. (Mr. Goadby, 14814.)
But that opinion of yours would not apply to lead industries where turpentine was
not used?—I am talking of all lead. I think that that is the general point of view that
a referee would take. I should take it myself if I was acting as referee. I think that
it is a fair one, but it is disturbing with regard to statistics, however fair it may be.
Thirty deaths is rather a small number to go on alone. (Mr. Goadby, 14815.)



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BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

LEAD POISONING NOT AN UNPREVENTABLE DISEASE.
Paralysis and all these maiming diseases which follow lead poisoning only come on
in the majority of cases after very long continued exposure. I do not consider lead
poisoning by any means an unpreventable disease. I believe it might be a prevent­
able disease if it were recognized in the earlier stages that these changes were going on
in the blood. (14819.)
I have shown you that basophile staining may occur in turpentine poisoning. It
may occur also presumably in zinc poisoning. The point is that that curious staining
in the red cells is not a symptom of lead poisoning alone, and it must not be regarded
as such. (Mr. Goadby, 14819.)
But it is most important that such an investigation should not be undertaken by
anyone unless he be a competent person in doing blood examination. It can not be
done, I am afraid, by the man who is in general practice in the ordinary way. He
has not the time or the facilities for doing a rather technical operation of that sort.
(Mr. Kenneth Goadby, 14810.)
LEAD POISONING AND LEAD ABSORPTION.
Lead poisoning and lead absorption are not synonymous terms. The literature
with regard to the potteries makes the statement that certifying surgeons are to observe
that. (14786.)

The problem is not necessarily to abolish the use of white lead; it
is to combat its ill effects on the system of the workmen.
SUSCEPTIBILITY TO LEAD POISONING.
I think that it might be possible to devise regulation for practically cutting down
lead poisoning to “ ml, ” and I think that in examining the men from time to time in
the way I have suggested you would put your finger on the big point—on the men who
are careless—and you would have to weed them out, and also the susceptible people.
That is what we have done in the white lead works. There are certain people who
ought not to be employed in a lead trade, because they are susceptible to lead. There
are many intercurrent diseases. There are many men with kidney disease not due to,
alcohol, but to old rheumatism or scarlet fever. If such a man presented himself at
lead works he should not be employed, because he would be dealing with a poison
when his tissues are already half poisoned with something else. I thmk that a very
great deal might be done with regard to painting in that way. (Mr. Kenneth Goadby,
14906.)

REGULATIONS AND THE ABOLITION OF DRY RUBBING
DOWN.
A better solution of the question would bo found in the total pro­
hibition of dry rubbing down.
Accepting the dust theory as the prolific source of lead poisoning
(and all the medical authorities are agreed on this point) the aban­
donment of dry rubbing down would remove at once the source of
90 per cent of the trouble.
I am convinced that if dry rubbing down were prohibited, and, if
necessary, enforced by penalties, the trade would oDservo the restric­
tion and find a substitute for it. The abolition of dry rubbing down
is an inconvenience rather than an impossibility.
Stress is laid on the difficulty of enforcing regulations; that is not
necessarily a valid reason for not imposing tnem.
There would be two parties to the regulations, the employer and
the workman. The latter would be an efficient check on those em­
ployers who sought to evade their obligations, since the health of the
workman himself is in question.
The crux of regulations centers on two points: (1) The prohibition
of dry rubbing down; (2) facilities for washing.



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177

WASHING ACCOMMODATION ALWAYS AVAILABLE—WATER A NECES­
SITY FOR THE WORK—HOT WATER NOT A NECESSITY FOR WASH­
ING.

The provision of washing accommodation exists now on most jobs.
Men must have hot water for purposes of their work. If hot water
is not laid on, they make a fire and heat it in buckets. They also
boil water for their meals.
If they can do this for the purposes of their work, they can do it for
washing purposes; though the necessity for hot water is not stressed
in the least by the medical witness:
Hot water for washing not important. (Mr. Goadby, 22063.)
Unless you can go to the fountainhead of the mischief and stop the dust, you are
not going to secure much improvement by all the cleanliness in the ■world. (Dr.
Legge, Q. 273.)
REGULATIONS NEVER TREED IN THE PAINTING TRADE.

Regulations in the painting trade have never been tried, so their
value can not be estimated.
It is only fair to the employers (master painters) to remember that
in the experience of thousands of them, the evils of lead poisoning do
not exist. It is known to them only by hearsay, or through the pub­
lished tables of the board of trade, or reports o f cases in the daily and
other papers.
A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.

I myself was intimately associated with the trade for nearly 40
years, first as an apprentice and for over 32 years as an employer,
and during all that time I never to my knowledge came into contact
with a case of lead poisoning. My experience must be that of thou­
sands of other employers.
Seven hundred and twenty “ cases” a year, many of them slight,
distributed amongst some 20,000 employers, must of necessity pass
unnoticed by large numbers.
LEAD DUST NEVER SUSPECTED AS A DANGER.

It is also due to the master house painter to point out that until
quite recently the great source of the danger, lead dust, caused by
dry rubbing down, was unsuspected by them, the evil being attributed
to personal negligence and careless habits.
Nor was this opinion confined to employers. Mr. A. Gardner, who
signs the majority report, giving evidence in the building accidents
inquiry, 1907 [Cd. 3848], said:
If a man cleans his hands before he takes his food and keeps his overalls in decent
condition there is not much risk. (1729.)
I suppose the painters understand that lead poisoning is largely a matter of cleanli­
ness on their part?—Oh, ves, if a man has painter’s colic it is to a great extent his
own fault, generally speaking. (1758.)
That is because he does not take the precautions which are absolutely necessary?—
It is generally due to uncleanliness on Ms part. (1759.)

I am not quoting this evidence as showing any inconsistency on
the part of Mr. Gardner. At that time, and with the information I
then had, I should myself have replied in similar terms; but this
25235*— Bull. 188— 16—



12

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BULLETIN OF THE BUBEAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

only confirms the plea I make, that in the matter of lead poisoning
the trade has been fixing its attention on the minor evil ana neglect­
ing the graver source of trouble.
The investigations and report of the pottery committee drew atten­
tion to the danger of lead dust, and the improvement in the health of
the workers in white lead works, effected by the requirements laid
down by the Home Office, enforce the same conclusion, but the infor­
mation is unknown to the vast majority of painters.
It is reasonable to suppose that if attention were definitely drawn
to this point as it would be if dry rubbing down were prohibited,
benefit would be derived from it.
THE EXPERIENCE OF HOLLAND.

The experience of Holland is very similar to that of Scotland.
The Netherlands Association of Master Painters includes some 1,400
members, employing 10,000 painters. They have an insurance so­
ciety for their members, which is an arrangement made between
them and the Government, the scale of payments and compensations
being settled by the Government. Both are on a much more liberal
scale than in this country, but the administration remains in the
hands of the asssociation.
The association covers all Holland outside Amsterdam. Mr. M.
Nooijen is the secretary of the insurance committee, and makes out
all orders for payments for compensation on the Government.
In Holland, lead poisoning, if acute, may be regarded as an “ acci­
dent” (since 1907), as it is in this country, yet Mr. Nooijen stated to
the committee that they had not had any cases of lead poisoning.
(Q. 14309-23.)
In my opinion, the significance of the case of Scotland, where there
are nearly 15,000 painters, employers, and workmen, and where there
were 20 cases in five years (voluntarily reported), and on the evidence
of Dr. Legge, lead poisoning (outside the Glasgow area) is negligible,
has not been sufficiently appreciated.
Scotland gives cause for serious consideration before destroying
an industry, and condemning a material so valuable to the community
in protecting its structures as is white lead.
1 have not dealt with the question of white lead as a medium
of decoration. Its value in this respect is very great, and much can
be said for it, as the important evidence of Mr. J. D. Crace discloses,
but I have confined my comments to its value to structures and build­
ings of all kinds.
I am not for the use of white lead at any price, but the public,
the manufacturers, and the painting trade are entitled to ask that
before so decisive a step is taken as the prohibition of an industry,
and a material that has fully justified itself to the community as a
valuable material for protective and decorative purposes, regulation
should first be tried.
ROOT AND BRANCH PROHIBITION.

Expert opinion is divided as to the respective value, as a paint
pigment, o f a chemically pure zinc oxide and one containing a per­
centage of lead salts up to 4 per cent or 5 per cent. For the purposes
of enamels the former is more generally approved, but for purpose



DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

179

of paints the zinc oxide, made by the direct process, and containing
a small percentage of lead, is considered the more useful and stable
pigment.
But if the prohibition of white lead is to be adopted, to be legally
efficient it should be root and branch prohibition, without qualifica­
tion. It would thus get rid of “ lead poisoning, whatever eke it
brought in its train.
It would also relieve the trade of the liability of lead poisoning
as a statutory accident, but so long as any percentage of lead is
allowed to remain in the zinc, or the colors, any and all sickness
arising from paint may be debited to lead poisoning, so that if
percentages of lead are allowed to remain the difficulty of exact
diagnosis will remain with it.
'Inis difficulty is no imaginary one, as the testimony of Mr. Goadby
given above discloses.
The effective prohibition of lead will seriously reduce the colors
for painting and decorative work, and will rule out whole ranges
of colors which can not be replaced by zinc colors except at enor­
mously increased cost, which for most commercial purposes would
be prohibitive, but that is one of the prices the community must
pay if lead is to be prohibited.
Speaking on behalf of the punting trade, I may claim that the
master painters are as solicitous as any other body of employers
to do wnat is possible for the welfare of their men, and I feel assured
that if regulations were passed they would willingly cooperate with
the authorities to make them effective.
My suggestion, put forward with all diffidence, is that regulations
should be given a trial for a period of five years, 1915-1919; that the
results should be carefully tabulated with a view to see their effect,
and if any diminution of attacks and deaths ensued, and that at
the end of the period the position be reviewed in the light of the
ascertained facts.
If no diminution had taken place, the case for the prohibition
of the use of lead would be greatly strengthened, ana would be
difficult to resist.
I would further respectfully suggest that if in the meantime a
committee of investigation could be appointed, comprising repre­
sentatives of, amongst others—
The Royal Society of Arts,
The Royal Institute of British Architects,
The Society of Chemical Industry,
The National Federation of Paint and Varnish Manufacturers,
The National Association of Master House Painters,
The National Amalgamated Society of Operative House
Painters,
under an independent chairman, to formulate a plan of operations
for making exhaustive tests of white lead and zinc paints, under
conditions that would be accepted as authoritative, it would be
very helpful in educating public opinion on the point.
I associate myself cordially with the majority in acknowledging
the very able service rendered to the committee by Mr. E. A. R.
Werner, who has acted as secretary throughout the inquiry.
I much regret that I am compelled to place myself in such direct
antagonism to the finding of my colleagues on the committee, but



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BULLETIN OF THE BUBEAU OF LABOB STATISTICS.

