Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

June, 2010

Substitution of Lead Chromate

Q. We are in the middle of changing our paints made with lead chromate pigments for organic pigments. Could you tell me please which are the main properties we are losing in this change besides cost due high price of organic pigment? I really appreciate your answer.

A. Other than the higher cost of organic pigments, the main disadvantage of non-lead-chromate paints is that they tend to have less hiding power. In other words, you need to apply more paint to cover the background. I can't tell you how much more, because it depends on the color of the paint and the pigments used. Again, it all comes back to costs. The organic pigments cost more, and you need to apply more paint. However, I can tell you that already in 1979 most large American corporations made the change from lead chromate to organic pigments. At that time corporations that had standardized corporate colors, such as red, orange, yellow, etc., understood that they might not be able to exactly replicate their original color standards when converting to organic pigments, but they did so anyway.

In my opinion, the major argument for making the change is that you will protect the health of your painters.


Ron Joseph

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