Manufacture of White Lead.

Practical Magazine 24, 1876

(Chemistry applied to the Arts, Manufactures, &c.)

The process followed for the manufacture of white lead, and the one explained in all the handbooks of chemistry, is the one known as the Dutch process. The use of petroleum to prevent the lead-poisoning of workmen is a useful fact for manufacturers. M. Fastré verified that most cases of lead poisoning of his workmen resulted from the absorption of white lead through the pores of the skin. He remarked that men at work with the scrapers, or the horizontal grinding stones, are affected, as well as those who pound the white lead; and yet the scraping and water-grinding produce no dust. In such work it is through the absorption by the skin the poisoning is effected. M. Fastré found in petroleum an energetic auxiliary to prevent the cases of poisoning. Before beginning work, at midday, and in the evening, the workmen are obliged to wash their hands with petroleum. For one year they have done it, and they have been very seldom ailing. The cases of lead-poisoning have decreased 90 per cent. The workmen busy with pounding are alone in danger. All the workmen take this work by turns. Soon every cause of insalubrity will disappear by the installation of a ventilator. Benzole, existing in the petroleum, scours the skin, and takes the white lead completely away; the fat substance in the oil prevents the absorption of lead-salts during work. This simple process, which is said to give such good results, may supply useful applications in many industries where the workman has to handle salts of copper, mercury, and other such products.

- Revue Industrielle, Sept. 6, 1876.

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