I have endeavored to give the investigation the benefit of whatever
experience I have gained in a lifelong and intimate connection with
the painting trade, and have been prompted solely by the desire
to have both sides of the question freely ventilated.
This must be my apology for this somewhat lengthy report.
I have the honor to remain, sir, your obedient servant,
W. G. S u t h e r l a n d .
February, 1915.
I attach a summary, and an outline of regulations; the first, I
submitted to the committee.
A SUMMARY.
I submitted to the committee the following summary as a fair
deduction from the evidence put before it:
That the inquiry into the use of white lead in building operations
by this committee has established—
(1) That the fatalities and injuries to health arising from tho use
of white lead as a paint are senous.
(2) That the exact incidence ot “ cases” is uncertain, and in the
present state of information conjectural.
(3) That regulations applied to factories where lead is made
and used has greatly reduced the “ case” and the “ fatals” in these
industries.
(4) That it is fair to assume that regulations applied to the paint­
ing trade would have similar results.
(5) That the center of danger in all lead industries is in the dust
produced.
(6) That in the painting trade the dust-producing processes
hurtful to the health of the operatives rest on the dry rubbing down
of lead paint.
(7) That the danger of lead poisoning from emanations riven off
by drying paint, or from fumes created by burning off old paint,
as proved by the evidence, does not exist.
(8) That the danger arising from unwashed hands and careless­
ness in the use of white lead in painted processes is trivial compared
with the danger from dust, but not entirely negligible.
(9) That the incidence of lead poisoning amongst house painters
over the number engaged is much lighter than in the other industries
into which lead enters, and which come under the operation of the
factory acts. Therefore it is desirable before proceeding to so drastic
a course as the prohibition of the use of white lead to give a trial
to regulations over a sufficient length of time to demonstrate their
efficiency or otherwise.
(10) That in Scotland, where the use of white lead in painting
operations is as extensive, per painter, as in England, and where
the use of abrasives such as sandpaper and dry rubbing down
with pumice stone is equally practiced, lead poisoning outside the
Glasgow area is almost negligible (vide Dr. Legge’s evidence).
(11) That in England the great areas of lead poisoning are London,
Lancashire, Birmingham, and Leeds.
(12) That this large location of the evil to congested centers
points to indifferent environment as weakening the resistance to



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181

attacks of white lead, and which might be further elucidated by
notification of all attacks being made compulsory.
(13) That this is another cogent reason for caution before coming
to a decision to prohibit the use of white lead.
(14) That the most rational course is to prohibit (under heavy
penalties) dry rubbing down, and thus at one stroke remove the
great source of danger from poisoning by lead dust.
(15) That a probationary period of not less than five years be
allowed, during which time it shall be made compulsory on the
employer to make returns of all cases occurring to his workmen so
as to arrive at the true incidence of cases.
That to insure perfect returns the machinery of the new insurance
act should be utilized for the stating of all cases, slight or other­
wise, of lead poisoning.
(16) That during this period all materials into which lead enters
i. e., colors, patent driers, etc., shall be labeled at their source of
supply in conspicuous letters as “ poisonous,” and that it be oblig­
atory on every master to have fixed in a prominent place in his
shop a sheet supplied by the Home Office, pointing out the dangers
attaching to the use of white and red lead and its compounds, and
the necessity of cleanliness in handling them.
(17) That inasmuch as it is the custom long established for opera­
tive house painters to provide their own overalls and have them
washed at regular intervals, no interference with this practice is neces­
sary beyond making it compulsory, on all painters, including work­
men employed as painters in foundries and engineering shops and the
painting o f railway stations and bridges, to wear overalls and have
them washed at stated intervals of notless than once in seven days.
(18) That in the present state of supply of zinc paint, whether
oxide or sulphide, the prohibition of white lead as a paint base would
paralyze the industry of painting and make us entirely dependent
on foreign sources of supply, which would not for many years meet
the demand.
(19) That this position would be greatly intensified if after 1914
the prohibition of white lead in France becomes operative.
(20) That no Government except France has prohibited the use
of white lead, that the State railways of Prussia gave leadless paints
an exhaustive trial extending over two years, and abandoned it as
unsatisfactory and reverted to the use of lead paints.
(21) That there does not appear to be any white pigment so access­
ible, so universal, and so reasonably adaptable as a paint to meet all
the fluctuations of temperature ana climatic conditions of this coun­
try as white lead.
(22) That its abolition and the substitution of zinc oxide would
impose on the painting trade an entire recasting of its methods and
the unlearning of all that it has previously been taught to regard as
good painting.
(23) That (with perhaps the exception of the Dutch) the British
painter takes first place m Europe amongst painters for the quality
of Ids work, which has a fine tradition attached to it, and it would
be a grave mistake to prejudice what Mr. Wonnacott, F. R. I. B. A.,
in his evidence before the committee, rightly described as a craft.
W. G. S.



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BULL E TI N OF T H E B U R E A U OF LABOR STATISTICS.

OUTLINE OF REGULATIONS.
The peculiar dispersed character of the operations of painting make
inspection a difficult matter. Everyone admits this, but in face of
the great limitation of the origin of lead poisoning to dry rubbing
down (as proved by the medical evidence) its control becomes a much
simpler matter.
If the problem of “ lead” poisoning were complicated by lead ema­
nations from wet or drying paint, or from paint in cans or kegs, it
would be more difficult m solving, but centered as it is largely in this
one process, it should not be difficult to control.
Everything else falls into insignificance before this, and the solu­
tion of the problem should not be insurmountable.
If it were made a penal offense to rub down white lead paint by
the dry process, it would soon resolve itself.
The regulations suggested are merely put forward as a framework
for further elaboration if necessary, but it appears to me that elabo­
rate and complicated regulations would defeat^their intention, and
the simpler they are, so long as they effect their purpose, the more
likely are they to be willingly complied with.
A system, such as is outlined, would give the Home Office a mass
of exact data which would ultimately determine the problem one
way or the other.
SUGGESTED REGULATIONS.

Notification by the Home Office to be posted conspicuously in
every painter’s shop and in all workshops and engineering and other
works where painters are employed as to—
The <fanger spot in painting operations, i. e., dry rubbing
down, and its prohibition.
The necessity for personal cleanliness.
The labeling in bold letters as poisonous at their source of
supply of all compounds containing lead.
The imposing on all paint and color manufacturers to send out
their colors containing lead to painters, moist, i. e., ground—
(1) in water for distemper colors.
(2) in turpentine, or
(3) in oil.
For fine colors this could be done in tubes, as is the practice at
present of a large number of firms, and, for big bulk, in kegs.
Compulsion on afl workmen to provide overalls and have mem
washed once a week. This operates with all decent painters
to-day, and is the custom of the trade.
Five minutes to be allowed by the employer before each meal
hour for washing of hands.
The employer to provide washing facilities and soap and towels.
Medical inspection at intervals of two months and the certifica­
tion of same on cards to be provided for the purpose.
There is no serious difficulty in this, as even for workmen
working on country iobs; the bulk of them “ come in” once in
every two months; this is a stipulation in most working rules.
The possession of such a card to be obligatory on the workman,
and to last for a year, the cards to be returned to the Home
Office at the end of the year to be tabulated, and the records
kept.



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183

All cases of “ lead poisoning,” their exact nature, development,
duration to be recorded and checked by the medical referee in
the district concerned.
In cases where there are symptoms of lead poisoning, the em­
ployer to transfer the workman to work where he wifi not come
m contact with lead—this in case the attack is slight, and not
sufficient to preclude the man from working. (In the latter
case he comes under the operation of the Workmen’s Com­
pensation Act.) The many processes in the painting trade
gives the employer opportunities for this without any serious
inconveniences.
W. G. S.

NOTES ON MR. SUTHERLAND’S MEMORANDUM.
In regard to Scotland, Mr. Sutherland is entirely erroneous regard­
ing the comparatively small number of lead-poisoning cases. The
returns received by the Scottish Painters’ Society during the first
18 months that sick benefit was payable under the National Insur­
ance Act show that 23 members were certified as suffering from
“ colic,” “ lead colic,” or “ plumbism,” while in addition to these cases
6 members received workmen’s compensation for the same disease:
and these figures fully bear out Dr. Legge’s estimate as to “ attack”
cases. The cause of a large proportion of these cases not appearing
in the analysis of reported cases is the want of notification by medical
practitioners to the factory department.
It is true that the proportion of cases to the membership of the
society shows a lower attack rate than among painters in England.
This is accounted for by the fact that in Scotland there is far less
dry rubbing down than in England.
The quotations from my evidence of 1907, given before a committee
dealing with building accidents, only show that before close inquiry
I inclined to the opinion that the dangers were exaggerated. I
entered the present inquiry with an open mind and found that the
evidence was such as to convince me absolutely.
A rch d . G a r d n e r .

In our opinion, Mr. Sutherland’s arguments respecting the differ­
ent technique required for applying zinc paints could not be regarded
seriously and would not be accepted by practical men—whether
employers or operatives—in view of the admittedly wide use of such
paints in France, Holland, Belgium, and Scandinavia, as well as
the evidence of witnesses regarding the extensive use of such paints
in this country for interior painting, and in many cases for exterior
painting also, where zinc and lead paints are habitually applied by
the same workmen.
A rch d. Gard n er.

J. P a r s o n a g e .
Mr. Sutherland has, in his memorandum, reflected on the methods
whereby his colleagues have arrived at their conclusions; we feel it
to be unnecessary to refute Mr. Sutherland’s allegations in detail,
but we must protest against the implication that we have based our
findings on the testimony of any one individual witness, inasmuch as
the evidence sufficiently reveals the wide scope of our investigations.



184

BULLETIN OF T H E B U R E A U OF LABOB STATISTICS.

We wish, further, to dissociate ourselves from the way in which
the evidence relating to H. M. office of works is dealt with. Both
Sir Henry Tanner and Mr. Patterson came before the committee to
state the experience and observations of unbiased officials of a Gov­
ernment department, having neither personal nor pecuniary interest
in either lead or zinc.
Those members of the committee whose signatures follow that of
the chairman hereunder regret the form of Mr. Sutherland’s reference,
on page 166, to an unimportant incident. Mr. Sutherland presents
his quotations—without their context—in such a manner as to infer
a lack of fairness on the part of the chairman, whose conduct of the
whole inquiry we need hardly say has been as impartial as it has been
conspicuously able.
E r n e s t H a t c h , Chairman.




G o d f r e y B a r in g .
H e n r y B e n t in c k .
E d g a r L. C o l l is .
F. G . R ic e .
A bch d. G ard n er.
J . P a r so n a g e .




B ULL E TI N OF T H E B U B E A U OF LABOB STATISTICS.

186

T A BLE OF INFORMATION SUPPLIED

Marginal
num­
ber.

Name of user o! lead­
less paint.

Leadless paint used for—
Brand
of lead­
less
How many
paint. What purpose.
years.

Longest time exposed without
repainting.

Externally.

Internally.

1 Smedleys Hydropathic A .......
Co. (Ltd.), Mattock.

About 12......... 7 Tears............

2

West Ham Corpora­
tion.

A .......

4...................... 4 years............

3

C h e r t s e y U n io n
Guardians.
Rudd & Son (L td.),
Grantham.

A .......

4

....... d o .............
Exterior of in­ ....... d o .............
firmary.
10..................... 5 years............

5

Baliol College, Oxford. A .......

6

9...................... 8 years............ 6 years............
Ramsbotham. ft A .......
St. George’s Parade,
Finchley Road, N.
A ....... Rugby school, About 10......... About 10 years'
Rugby School..........
scnool sana­
torium, town
hospital.

7

8
9

10

11

12

A .......

Special pur­
pose inlabo­
ratory work.

Q,

A

7...................... 4 years............ 4 years............

B

4...................... ....... do.............. 3 years............

D o.......................... C

....... do.............. ; 4 years............

The Infants’ Hospital,
V in c e n t Square,
S.W .
D o.........................

A

About 1 2 ......

/D i....
D o.......................... \ D * .... \ ...............
i

About 15.........

E. Watts & Sons,
Cowes, I. of W .

i
!

13
14

E
Copartnership Ten­ A
a n ts ( L t d .) , 6
Bloomsbury Square,
W .C .

15

D o..........................

