What Every Dutch Boy Should Know About Lead

Posted inThe Daily Heller
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Dutch Boy White Lead paint was all the rage before we learned that lead causes lead poisoning. And lead poisoning can be hard to detect—even people who seem healthy can have high blood levels of lead. Signs and symptoms usually don’t appear until dangerous amounts have accumulated.

As the Mayo Clinic notes: “Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, often over months or years. Even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems. Children younger than 6 years are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal. Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in older buildings are the most common sources of lead poisoning in children.”

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But back in the early 20th century, lead paint was de rigueur and homes were drenched in it. No one realized at the time that when paint chipped and peeled, lead would be released into the environment. Alas, this little promotional booklet takes us back to a time before all those nasty regulations that hurt corporations’ bottom lines. Taken at face value, it wasn’t a white wash at all. This delightfully surrealistic fantasy can be appreciated for its sophisticated graphic storytelling, even if the product would today make these houses and the people in them very unhappy indeed.

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