"The use of white lead and other compounds which contain lead has been given considerable attention: most published discussions include warnings regarding their toxic effects. These materials may be handled with perfect safety if the hands and fingernails be well cleaned after using them, and if one is careful not to breathe or swallow the dust. Lead is a cumulative poison; that is, if small amounts are absorbed into the system there is no apparent effect; the toxic effect is built up by added quantities. Workers in factories which produce these products, and house painters who use them, do not contract lead poisoning if conditions are such as to permit the usual precautions. White lead is poisonous only if swallowed or inhaled; on the whole its hazard has been somewhat exaggerated."
Ralph Meyer, The Artist's Handbook, 1950