16

J. Clarke, Esq., F.R. I.
B. A ., 34 Castle
Street, Liverpool.

17

....... do..............
D o.......................... Hi
(Ena­
mel.)
D o......................... I ...... ....... do.............
L e e d s F o rg e C o. J
(Ltd.), Leeds.
D o ......................... K

18
19
20
21

C o n s e t t I r o n Co.
( Ltd.), County Dur­
ham.




Houses............ 10.............

....... do.............
V
A

’

8 years............ 4 or 5 years,
j according to
| position.

1 to 2...............

i

Mills................ About 10......... 4 to 5 years.... 4 to 5 years___

J......... O u tsid e o f
corrugated
iron roofs.

....... do.............. 5 years............
....... do..............
5...................... N ot used.........

3

years............

3 months.........
About 10.........

3 or 4 years—

D A N G E R IN USE OP LEAD IN T H E PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

187

B Y USERS OF LEADLESS PAINTS.

To what extent found satisfactory as regards—
Other remarks
Finish.

Very good...

Good glossy
surface.

Very satisfac­
tory.

Durability.

Permanence of Cost of painting
color.
operations.

Satisfactory: “ Stands well” One-third more
than ordinary
(white prin­
bright and
lead paints.
fresh after
cipally used).
washing.
Good............... Good............... Compares favor­
a b ly w ith
other paints.
Lasting very
well.
Very satisfac­ Very satisfac­ About 6d. (12
tory.
cents) per yard
tory.
superficial.
.do.,
..do..

Good...

Good...

..do..

..do..

Good (cream
and white
best).
Good............. .

Excellent.

Excellent.

It stood w ell.

Bather heavy.

.do..

White mostly
used; excel­
lent mevery
way.
Good where
sheltered.

Mar­
ginal
num­
ber.

Well worth additional cost;
its finished appearance
keeps much better than or­
dinary paints.

Best and most economical
come across.
A paint was wanted which
would remain smooth when
under slightly warmed wa­
ter d ay and nigh t for
months. The paint was
very satisfactory for this
purpose.
For the past 9 years has
found nothing better for ex­
ternal and internal use.
Preferred to any other on the
m a rk et. T n e b o d y is
denser; although it may be
rather difficult to apply,
the extra labor is well ex­
pended.
Paint put on new building___

Quite reasonable

..d o.......

Fairly good.

Very good...

No good what­
ever when
exposed to
weather.
Very good.......

Good..

Good.,

Very good..
Good..........

Very good....... Very good..
Our best up to ___ do....... .
now.

Very good..

..do..

Very good..

.do..

Good..

.do..

. .do..........
Solid; good..

Medium..,

Good............




Good___
(Black).
----- d o ...

Rather cheaper
thanB .
R a th e r m ore
than ordinary
and other leaaless paints.
About the same
as o rd in a ry
paint.
___ do.................
Little more than Used on about 2,500 houses..
lead paints at
first, but les­
sens as men
get used to it.
Do not propose to use these
again as they are not so good
as A.
Two coats prep­
aration and A and H give equally good
one coat A
results for walls; A is the
paint 9d. (18
better for steel and wood­
cents) super­
work. Large number of
ficial
yard,
mills and works treated
country; lOd.
with enamel paints on pre­
(20cents)Lonparation, which is more
don.
satisfactory than using lead
. ...d o ................
paints for first and second
coating under the enamel.
___do.................
Below the aver­
age.
....d o . ............... Easily worked and good
covering power.

11

12
13
14

15
16

17
18
19

20
21

188

BULLETIN OF T H E B U R E A U OF LABOR STATISTICS.
T A B L E OF IN FORM ATION SUPPLIED B Y

Mar­
ginal
num­
ber.

**>

23
24

25

Name of user of leadless paint.

Manchester Corpora­
t i o n (c l e a n s in g
department).
Low Moor Co. (Ltd.),
Bradford.
Stewarts & Lloyds
(L td.), Coatbridge,
N. B.

Leadless paint used for—
Brand
of lead­
less
How many
paint. What purpose.
years.
j

......

j ...... Outside iron­
work.
j ......... G a lv a n iz e d
corrugated
sheets.

Externally.

10..................... Not used......... 3 years............
About 5........... (Say) 4 years.. (Say) 2 y ears...

D o ......................... L ........ ....... do..............
J.......... S t e e l girder

Easton Gibb & Son
(Ltd.). Rosyth, Inverkeithing.

27

Otto Coke-Oven Co. J.......... C o k e-ov e n
(L td.), Crigglestone,
plant.
Wakefield.

28

B . Hood Haggie &
Son (Ltd.), Newcastle-on-Tyne.

29

Sharpe & Co., Phoenix J.......... C o r r u g a t e d
iron roofs.
Foundry, Lancas­
ter.
Hendon Paper Works j ......
Co. (Ltd.), Sunder­
land.
The Koppers Coke- J.......... C h e m i c a l
plant.
Oven . & Bye-Pro­
duct Co., Sheffield.

31

Internally.

1......................

26

30

Longest time exposed without
repainting.

work.*

j .........

3£.............. .

No record s....

2 to 3..............% 2 years............ 2 years............

10 to 12............ Not used......... 3 to 5 years___

10.....................
About 12......... About 7 years. About 3 years.

4......................

32

Sheffield Coal
Sheffield.

Co.,

J.......... Ironwork........

3...................... 3 years_______ 3 years............

33

F a r n l e y I r o n Co.
(Ltd.), Famley.

J.......... Outside iron­

5...................... 5 years............ ....... d o .............

34

Taylor Bros. & Co.
(L td.), C l a r e n c e
Iron Works, Leeds.
A. T. Green & Sons
(L td.), Northfield
Engineering Works,
Rotherham.
South Metropolitan
Gas Co., Old Kent
Road, S. E.
A r m s t r o n g , Whit­
worth & Co. (Ltd.),
Elswick (ordinance
department).
A r m s t r o n g , Whit­
worth & Co. (Ltd.),
Elswick (mercantile
ship building de­
partment).
City Steamboat Co.
(L td.), 7 Great St.,
Helens Street, E. C.

J.......... Iron chimneys, 5 to 7...............

1 year..............

J..........

10.....................

2 to 3 years___

J.......... Gas works....... 6......................

2 years............

J.........

C orrugated
sheeting.

8 years............

J.........

Ships............... .......d o .............

.35

36
37

38

39

work.

U K ...

parts of ma­
chinery.

i

9......................

Steamships.... 4...................... 3 years............

1 y e a r .........

1

40

Greenshields, Cowie &
l»—
Co., 42 Castle Street, iJM 2.... 'l .. . .d o ............. About 14........ M o r e t h a n
/
Liverpool.
2 years.

41

Rankin, Gilmour &
Co. (Ltd.), 67 South
John Street, Liver­
pool.




! M1
|
1
!
i

....... do.............. 20..................... Not used......... 12 to 14 months

D A N G E R IN USE OF LEAD IN T H E PAINTiNG OF BUILDINGS.

189

USERS OF LEADLESS PAINTS—Continued.

To what extent found satisfactory as regards—
Other remarks.
Finish.

Durability.

Permanence of Cost of painting
color.
operations.

Slightly eheaper.
than ordinary
paint.
Good..
Good............... No figures avail­ Very satisfactory..
.do..
able.
Good; vamishSoon after ex­ About 2d. (4
cents) per
posure gloss
like.
disappears,
square yard*
leaving darkbrown color.
More expensive
Double that of
than J paint.
J paint.
More durable
oExposed to sea air and
than red
water; alternately wetted
l e a d , iron
and dried by running and
oxidepaints,
falling water.
or black var­
nish.
Reasonable..
“ To maintain a good appear*
Good............... Good..
Good..
ance with our plants, we
consider it desirable they
should be painted every
two years.,f
.d o..
Good (black Less than oil Well satisfied; only objection
C lean a n d
p a i n t , flows
only).
being that it can not be ob­
bright.
tained in brighter colors.
well,
more
co v e rin g
power.
Quite satisfactory.
Good..

Can not s a y ... Can not sa y ..

Good at first;
becom es
dull.
All r i g h t ; More satisfac­ Black; entirely Much cheaper
than ordinary
tory when
black, modsatisfactory.
paint.
eratelyshiny
applied to
bare iron.*
surface.
Id. (2 cents) per
Good............... Good on clean Good..
squareyardin
foundation.
stru ctu ral
work.
Fine
gloss,
similar to
varnish.
Good...............
....... d o ....

Good...

All right.

....d o ..

Varies according
to class of
work.

Very good..

Very good.,

S atisfactory
in e v e r y
respect.

S atisfactory
in e v e r y
respect.

&Not so satisfactory when ap­
plied to apparatus pre­
viously coated w ithboiled
oil or other paints.
For corrugated iron it is ex­
cellent if put on when
sheets are clean, as it does
not crack or fly oft when
the sheets are bent.

Very good
n(

Good..

Good..




Various.

Cheaper than
lead
paints
b e c a u s e of
greater cover­
ing poWer.
Good............. . Medium.............

Satisfactory... Satisfactory... Satisfactory..

24

25
26

27

28

29

31

32

34

....d o ............. R e a s o n a b l e ;
easily put on
and co v e rs
well.
About the same
Very good..
as any ordi­
nary paint.
S atisfactory A p p r o x i m a t e
in e v e r y
ftd . (3 cents)
per
square
respect.
yard.

V ery good

23

33

The only paint they have
found to withstand sulphur
fumes.

35

36
37

Vessels leave the yard shortly
after the work is done; no
complaints from clients as
to durability, etc.
V ery good

22

30

Good..

....... do............

Marginal
num­
ber.

38

39

40
41

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

190

T A B L E OF IN FORM ATION SU PPLIED B Y

Mar­
ginal
num­
ber.

42

Name of user of lead­
less paint.

Leadless paint used for—
Brand
of lead­
less
How many
paint. What purpose.
years.

Cork Steamship Co. [Mi...,
Steamships. . .
(Ltd.),ChapelStreet,
Liverpool.
Evan Thomas Rad- M i . . . .....d o ........
cliffe & Co., 4 Dock
C h a m b e r s , Bute
Dock, Cardiff.
Charles Radcliffe & Mi.
Co. (Ltd.), Vienna
C h a m b e r s , Bute
Street. Cardin.
Watney, Combe, Reid Mi.
& Co. (Ltd.), Brewer
Street, Pimlico.
East Ham Corporation Mi.
D o ........................
West Pier Co., Brigh­
ton.

Ee e

Over 20 years.

Longest time exposed without
repainting.

Internally.

►to 11 years.
1
A t least 2 years 6 to 9 months..

18 months..

.do..

Externally.

6 months..

Brewery.. .
Tramcar roofs.

Cars painted
annually.«

P I 3«

— .do............. About 2.,
M i.V.. Pier and thea­ 5............
ter.

Cammell, Laird & Co. Mi>*M* Iron and steel
(Ltd.), Birkenhead.
(e n ­
surfaces in
sh ip b u ild ­
ing.
el).
Galbraith, Pembroke M M . . Steamships....
& Co., 34 Leadenhall
Street, E. C.
R . Hughes-Jones & M M . . .......do..............
Co., 18 Water Street,
Liverpool.
....... d o .:.......................
Insidesofholds
William Gray & Co.
Ships..............
l ) , West Harool.

3 years.

.......... do..
3 years...

10.......... .

18 months..

6 months..

About 14..

(> ) .........

(* ) ........

About 10..
Over 20..,

3 to 4 years...

1 to 2 years...

20 to 23.

12 months___

6 months.......

About 2 yearsc

6 to 9 months

Not used..

2 years.

.do..

3 years.

am
­

54

55

56

J

-Saxon Petro­
leum Co. (Ltd.), 21
Bury Street, St.
Mary Axe, E .C .
Jenkins Bros., Mer­
chants Exchange,
Cardiff.
Ealing Corporation.. ..

