EPA Cites Company $784,380 for Failing to Warn Residents of Lead-Based Paint Exposures

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently filed a complaint and proposed a $784,380 penalty against Hanson’s Window and Construction Inc. of Madison Heights, Mich., for violations of the 1998 federal rule for failure to warn residents of potential lead-based paint exposures.

EPA alleges that in May 2005, Hanson, a window installation firm, failed to provide home owners and tenants of 271 residential properties in Lansing, East Lansing, Haslett, Charlotte, Onondaga, Williamston, Holt, Stockbridge, Mason, Leslie, and Warren with required information warning residents that their construction activities could expose residents to lead. The citation is based in part on information that two children living in renovated Michigan homes had tested positive for elevated blood lead levels.

The Pre-Renovation Lead Information Rule requires that renovators provide homeowners, tenants, and owners of child-occupied facilities with the “Renovate Right” pamphlet and obtain written confirmation that they have received it. The purpose of the rule is to protect families during renovations in housing built before 1978.

Lead exposure can cause reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height, poor hearing, and other health problems in young children.

Lead-based paint dust created during renovations is the most common source of lead exposure to children in the United States. About 75 percent of the nation’s housing built before 1978 contains lead-based paint. When properly managed, lead-based paint poses little risk. If paint is not maintained, however, even low levels of lead exposure can threaten occupants’ health, especially children and pregnant women.

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