57

58

61

Do.

M i . . . . S t e a m s h i p s 12 to 15..
(decks,holds,
and general).
M i . . . . Outdoorwork;
e.g., railings,
park seats,
shelters, etc.
Iron surfaces..

Hall Steamship Co.
(L td.), Cardm.
Trinity House, Tower
Hill, E. C.

MM..

Mercantile Steamship
Co. (Ltd.), 91-3 Bisnopsgate, E. C.
Paine & Sandere, 57
Broad Street, Wor­
cester.

RM.

C. J. Hinde, 117 Han­
ley Road, Stroud
Green, N.
63

M
i.,

W . M. Glendinning,
191 Loughborough
Road, Brixton.




2i.

About
3 18 months <*.
months.
16 to IS months 12 m onths...

Steamships....

M i .... Outside and
inside work
on ships.

1 year..

10 months.

.do.

2 years.

2 years—

..d o .

About
12
months.

Steamships....
House paint*
ing (very ex­
posed posi­
tion).
House paint­
ing.

....... do..............

3 years.

3 years.

DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

191

USERS OF LEADLESS PAINTS-Continuod.
To what extent found satisfactory as regards—
Other remarks.
Finish.

Durability.

Permanence of Cost of painting
operations.
color.

Satisfactory... Satisfactory... Satisfactory.

Satisfactory.......

Very satisfac­
tory.

Very good..

U n ifo rm ....

Cheaper than
o rd in a ry
mixed paints
as regards cost
of material.

Excellent.

Very satisfac­
tory.

Good..

Good..

Can hardly
state yet.

Stands well.

Satisfactory... Satisfactory... Satisfactory.
....d o ............. .......do.............. ....d o ........
Enamel gloss.. Will stand and Very good..
look well aft­
er 3 years.
Satisfactory..

Satisfactory.

42
Experience of M paints, in
holds as well as on decks,
has been highly satisfactory,

43

The paint is of uniform qual­
ity, and much superior to
the lead paints formerly
used.

44

Slightly in ex­
cess of lead

45

L the «Cars painted annually “ ac­
y
cording to police regula­
same as ordi­
t io n s *
nary paint.
...d o ..................
About the same Suits pier work the best; ex­
cellent paint for sea work;
as other paints.
withstands action of sea
water.
Satisfactory.
As work leaves premises en­
tirely, results are not seen
after any length of time.

46

Good............

....d o ..

Satisfactory.

Satisfactory,

----- do..

Satisfactory.

....d o ..
Good...

.do..
Very good..

.......do.,
Good...

6 Time varies according to
voyages and climates.

51
52
53

Very good..

54

55

61

Very good......

Very good___

Satisfactory;
bright.

More durable
than lead
paints.

Good..

Good..

Cost of material c According to class of cargo
cheaper than
carried. Entirely satisfac­
o rd in a ry
tory for all purposes.
paints.
Very satisfac­ Somewhat in ex­ Very good material for finish­
tory.
cess of ordiing coats of all ironwork
n a r y lead
and woodwork used on out­
door work.
.......do............ Somewhat in ex­
cess of ordina ry lea d
paints,butnot
quite so ex­
pensive as M i
paint.
Very g ood.... Expensive......... d Ships’ bottoms and topsides.
Much longer Some 5 per cent Best paint used; better finish,
than lead
lasts longer, and has more
less than lead
paints.
paints.
permanent qualities than
any lead or other paints
known of.
Satisfactory.., Economical.

Smooth and
bea utiful
white.

Excels white
lead paint.

Keeps excel­
lent color.

More glossy
than white
lead paint.

So far quite as
durable as
white lead
paint.

Fine gloss fin­
ish.

In good condi­
tion after 3
years.

E x t e r n a l Costs more for
work looks
material, but
cleaner than
no more for
white lead
lab or than
paint work.
l e a d paint.
Color still hold­ About 10 per
ing.
cent cheaper
th a n lead
paints.

Quite satisfac­
tory.

Last particu­
larly well.

Good covering Very satisfac­
tory. .
power a n d
Very satisfac­ ....... do............
tory.




49

50

----- do..........

.do..

47
48

Results generally satisfactory.

Good............

Very good..

Mar­
ginal
num­
ber.

Shades well
maintained.

Little more than
white l e a d
paint.
Seems to last longer, and
stands the weather well;

On one occasion use of lead
undercoats turned it yel­
low, otherwise it has been
most satisfactory.

56

57

58

192

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.
T A B L E OF INFORM ATION SI?PPLIED B Y

Marginal
num­
ber.

Name of user of lead­
less paint.

Leadless paint used for—
Brand
of lead­
less
paint. What purpose.
How many
years.

Longest time exposed without
repainting.

Internally.

64

T. C. Tims, 17 Chesson Road, West
Kensington.

s ........

65

H. N. Martin, 10 Cir­
cus Street/ Green­
wich.

s ..... ....... do.............. 11..................... 1J vears..........

66

%
67

House paint­
ing.

Over 2 ............. Not yet re­
painted.

Externally.

Not yet re­
painted.

14’

years..........

Buildings— . 2 ...................... 2 years............
The Atlantic Coaling 1
T ronw ork:
5 to 8 months..
wharves and
Co. (Ltd.), 36 Lead- | * ....
r
enhall Street, E.C.
ships’ bot. toms.
D o ......................... R 8 . . . . Ironwork........ ....... d o .............

Gas w orks. . . . 1|.............

Brighton and Hove
General Gas Co.,
Portslade.
D o.........................

R

70

The Bolton Steam
Shipping Co. (L td A
57 Bishopsgate,E. C.

R

71

About
9
D o ......................... R 2___ S te a m s h ip s ....... do..............
months.
(ships' bot­
toms).
13..................... Not used......... 5 vears............
Kidderminster Cor­ V
poration.

68
69

72

73

74

Grays Thurrock U. D.
C., Essex.

T

u

D o ......................... H 2

75

Exeter Corporation

u

76

The Glen Line, 1 East
India Avenue, E. C.

V

77
78

D o ......................... H i
The Harrison Line, V
Dock House Billeter Square, E. C.
Mansinn House Cham­ W
bers (Ltd.) 41 Queen
Victoria
Street,
E .C .

79




....... do.............. 20 to 30............ 6 to 10 years... 3 to 5 years—

Steam ships
(holds).

About 4..........

3 years............

7 years............

About 20.........

4......................
Hull of a tug­ 6......................
boat.
Steamships.... About 3..........

....... d o ............ 6......................
....... d o ............. 3......................

Not used........
1

year.............. 1J years ex­
posed
to
weather on
fore part of
bridge.

Over 2............. Over 2 years

6 months.........

DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

193

USERS OF LEADLESS PAINTS-Continued.

To what extent found satisfactory as regards—
Other remarks.
Finish.

Durability.

Quite satisfac­
tory.

Quite satisfac­
tory.

H .ood and
/ glossy.

Does not de­
preciate or
peel and sets
w ell into
iron.

Permancnce of Cost of painting
operations.
color.
Holds its color
better than
other paints
used.

K e e p s color
well.

Seems to cost
less for labor
in putting on
than o t h e r
paints.
S lig h t ly less
than w h i t e lead paint.

64

Can give no opinion as to dur­
ability ana permanence of
color, having used it for
only 15 months, but so far
it 6 quite satisfactory in
both respects.

Less than lead
paint owing
to weight.

67

68
69

70

Not superior to other good
compositions.

71

3 coats equal to
3 coats of paint
and 1 of var­
nish in ordin a ry lea d
paint.
Easily applied; &
Attributed to presence of
sulphur in atmosphere, the
time occupied
in mixing or­
result of cement burning.
dinary lead
paints is saved.
....... do.................

72

Good...............

Good hard sur­ 5 years............
face equal to
varnish.

Good lasting
color.

Quite satisfac­
tory.

Darkens by
exposure to
a t m o sphere.&

Quite satisfac­
tory.

05

66

Splendid anticorrosive for
iron; can be applied to
wood. Splendid preventa­
tive, in tropical countries,
of dry-rot. Excels tar in
quality.
[a Somewhat difficult to ex­
press any opinion as to the
durability of various paints
as these works are exposed
to very heavy storms from
SW., and all paints are sub­
ject to very hard wear. In
addition to the weather, a
Excellent
Good«............. Good............... Normal..............
gas works always has an
atmosphere of acid and
....... do................. * alkali fumes which, of
G o o d ............ ....... do*............
course, are very destructive
to paint work. The gen­
eral opinion, however, is
that both the paints noted
are very excellent in all
respects for general interior
and exterior work.
Very good....... Very good....... Very good....... Same as other Can be highly recommended.
compositions.
Good...............

Mar­
ginal
num­
ber.

____ do.............

.73

74

Excellent

Retains color
well.
Goode.............. Good!.............. S&me as lead c Better than lead paint..........
paint.
Excellent. . . . . Excellent........ Moderate............ Mostly used externally on
boats and deck houses, and
found very good on wood
or steel.

7a

Vprv C O l
T fW
G ood .. ..

Very good....... Very good.......
Good............... Good............... Moderate...........

77
78

Excellent
G ood*.

.......

....... d o ............. Not used long
enough to
prove.

Not used long
enough to
prove.

25285° Bull. 188— 1C--- 13
—



No cheaper than Owing to insufficient body,
a white-lead undercoat is
other painting.
generally used.

75

79

194

BULLETIN OF THE BUBEAU OF LABOK STATISTICS.
T A BL E OF INFORMATION SUPPLIED B Y

Mar­
ginal
num­
ber.

Name of user of lead­
less paint.

The Haberdashers Co., W.
9 Denman Street,
S. E.
D o ......................... D*.

House paint­
ing.

82

C. H. Smith & Son,
Customhouse Cham­
bers, Newcastle-onTyne.

Ships.

83

J. Ridley, Son & Tully,
Exchange Buildings,
N ewcastie-on-T y ne.

80

Longest time exposed without
repainting.

Leadless paint used for—
Brand
of 1 d ­
A
less
paint. What purpose. How many
years.

X.

.d o.

Internally.

Externally.

Not repain teda

Nearly 5.
About 3..

18 months.......j 12 months..

16............

/....d o.

84

D o.

M*..

Deckhouses..

2 years............ j ly e a r..............
, 4 years (on ce­
ment at sea*
side).
2 or 3 years___ 12 months..

85

D o.
D o.

M*.
Y6.

Ships..
.....do.

2 years.
.......d o..

8
6

87

88
89
90
91

B
B
I* - \ uildings.......

Sheffield Corporation..

D o.
Cunard Steamship Co.,
(Ltd.), Liverpool.
Tyne-Tees Steam Ship­
ping Co. (Ltd.),
Newcastie-on-Tyne.
Huntley & Palmers
(Ltd.), Reading.

1 year..
.....d o .
3-i years.

Iron and steel

.......d o .............
.do.
j
A b o u t 18 A b o u t 10
Enam­ Steamships....; 2 or 3___
months.
months.
el.
2 years............ 1 year............
White .......d o ............. ; About 7.
enam­
el.
! Used as a trial.L
R ep ain tin g
“ Zinc
necessary
white
after 2 years.
in oil.”

i
No record.

|
92 ] Leeds City Tramways.; A A .

98
94
95

Metropol itan DistrictVjP2----Railway.
B . Langton Cole, F. It.
I. B. A. 23 Throg­
morton Street, E. C.
Mitchell, Toms & Co. U....
(Ltd.), Chard, Sorn-

96

H. Hayley, resident
engineer, East Sus­
sex Asylum, Hellingly.

97

The Crittall Manufac­
turing Co. (Ltd.),
Braintree.

98

J. J. Joass 9 Clifford
Street, W.

U.




..........................• About 2...........
......................... !........d o............. fNot used.
Steelwork....... j About 6...........
Ironwork........! More than 30 9 years*..
I years.
....d o ..
,.do.

P r i m i n g of
steel win­
dow frames
(dipped).
P.

.d o.

3 years.

About 5 years
7 years..........

10.

4£ years.

21.

8 years..

3 years.

D A N G E R I N U S E O F L E A D I N T H E P A I N T I N G O F B U IL D I N G S .

195

USEES OF LEADLESS PAINTS—Continued.

To what extent found satisfactory as regards—
Other remarks.
Finish.

Durability.

Permanence of Cost of painting
operations.
color.

Mar­
ginal
num­
ber.

a Except where work has
been badly used by tenants.
These paints are not affected
, by the cleaning to any
great extent, and generally
have many advantages
over lead paints for general
, decorations.
Vessels chipped and painted
Glossy............ Good............... Good...............
every 12 or 18 months,holds
and decks done with the
paint which is always in
good condition at time of
chipping. No other leadless paint used, being satis­
fied with this one.
E xcellen t.... \ Fades a little Much the same 1
as other nonex- \................................
....... d o .........../
after some
pensive paints. 1
time.

Very good-----

Sound............. Excellent.......

Good. . . . . . . .

82

83

....... d o ................
....... d o ................

85
86

.d o ............ ....... d o .............
Good........ .

Good...............

....... d o ............. ....... d o.............

Satisfactory... 60 per cent less Retained color
durable than
lead paint.

Quite satisfac­
tory.

81

84

Slightly rough, Hard face after Retains color
well.
exposure for
gritty face.
3 years.

Good gloss___

80

Holds co lo r.. . ....... d o ................

Excellent;like
enamel, and
washes well.

....... d o .............

Favorable..........

Quite satisfac­
tory.

Good when
used alone;
not perma­
nent mixed
as a color.

&This paint is almost iden­
tical with X paint.
1 coat, 2£d. (5 IBoth are satisfactory for all
ccnts) per yard
ironwork. On steel struc­
superficial; 2
tures for 15 months, in­
coats. 4|d. (9
spected every 3 months,
cents); 3 ,6ia.
and found as good as when
(13 cents);" 4,
it was applied. Work pre­
$l-d. (17 cents).
viously painted with red
....... d o ................
lead, oil, or white-lead paint
did not stand 12 months.
Normal for en­ All put on over aleadlessbase
amels.
or skimming.
9d. (is cents) per
yard.
Compared with
lead
paint,
about same;
material 12£
per cent cheap­
er; less body.
10s. ($4.87) cwt., When used alone is superior
cheaper than
to white-lead paint in per­
lead at normal
manent color, but not as
figure.
durable.

87
88

89
90
91

92

Satisfactory... Fairly g o od ... Generally good

93

Very good....... Very durable.. Better than
lead paint.

94

G o o d .............. Good...............

95

....... d o ............. Very durable..

Quite suitable Properly preas a finishing | pared, lasts
quite as long
coat.
1 as l e a d
paints.
Completely.. . ! Completely...




About 5 per cent c Cleaned once and still in
more than lead
order.
paint.
Satisfactory.. . Rather more ex­
pensive than
ordinary paint.
Depends upon Cost is less than Fencing, rainwater guttering,
tne shade;
lead paint, ow­
and fall pipes painted m
green will
ing to durabil­
1908 are still in good condi­
ity.
not stand so
tion (1914).
well as in a
lead paint.
More perma­ Not so expensive 4 Initial cost is somewhat
nent than
as lead paints.
greater, but this is set off by
lead paint.
its greater covering power.
i
Completely___ ! Economics,!.......
1
1

96

97

98

196

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS,
T A B L E OF IN FORM ATION SU PPLIED B Y

Mar­
ginal
num­
ber.

99

100
101

Leadless paint used for—
Brand
Name o! user of lead­ ofleadless paint.
less
How many
paint. What purpose.
years.
P. Waterhouse, F. B .
I. B. A., Staple Inn
Buildings, Holborn.

P ........ P r i m i n g of
steel w i n ­
dow frames
(dipped).

Longest time exposed without
repainting.

Internally.

A t least 8........

Davis < Emanuel, and r ........ ....... d o ............. 3 to 4............... 6 months at
fc
H. C. Smart, 2 Fins­
seaside on
bury Circus, E. C.
East coast.
Huston, Proctor & Co. p ........ Thrashing ma­ 2......................
chines.
(Ltd.), Lincoln.

Ilenry Hope < Sons
fc
(Ltd.), 55 Lionel
Street, Birmingham.

J. Brown < Son, King
fc
Street, Chertsey.

BB

109

Thomas Dellow < BB
fc
Sons, 23 Bute Street,
Low Fell, Gates­
head.
W . Johnston & Son, BB
54 Sandgate, Ayr.

6 months at
seaside on
East coast.
1 year..............

p .......

108

Externally.

102

m
m

105

1(6

107

110

Priming
of
21 years...........
,
|
steel window
frames
(dipped).
W. Clarke, 166 Mel­ B B . . . House paint­ 7 or 8...............;; 7 years............
ing.
bourne Road, Leices­
!
1 '
i
ter.
1
!
|„
i o years............
John Ball, Station B B . . . ....... d o ............. « ...................... 1
Road, Lutterworth.
i
|
!
!
....... d o ............. 5 . . . .................
Bennett & Blowers, BB
1
188-5 E a s t R o a d ,
i
1
1
Cambridge.
i
i
j
i
|
....... do.............
Frank Wellsman, Audley House, New­
i
market.
i
i
!
J. H. Dodd, 56 Stubbs B B . . . ....... d o ............. 6...................... •6 vears............ i 4 years............
i ‘
Gate,
Newcastle,
Staffs.
....... do.............. 5 or 6............... 3 years............ ....... do.............
....... do.............

i

3......................
!

....... do.............. ....... do..............

3 vears............

....... do............. ....... d o.............

33
’ears............ Not used.........

....... do.............. ....... do..............

3 years............

John R . Gilheapy, 120
John Street, JBlaydon-on-Tyne.
112 J.Teasdale, Elm Villa,
Bally, Doncaster.

BB

113

W . Hindle, 17 Cranworth Street, Stalybridge.

BB

....... do.............

114

A. Foden, 21 Ormerod
Street, Accrington.

BB

....... do.............. ....... do.............. 2 years............ ....... do..............!

J. Newbery, 47 West
Street, B r o m l e y ,
Kent.

BB

11!

j

115




2......................

1 1 years..........

2 years............ !

j
!

....... do..............

Not used.........

DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

197

USERS OF LEADLESS PAINTS-Continued.
To what extent found satisfactory as regards—
Other remarks.
Finish.

Durability.

Quite equal to
brushwork.

Satisfactory.

Very
good;
much supe­
rior to lead.

Very g ood.. .

Permanence of Cost of painting
color.
operations.
The frames are sent out well
covered with good paint on
which the subsequent paint­
ing—to suit the exac t cover­
ing required—stands well
and is durable. This ap­
plies to internal and exter­
nal work.
No experience; Less costly than System of painting b y d ip -!
brushwork.
only as
ping, more efficient than:
prii *
brum painting.
Very
Same as lead; Colors used include: Dark red,
bright pink, purple, brown,
first cost slight­
ly higher, cov­
vermilion, and ultramarine.
ering p o w e r
greater.
“ The paint compares favor­
ably with any other paint
which we have used.,r

Keeps
well.

color

its
W ith s t o od Retains
w eather
w h it en es s
well.
quite as well
as lead paint.
Satisfactory.. . Does not grow
*yellow with
age l i k e
white lead.
Stands better Keeps its color
than white
longer than
lead.
white lead.

Equal to white
lead.

Stands exceed­
ingly well.




100

101

102

Likes it for inside work; good
under enamels.

As good as lead
Stands quite
as well as
lead.

Mar­
ginal
num
ber.

Does not turn
yellow with
“ Retains its
w hiteness
better than
the best of
white leads.”

103

Covers better than lead paint;
and is a better color.

104

Used many tons of this paint
on all classes of work inside
and outside with good re­
sults.

105

106

107

108
Can turn out better work
with this paint than with
white-leaa paint; covering
power greater.
Part of buildingpainted with
white lead and part with
“ B B ” paint. Alter 3 years
the paints were equal as
regards wear; “ BB ".paint
much whiter in color, and
washed much better, showinglittle sign of powdering.
Equal to white lead for in­
terior work.

109

Considers it to be the best
white pigment on the mar­
ket. Used on “ jobs too
numerous to mention.”
In many instances superior
to white-lead paint. A

112

Used on many jobs, and for
inside work it can not be
beaten for body and cover­
ing power.

114

Splendid covering power. _
_

115

110

111

113

198

B U L L E T IN

OP T H E B U B E A U

O F L A B O R S T A T IS T IC S .

T A B L E OF INFORM ATION SUPPLIED B Y

Marginal
num­
ber.

Name of user of lead­
less paint.

M. Pattison & Co.,
Elvet Bridge, Dur­
ham.

116

117 A . B . Clare, 10 Grange
Hoad, Leigh-on-Sea.

Longest time exposed without
repainting.

Leadless paint used for—
Brand
of lead­
less
paint. What purpose.
How many
years.
B B ...

House paint­
ing.

Internally.

2...................... 2 years...........

B B . . . ....... do.............. 1J......................

118

S. E . Cox & Co.,
Hampton-in-Arden,
Birmingham.

BB

119

S. Wiltshire, Grand
Parade, L eigh -on Sea.
DuckerBros., 67 King
Street, Newtown,
N. S. W .
G. W . Newman, 13
The Parade, Lewis­
ham High Itoad,
S .E .
C. J. Turner, 21 Gran­
ville Road, Lewis­
ham, S. E .
The Surveyor, Metro­
politan
Railway,
Surplus Lands Com­
mittee.

BB

....... d o . . . . . . . .

BB

....... do.............. 2......................

St. Thomas's
pital, S. E .

1£ years..........

120
121

122
123

Externally.

1 year.......... .

l j years...........

2...................... 2 years............ Not used........

l j years...........
2 years............ 1 year.............

S ..... ....... do.............. ........d o ............ ....... do.............

s....

....... do.............. ........d o ............ ....... do.............

s

....... do.............. . . . . . d o ......... .

D*

....... do.............

Not used un­
til recently.

years........... 2 years............

i
124




Hos­

Over 15........... 15 years..........

}

6 years............

DANGER IN USE OP LEAD IN THE PAINTING OP BUILDINGS.

199

USERS OF LEAD LESS PAINTS—Concluded.

To what extent found satisfactory as regards—

!

Mar­
ginal
num­
ber.

Other remarks.
Finish.

Durability.

Work in ex­
cellent con­
dition.

Permanence of Cost of painting
operations.
color.
Keeps its color
well.

116

Mixes freely with varnishes,
boiled linseed oil, raw oil,
and turps; requires less
driers, thus giving greater
body; works freely under
the brush; a fine undercoat
for enamel work; does not
powder whilst sandpaper­
ing. After 20 years' ex­
perience of painting have
found nothing to equal it.
Has great covering power,
and is recommended for
houses exposed to sea air.
A n excellent paint for clean­
ness in use, gives a good
body and surface, ana has
a good covering area, and is
superior to white lead in
many ways.

i
1

[ Stands t h e
I weather
| quite well.

117
118

119
Very good paint, especially
on brickwork.

Excellent........ i Seems good
after tw o
| years/*
Equal to good
enamel.
Excellent........ 1 Quito satis fao
j tory.
|
1
j

Splendid......... E x t r e m e l y
good.




Excellent........ Just about the
same as with
white lead.
A little dearer
th a n w ith
white lead.
About 12£ per
centabove
cost of ordi­
n a ry lead
paint.

White keeps
color well;
when c o l ­
ored b y pig­
ments is apt
to tu r n
darker.
Very good, in- : 13s. 6d. ($3.28)
deed.
gallon, less 10
per cent, fin­
ishing; 11s. 6d.
($2.80) gallon,
less 10 per cent
undercoating.

120

a No cracking, blistering, or

121

perishing visible.

122
Generally, results have been
very satisfactory; but the
paint has not the covering
power of lead paint.

123

A very reliable paint in all
respects.

124

1

APPENDIX.
BELGIUM.
Law concerning the use o f wbite lead in painting, August 20,1909.

A rticle 1. The sale, transportation, and use ‘of white lead in powder, lumps, or
cakes for the purpose of painting is forbidden.
The sale, transportation, and use of white lead in powder, lumps, or cakes for other
purposes is permitted under such conditions and within such limits as may be fixed by
royal decree.
Art. 2. White lead intended for use in painting may be sold, transported, and used
in the form of paste only when ground and mixed with oil.
A rt. 3. Partial or entire prohibition of the sale, transportation, or use of other prod­
ucts, powdered, lumps, or cakes, having a lead base, intended to be used in painting,
majr be ordered by administrative decree upon advice of the superior council of public
hygiene.
Art. 4. The dry scraping or pumicing of surfaces covered with white lead is
prohibited.
A rt. 5. Infractions of this law and of the decrees relative to its execution are punish­
able by a fine of 26 fr. ($5.02) to 100 fr. ($19.30).
Art. 0. Subsequent infractions within 12 months following a conviction under this
law are punishable by a minimum fine of 100 fr. ($19.30) to a maximum of 1,000 fr.
($193).
Art. 7. Chapter VII and article 85 of Book I of the Penal Code is applicable to the
infractions mentioned above.
A rt . 8. Infractions of this law may be established by report of the Government
labor inspectors, and the burden of proof shall be upon the offender.
A copy of the repor, shall be served upon the offender within 48 hour*, under
penalty of becoming void.
A rt.*9. This law shall be in force from and after the date of its publication.
Royal decree o f July 25, 1910, relative to the use o f white lead in the painting o f buildings.

A rticle 1. All establishments engaged in house painting b y the use of white lead,
or in scraping or pumicing of surfaces painted or coated with white lead are subject to
the following provisions:
Measures imposed on the employers.
A rt . 2. White lead shall be employed only in the form of paste mixed or ground in
oil.
Art. 3. The working up of the white lead in that form shall be done only in such
manner as to prevent contact between the material and the hands, as well as to prevent
splashing.
It is the duty of employers to furnish the employees with the necessary apparatus for
mixing the lead.
A rt. 4. Employers, heads of establishments, or their overseers shall supervise the
material and cause tools to be properly cared for.
Art. 5. Dry scraping or dry pumicing of surfaces painted or coat ed with white lead
is prohibited.
A rt. 6. Employers, heads of establishments, or their overseers shall cause their
employees performing the work mentioned in article 1 to wear clothing and head cover­
ing exclusively kept for this work.
Clothing which is removed for work shall be kept in a place closed to toxic dust.
A rt. 7. Employers and heads of establishments shall place in yards and shops, at
the disposition of their employees, water and articles necessary for cleaning their
mouths, for washing their bodies and hands with soap, also for wiping.
Employers, heads of establishments, or their overseers shall cause their employees
to perform these acts before eating or drinking and before leaving the yards or shops
where they work.

200



DANGER IN USE OF LEAD IN THE PAINTING OF BUILDINGS.

201

All food brought into the shops or yards must be inclosed in tight boxes or recep­
tacles until lunch time.
Art. 8. Employers or heads of establishments must cause their employees engaged
in the occupations mentioned in article 1 of this decree to be examined every three
months by a physician agreed upon by the minister of the interior and of labor.
The expense of such an examination and fees of the ministerial office must be
borne by the employer.
Employers ana heads of establishments shall positively prevent any person suffer­
ing from chronic lead poisoning or exhibiting symptoms of recurring poisoning from
being exposed to such poisoning.
They shall temporarily prevent those not in good health at the time of examination
from such exposure.
They shall keep a special register in form as prepared by the administration, and
in which the physician agreed upon shall enter such facts as are shown by these exam­
inations. This register shall be forwarded upon requisition to the proper authorities.
Employers and heads of establishments shall not employ persons addicted to intox­
ication, and must prevent the introduction and drinking of distilled alcoholic bever­
ages within the work yards and shops.
Measures imposed on the employees.
A r t . 9. Employees whose duty it is to prepare the white lead in paste, ground and
mixed, shall so work as to prevent contact of the materials and the hands, and splash­
ing of the materials.
Art. 10. Employees are prohibited from scraping and dry pumicing of .surfaces
painted or coated with white lead.
Art. 11. Employees whose duty it is to perform the work mentioned in article 1
must be in possession of clothing and a head dress exclusively devoted to the work;
they must keep them in good condition and remove them before leaving the yards or
shops.
Tne clothing which they removed when beginning work must be kept in a place
closed to all poisonous dust.
A r t . 12. Before partaking of food or drink, and before quitting the shops 'and yards,
the employees shall rinse the mouth and wash their hands and bodies with soap.
Food brought into the shops or yards must be inclosed in boxes or other receptacles
tightly closed until meal time.
A r t . 13. The employees must keep the materials and tools in a proper condition.
A r t . 14. Employees are prohibited from bringing into shops and yards any distilled
alcoholic beverages, or from drinking them therein.
A rt. 15. Employees are required to take the examinations as provided in article 8
of this decree.

General provisions.

Art. 16. Infractions of the provisions of this decree are punishable by a fine of 26
fr. ($5.02) to 100 fr. ($19.30).
• A r t . 17. Subsequent offenses within 12 months after com iction under this decree
are punishable by a fine of 100 fr. ($19.30) as a minimum and 1.000 fr. ($193) as a
maximum.
A r t . 18. Chapter V II and article 85, Volume I of the Penal Code, are applicable to
this decree.
A rt. 19. Inspector of labor and labor inspectors delegated by the workmen ore
charged with tne execution of this decree.
FRANCE.
Law concerning the use o f white lead in the painting o f buildings, either interior or exterior, July 20,
190$, as amended by the labor code.

Code du Travail el de la Pdvoyance Social.
L ivre II, T itre II, Ciiafitre IV.
A rticle 78. In shops, yards, buildings under construction or repair, and in general

in every place where the work of painting buildings is being carried on, managers,
directors, or agents must, in addition to other provisions of safety, conform to the fol­
lowing conditions:
A r t . 79. After the 1st day of January, 1915, the use of white lead, of lead ground in
linseed oil, and all other products in which white lead is a constituent, is prohibited in



202

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

all classes of painting done by employed painters, whether the work is interior or
exterior of buildings.
A rt. 80. If necessary public regulations may be issued indicating in what special
work these provisions may be abrogated.
Traus III, Chapitre II.
Art. 93. The execution of this law is placed under the charge of labor inspectors,
who, for this purpose, may enter any establishment mentioned in article 78. Where
the work of painting is done in an inhabited dwelling, the inspectors may not enter
without the permission of the persons so occupying it.
Titre IV, Chapitjre II, Section V.
A r t . 173. Managers, directors, agents, or overseers contravening any of the provi­
sions of Chapter * * * and IV of Title II of this volume and of the rules and regu­
lations issued in relation to their execution, shall be tried before the police court and
punished by a tine of 5 fr. (96.5 cents) to 10 fr. (SI.93). The fine shall be imposed for
each distinct infraction established in the hearing, but shall in no case exceed 200 fr.
($38.60).
Decree regulating the use o f white lead in house painting, July 18,1902.

A rticle 1. White lead may be used in a condition of paste only in house-painting
establishments.
Art. 2. In the preparation directly with the hands of material having white lead
as a base for house painting is prohibited.
A rt. 3. Pry scraping and dry pumicing of white painted surfaces are prohibited.
Art. 4. In the work of wet scraping and pumicing, and in general in all work of
painting with white lead, the employer shall place at the disposition of laborers, over­
coats exclusively provided for the work, and require their use. They must be kept in
good repair and washed often.
All necessary articles must be in a place accessible to the workmen.
Machinery and tools must be kept clean and in a good state of repair, and their
cleansing must be effected without dry scraping.
Art. 5. These rules must be posted in the office where the hiring of laborers is done.
Decree o f July 15,1904.

A rticle 1. The provisions of article 1 of decree of July 18,1902, are extended to all
painting works.
SWITZERLAND.
Resolution o f the National Council concerning the use o f white lead In interior painting on public works.
June 30,1908.

The several administrative departments are requested to prevent the use of white
lead in the painting of interior surfaces in all work which they have performed under
contract or over which they have supervision.
CANTON OF GENEVA.
Law on use o f white lead and Its compounds in public works and private buildings.
Grand Council, October 26,1907.)

(Adopted by the

A rticle 1. The use of white lead in painting or in the manufacture of tubes, either
in public or private work, in any other form than as a paste, is prohibited.
A r t . 2. In jpublic or private work, dry pumicing, dry scraping, or the removal of
paint by fire is prohibited.
A rt. 3. The State Council shall issue hygienic regulations to which employers and
employees must comply in the use of products having a white-lead base.
Art. 4. Any employer or employee not complying with the provisions of this law or
the regulations is subject to penalties.




INDEX.
A.
Page.
Anderson, John, witness of London Association of Master Decorators, testimony o f ........................ 28,138
Anderson, R . L ., witness of Association of Master House Painters in Scotland, testimony of...........33,137
Aniline and alizarin dyes, statements of A . Connell as to .......................................................................
56
Archibald Vickers (Ltd.), paint and varnish makers, testimony of A . Vickers, representing___ 49,50,140
Architects, British, Royal institute of, testimony of Mr. Munby and Mr. Wonnacott, representing. 69,70,151
Armstrong, Prof. H. E ~ witness of white lead corroders................................................................. 93,94,153
Association of Master House Painters in Scotland, testimony of representatives o f..............................30-34
Astrium paints, statements of witness as to ..............................................................................................
48
Austria, action taken by, relating to the use of white lead in painting................................................
122
Austria, testimony of Dr. Kaup relating to the use of white lead in painting in..................................
79

B.
Baly, Prof. E . 0. C., fellow of Institute of Chemistry, testimony o f......................................... 58,59,128,161
Bancroft, John, witness of National Amalgamated Society of House & Ship Painters, testimony of.
37
Barker, J.W ., witness of National Association of Master House Painters & Decorators, testimony of. 22,136
Belgium, action taken by, relating to the use of white lead in painting..............................................
123
Belgium, text of law concerning use of white lead in minting...............................................................
200
Bennett, Col. R . J., witness of Association of Master House Painters in Scotland, testimony o f___ 33,137
Bettink, Prof., witness of white lead corroders..................................................................................... 107,108
Bitmo preparations, statement of W . Cail as t o ................................................................................ 56,57,142
Bohemia, testimony of Dr. Rambousek relating to the use of white lead in painting in..................... 83-85
Bonner, Frederick, working master decorator, testimony of................................................................. 29,138
Bridge painting, testimony of Mr. EUson and Mr. P. J. Hunter dealing with......................................77,78
Brimsdown Lead Co. (Ltd.), white lead makers, testimony of W . A. liumfrey, manager..................
46
C.
Cadbury Bros. (L td.), testimony of B . J. Morley, representing................................................ 70,71,143,147
Call's Bitmo Co. (L td.), testimony of W . Cail, representing.................................................................56,57
Campbell, H. A ., witness of National Association of Master House Painters & Decorators, testi­
mony of....................................................................................................................................................
19
Cantrill, W . H ., witness of National Association of Master House Painters & Decorators, testi­
mony o f ................................................................................................................................................... 20,138
CarfraejG., witness of Association of Master House Painters in Scotland, testimony o f.....................
31
Carlier Frfcres, manufacturers of “ Zinox.” testimony of M. Giraud and M. Petit, representing... 53,56,141
Carson, K . K ., witness of color, paint, oil, and varnish trades associations, testimony of...................41,42
C. Chancellor & Co., makers of leadless paints, testimony of H. G. Chancellor and S. P . Penwarden,
representing........................................................................................................................................... 54,141
Chappell, J. K ., witness of National Association of Master House Painters & Decorators, testi­
mony o f.....................................................................................................................................................
14
Chemists, testimony of professional............................................................................................. 58-62,128,161
Colic, lead, or plumbism. (See Lead poisoning.)
Collis. Dr., H. M. medical inspector olfactories, testimony of................................................................ 72,73
Coloring materials or stainers, leadless. (See Pigments, leadless.)
Color, paint, oil, and varnish trades associations, testimony of representatives of...............................40-45
Committee’s proposals, gravity of, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland................................................ 172,173
Connell, A ., representing Messrs. Meister, Lucius & Binning, makers of aniline and alizarin dyes,
testimony of..................................................................................................................................... 56,145,146
Cookson & Co. (Ltd.), makers of white and red lead, testimony of Mr. Cookson, representing..........
45
Covsh, Commander W . H ., marine superintendent of Great Eastern Railway Co., testimony of. 73,74,143
Crace, J. D., witness of Institute of British Decorators, testimony o f ......................................... 17.18,137
Crow, Dr., witness of color, paint, oil, and varnish trades associations, testimony of............ 42,43,145,146
Cunnew, Mr., representingjfzerelmey Co., testimony o f.................................................................. 48,49,140
Cunyngname, Sir Henry, K . C. B., testimony of..................................................................................... 63,64
D.
de Morsier, Mr., editor, witness of white lead corroders, testimony o f .................................................97-99
Depierres, Gaston, managing director of Indestructible Paint Co. of London, testimony of......... 52-54,141
Devine, Joseph, witness of National Amalgamated Society of House & Ship Painters, testimony of.
37
Dixon’s White, statements of Mr. Heydom as t o ...................................................................................
48
Dobbie, Dr. J. J., principal chemist of Government laboratory, testimony of.........................61,62,128,161
Dobie, W . F., witness of Association of Master House Painters in Scotland, testimony of................. 31,32
Donald. J. R.,witness of Association of Master House Painters in Scotland, testimony o f................34,138
Driers, leadless, testimony as to ................................................................................................................
147
Dry rubbing down, abolition of, and regulations, memorandum b y Mr. Sutherland...........................
176
Dry rubbing down and lead dust, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland............ .................................... 157,158
Drying ofls in paints, emanations from, memorandum b y Mr. Sutherland.........................................
161
Duresco, nonpoisonous paint, statement of J. R. Donald as to ...............................................................
34
Dust, lead, an unsuspected danger, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland..................................................
177
Dust. (See also Dry rubbing down; Lead poisoning.)
Dutch Government commission, investigations and conclusions of, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland. 171
Dutch. (See also Holland.)




203

204

INDEX.
6.

Page.
Edginton, Dr., certifying surgeon for North Birmingham, testimony o f............................................. .
73
E. Expert-Bezanson, witness of white lead corroders, testimony o f..........................................1..........
88
Ellson, Mr., and P. J. Hunter, testimony of, dealing with bridge painting...................................77,73,144
Emanations (formic aldehyde) from paints containing drying oils, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland.
161
P.
Flatau, Capt., and Mr. Mflnes, representing Rabok Manufacturing Co., testimony of........................... 16,141
122
France, action taken by, relating to the use of white lead in pamting.................................................
France, text of law concerning use of white lead in painting............................................................. 201,202
Francis, Capt. Matthew, witness of white lead corroders, testimony of.................................................
102
G.
Gardner, Mr., secretary of Scottish Society of Operative House < Ship Painters, testimony of.........
fe
72
Gardner, Heary, witness of white lead corroders, testimony of..............................................................
103
Garson, J. W .. representing Lewis Berger & Sons (Ltd.), testimony of............................................... 45,139
Germany, action taken by, relating to the use of white lead in painting..............................................
122
Germany, testimony of Dr. Kaup relating to the use of white lead in painting in ...............................80-83
Giraud, aL, and Petit, M., representing earlier Frfcres, testimony of, as to “ Zm ox” ......................... 55,141
Goadby, K . W ., witness of white lead corroders, testimony of........................................................ 90-93,153
Granitic Paint Co., makers of leadless paints, testimony of representative of..................................... 48,139
Griffiths, F ., witness of National Federation of Building Trades Employers, testimony o f ..............
26
Grundy, F ., witness of National Association of Master House Painters & Decorators, testimony of.
18
Guest, E., witness of Association of Master House Painters in Scotland, testimony of........................
32
H.
TTall, T ., witness of National Federation of Building Trades Employers, testimony of.....................
25
Hansa greens, Hansa yellows, etc., statement of A . Connell as to..........................................................
56
Harris, V igurs, witness of National Association of Master House Painters & Decorators, testimony of. 20,138
----- A’ \ testimony of...................................................................................
48
r House Painters & Decorators, testimony o f.. 21,137
_______ , ____ ___
, _____ ig to the use o f white lead in painting..
Holland, experience of, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland......................................................................
178
Holliday, J. S., witness of National Federation of Building Trades Employers, testimony o f ..........
24
Home Office Committee of 1893, findings of, memorandum oy Mr. Sutherland....................................
168
Honeychurch, J. J., witness of London Association of Master Decorators, testimony of.....................19,137
Hooper. Grant, superintending chemist of Government labot atory, testimony of................ 60,61,146,152
ITolzaprel, Mr., witness of color, paint, oil, and varnish trades associations, testimony o f .................
43
46
Humfrey, W . A m a n a g e r of Brimsdown Lead Co. (L td.), testimony of.................................. ...........
Humphrey, E . N., witness of white lead corroders, testimony of....................................................... 102,103
Hunter, P. J., and Mr. Ellson, testimony of, dealing with bridge painting.................................... 77,78,144
I.
Indestructible Paint Co., testimony of Gaston Depfcrrrs, representing...........................................52-54,141
J.
Johnson, E. M., witness of white lead corroders, testimony of...................................................... 109-112,133
K.
Kaup, Dr. Ignaz, witness of white lead corroders, testimony of...................................................... 7*-83,127
Klein, C. A ., witness of white lead corroders, testimony of.....................................................................
100
L.
Laidler, Mr., witness of National Association of Master House Painters & Decorators, testimony of.
13
Lancaster, H. C., witness of white lead corroders, testimony o f.......................................................... 103,104
Lead:
Compounds, solubility of.....................................................................................................................
152
Dangers to health from other media than...........................................................................................
153
Mode of entrance into human system.................................................................................................
125
Prohibition of use of, meaning o f .................................................................................................... 171-176
Regulations as to use of, outline of..................................................................................... 110, 111, 182,183
Restriction to not more than 5 per cent of soluble lead................................................................ 150^152
Substitutes for.......................................................................................................................................
152
Zinc and, production of, in metric tons, British Empire..................................................................
104
I/eadless materials for paints:
Adequacy of supply o f...................................................................................................................... 147-150
Makers of, testimony of..................................................................................................................... 139-142
Pigments, cobalt blue, Prussian blue, greens, reds, and yellows, statements as to .....................144-147
Zinc hydrate and antimony trioxide...................................................................................................
150
Zinc oxide manufacture, effect of, on white lead industry............................................................ 149,150
Zinc oxide, process of manufacture.....................................................................................................
149
Zinc, world's output of........................................................................................................... ............
148
Leadless paint:
Efficiency o f..........................................................................................................................................
136
Employers, testimony of. as t o ............................................................................................................
137
Exterior use, suitability for.............................................................................................................. 137,138
Information as to, table of, supplied by users o f.............................................................................186-199
Manufacturers or users of, testimony of........................................................................................... 138-144




IN D E X .:

205

Lead poisoning:
Page.
Austria, action taken b y . . . .................................................................................................................
122
Belgium, action taken b y ..................................................................................................................... 123
Causation of, scientific data concerning........................................................................................... 124,125
Compensation for workmen suspended from work..... ....................... ^____ ; ............................. .. 131
Deaths and “ cases” or attacks from, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland....................... ............. 156,157
Deaths from................................................ . ................................................... ............................11 113-118
Diagnosis of, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland.................................................................................
175
Disease not unpreyentable, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland........................................................
176
Dust, accumulation of, and necessary precautions against...............................................................
129
Dust, an unsuspected danger, memorandum b y Mr. Sutherland....................................................
177
Dust, production of, in the process of dry rubbing down.............................................................. 126,127
Dust, quantity of, produced by dry sandpapering........................................................................ ..
127
Dust, the great danger......................................... .............................................................................125,126
Emanations (formic aldehyde) from paints containing drying oils..................................................
161
France, action taken b y ....................................................................................... ................................ 122
Fresh paint and sickness, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland...........................................................
175
Fumes from fresh paint. as a cause of.................................................................................................
128
Germany, action taken b y .................................... ..............................................................................
122
Holland, action taken b y .................................................................................................................. 123,124
House painters, extent of evil among........................................................................................... . 113-121
Incidence o f......................................................................................................................................... 11,118
Lead absorption and, memorandum b y Mr. Sutherland..................................................................
176
Medical decisions, tendency of, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland...................................................
175
Medical examinations, periodical.........................................................................................................
131
Mess rooms.............................................................................................................................................
129
Methods of dealing with.................................................................................................................... 124-152
Mortality rates, in industries other than house painting................................................................; .
118
Nonfatal cases, estimate of number o f............................................................................................. 119-12i
Overalls, as retainers of lead dust.....................................................................................................129,130
Personal cleanliness not negligible but subordinate, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland............ 157,158
Prohibition or restriction 01 use of lead, one method of dealing with........................................... 135-150
Recommendations of departmental committee.................................... .........................................152-154
Regulations, adequate code of, impracticability of............................................................................
132
Regulations, code of, conclusions of committee as t o ......................................................................... 135
Regulations, code of, evidence in favor o f....................................................................................... 132-134
Regulations, code of, one method of dealing with.......................................................................... 124-135
Restriction of use of lead to not more than 5 per cent of soluble lea d .......................................... 150-152
Safeguards, practical.................................................................................................................... .
127,128
Scotland, immunity of, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland...............................................................
159
Sickness from new paint .memorandum by Mr. Sutherland............................................................
160
Sources of, testimony of Dr. Legge......................................................................................................
12
Sources of, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland.......................................................................... 157,160,161
Sprav. production of, by stippling......................................................................................................
128
Statistics of, of house painters, testimony of Mr. Parsonage, Mr. Gardner, Dr. Collis, and Dr.
Edginton............................................................................ .........................! ................ . . .............71-73
Susceptibility to, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland.........................................................................
176
Switzerland, action taken by ...............................................................................................................
124
Washing accommodations....................................................................................................................
129
Working hours, limitation o f............................................................................................................ 130,131
Legge, Dr., evidence submitted b y ............................................, ....................................................... 11-13,113
Lewis Berger & Sons (L td.), of Homerton, testimony of J. W . Garson representing............................45,46
97
Leyendecker, Hans, witness of white lead corroders, testimony of............................... ........ ................
Line, Charles A ., consultant to paint manufacturers, testimony of................................................. 57,58,141
Linseed o il, turpentine and turpentine substitutes, vapors from, effect on health o f.......................... 153
173
Lithopone and zinc oxide, sources of, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland...............................................
Lithopone, statements of Mr. Pisart and Mr. Depierres as to..................................................................51,53
London Association of Master Decorators, witnesses representing..........................................................28,29
Lowe, Frank, witness of National Amalgamated Society of House & Ship Painters, testimony o f..
36
M.
McDermid, J. H.,witness of National Association of Master House Painters & Decorators, testi­
mony of....................................................................................................................................................
14
McHugh, T ., witness of National Association of Master House Painters & Decorators, testimony
o f......................................... ......................................................... ................................................. 23,137,138
McKillop, David, and A . Smith, representing Scottish Society of House & Ship Painters, testimony
Of................................................................................................................................................................39,40
Maastricht Zinc White Co., testimony of Mr. Pisart, managing director of.................................... 50-52,140
49
Mander Bros. (Ltd.), testimony of C. I . Smyth representing................................................................
Master house painters and decorators in England, testimony of witnesses, representing...................... 13-30
London Association of Master Decorators, testimony o f witnesses representing...................... 28?29
Master house painters partially in favor o f regulations......................................................................17-19
Master house painters who prefer prohibition of lead to regulations............................................ 19-30
Master house painters who prefer regulations to prohibition of lead................................................13-17
National Association of Master House Painters & Decorators, testimony of representatives of. . . . 19-24
National Federation of Building Trades Employers, testimony of witnesses representing............ 24-27
Working master decorator, testimony o f ..........................................................................................29,30
Master House Painters & Decorators, National Association of, resolution of, as to regulation or pro­
hibition of lead.........................................................................................................................................
134
Matton, Julius, witness of white lead corroders, testimony of................................................................
103
Medical examinations, periodical, provisions as to ................................................................................... 131
Meissl, O., witness of white lead corroders, testimony o f ................................................................ 85,86,169
Meister, Lucius & Bruning. makers of aniline and alizarin dyes, testimony of A . Connell, representing.
56
Mess rooms, provisions as t o ............................................................................................ ........................
129
Miller, Hedley, witness of white lead corroders, testimony o f............................................................. 101,102
Milnes, Mr., and Capt. Flatau, representing Rabok Manufacturing Co., testimony of— .........56,141,142
Milton, J., witness of London Association of Master Decorator?, testimony of.........., ......... — 28,136,137




206

INDEX.

Page.
Mockford, G. B., testimony of, dealing mainly with ship painting......................................... ............ 75,144
Morley, B. J., representing Cadbury Bros. (Ltd.), testimony of......................................................70,71,143
Morton, G. H ., witness of National Federation of Building Trades Employers, testimony of..........25,137
Mtinby, Mr., and Mr. Wonnacott, witnesses of Royal Institute of British Architects................... 69,70,151
N.
National Amalgamated Society of House & Ship Painters, testimony of representatives of................35-38
National Association of Master House Painters & Decorators, testimony o f witnesses o f.................... 19-24
National Federation of Building Trades Employers, testimony of witnesses o f .................................... 24-27
Niederhauser, Emil, witness of white lead corroders, testimony of........................................................ 95-97
Nooijen, Mr., witness of white lead corroders, testimony of....................................................................88-90
O.
Office of works, H. M., testimony of G. D. Patterson and Sir Henry Tanner, representing. . . 64-69,142,143
Office of works, H . M.. testimony of, memorandum b y Mr. Sutherland.......................................... 161-167
Orr, J. M., witness of Association of Master House Painters in Scotland, testimony o f ...................... 30,31
Overalls, provisions as to......................................................................................................................... 129,130
P.
Paints or paint materials, manufacturers of, testimony of witnesses representing...............................45-58
Paints, proprietary, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland............................................................................
166
Parsonage, M r- witness of National Amalgamated Society of House & Ship Painters............ . 35,71,126
Patterson, G. D ., and Sir Henry Tanner, representing H . M. office of works, testimony of.. 64-69,142,143
Penwarden, S. P ., and H . G. Chancellor, representing C. Chancellor & Co.. testimony of................ 54,141
Petit, M., and Giraud, M., representing Cartier Frdres, testimony of, as to “ Zinox” ..........................55,141
phiiip, Arnold, the admiralty chemist, testimony of..............................................................................59,143
36
Pickles, W ., witness o f National Amalgamated Society of House & L-iip Painters..............................
Pigments, leadless, cobalt blue, Prussian blue, greens, reds, and yellows, statements as to .............144-147
Pisart, F ., managing director of Maastricht Zinc White Co., testimony of..................................... 50-52,140
Plumb. G., witness of white lead corroders, testimony o f.......................................................................
106
Plumbism, or lead colic. (See Lead poisoning.)
Prohibition of use o f white lead:
Meaning of.......................................................................................................................................... 171-176
Testimony of master house painters having preference for, as against regulations......................... 19-30
Possibility of.................................................................................................................. ......................
136
Preference of employers for, as against regulations......................................................................... 135,136
Root and branch, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland......................................................................178,179
Purex (Ltd.), testimony of W . R , Hardwick, consulting chemist to .....................................................
45
Puttrell, J., witness of National Association of Master House Painters & Decorators, testimony of. 20,137
R.
Rabok Manufacturing Co., testimony of Oapt. Flatau and Mr. Milnes, representing................... 56,141,142
Ragosine Paint Co. (Ltd.), testimony of Mr. Heydom, representing................................................... 48,139
Rambousek, Dr., witness of white lead corroders, testimony o f............................................................. 83-85
Regulations as to use of white lead:
Conclusions of departmental committee as to ....................................................................................
135
Employers’ preference for, as against prohibition.......................................................................... 135,136
Enumeration of points to be included in, b y Mr. Johnson........................................................... 110, 111
Memorandum b y Mr. Sutherland........................................................................................................ 177
Outline of, memorandum b y Mr. Sutherland................................................................................. 182,183
Testimony of master house painters having preference for. as against prohibition.........................13-17
Testimony of master house painters partially in favor of.................................................................. 17-19
Restriction o f use of lead to not more than 5 per cent of soluble lead................................................. 150-152
R . Gay & Co. (Ltd.), testimony of D. Wait, chemist to ........................................................................ 48,139
Riclier-Devroede, Mr., witness of white lead corroders..................................................................... 86,87,131
Rivet, A ., representing T. & W . Farmiloe, testimony of...................................................... ........... 46-48,139
Roch. Dr. M., witness of white lead corroders, testimony o f ................................................................ 99,100
Royal Institute of British Architects, testimony of Mr. Munby and Mr. Wonnacott, representing... 69,70
S.
Scottish Society of House & Ship Painters, testimony of David MeKillop and A . Smith, representing. 39,40
Scotland, immunity of, from lead poisoning.............................................................................................
159
Ship painting, testimony of witnesses dealing with................................................................................. 73-77
Sulphate of lead, testimonv as to use of....................................................................................................
152
Schobert, G., testimony o f dealing with ship painting.......................................................................... 74,142
Schooling, J. Holt, witness of white lead corroders...............................................................................108,109
Scott, John, witness of Association of Master House Painters in Scotland............................................
34
Sibthorpe, J., witness of white lead corroders, testimony o f ................................................. 104-106,132,133
Simpson, w ., testimony of dealing with ship painting............................................................................
76
Smith, A., and David MeKillop, representing Scottish Socicty of House & Ship Painters, testimony
o f................................................................................................................................................................ 39,40
Smith, J. Cruikshank, consultant to paint manufacturers, testimony of............................................. 57,141
Smyth, C. I., representing Mander Bros. (Ltd.), testimony of....................................................... 49,145,146
Styles, W. J., witness of National Federation of Building Trades Employers, testimony o f............. 27,138
Sutherland, W . G.:
Memorandum b y ............................................................................................................................... 155-183
Memorandum by, notes on...................................................................................................................
183
Deductions from evidence submitted..............................................................................................180,181
Switzerland, action taken by, relating to the use of white lead in painting.........................................
124
Switzerland, resolution of National Council concerning use of white lead m painting........................
202
Szerelmey Co., paint makers, testimony of Mr. Cunnew, representing........................................... 48,49,140




INDEX.

207

T.
Page.
T. & W . Farmiloe, testimony of T. Rivet, representing.........................................................................46-48
Tanner, Sir Henry, and G. D. Patterson, representing H. M. office of works, testimony o f . . . 64-69,142,143
Tuke, Capt., marine superintendent of Orient Steamship Co., testimony of...................... ...........7 i, 75,143
Turpentine and its effects, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland................................................................. 175
Turpentine and linseed oil, vapors from, effect on health o f................................................................. 94,153
V.
Vaughan. J. C.; witness of National Association of Master House Painters & Decorators, testimony of. 18,133
Velure, statements of H. G. Chancellor and S. P. Penwarden as to...................................................... 54,55
Vfllemot, A ., witness of white lead corroders, testimony o f.................................................................... 94,95
W.
Wait, D., chemist to R . Gay & Co. (Ltd.). testimony o f ......................................................................48,139
Walker, F. L ., witness of National Federation of Bunding Trades Employers.................................. 25,137
Wallis, W . F., witness of National Federation o f Building Trades Employers, testimony o f ...........
26
Walsh, J., witness of National Amalgamated Society of House & Ship Painters.................................
36
Washing accommodations, memorandum b y Mr. Sutherland................................................................
177
Washing accommodations, provisions as t o .............................................................................................
129
W ebb, George, witness of National Amalgamated Society of House & Ship Painters.........................
37
White lead:
Abolition of, conditions precedent to, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland.......................................
170
Alternatives to, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland............................................................................
167
Belgian law concerning use of, in painting....................................................................................... 200,201
French law concerning use of, in painting..................................................................................... 201,202
Guaranty for. memorandum by Mr. Sutherland...............................................................................
170
Paint made from and from zinc oxide, difference in technique required, memorandum by Mr.
Sutherland...................................................................................................................................... 171,172
Prohibition of use of. meaning of, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland........................................... 171-176
Switzerland, resolution of National Council concerning use of, in painting...................................... 202
Value of, to buildings and structures..................................................................................................
169
White lead corroders7 section of the London Chamber of Commerce, testimony of witnesses sub­
mitted by ................................................................................................................................................. 78-112
White, A . G., witness of National Federation of Building Trades Employers, testimony o f............
15
Wilkinson-C. E., witness of London Association of Master Decorators, testimony of........................ 16,17
Willis, A . W ., witness of color, paint, oil, and varnish trades associations...........................................40,41
Wilson, Fred., witness of National Amalgamated Society of House & Ship Painters..........................
36
Wiltsmer, A ., witness of National Association of Master House Painters & Decorators, testimony of. 21,22
Wonnacott, Mr., and Mr. Munby, representing Royal Institute of British Architects, testimony of.
69.
70,151
Z.
Zinc and lead, production of, in metric tons, British Empire.................................................................
104
Zinc oxide:
Commercial failure of manufacture of, in France and Great Britain, memorandum b y Mr. Suther­
land.....................................................................................................................................................
174
Lithopone and, source of, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland............................................................ 173
No guaranty for, memorandum by Mr. Sutherland..........................................................................
170
Paint made from, and from white lead, difference in technique required, memorandum by Mr.
Sutherland..................................................................................................................................... 171,172
White lead and, action of sulphuretted hydrogen on.............................................................. 100,167,168
“ Zinox,” statements of M. Giraud and M. Petit as to.............................................................................55,56