EPA cracks downs on violators of lead paint rule

It's never been wise to play around with lead paint, the kind kicked up during the renovation of homes built before 1978. Nowadays, doing so can be costly in more ways than one, as the Environmental Protection Agency continues to fine violators of its Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rule (RRP).

The Renovation, Repair and Painting rule requires contractors to use lead-safe work practices to ensure that lead dust isn't left behind after renovation, repair, and painting work. Lead exposure can cause a range of health effects, including behavioral problems and learning disabilities, as well as seizures and death. Young children are at the greatest risk because their nervous systems are still developing.

This week, the EPA announced enforcement action against the following companies:

Florida: Camaj Interiors & Exteriors, Jacksonville; Henderson & Associates Services, Largo

Indiana: ARK Property Investments, LLC, Richmond

Maryland: Cherokee Home Improvements, LLC, Church Creek; Window World, Harford, Belair

Michigan: Midwest College Painters, LLC, Bloomfield Hills

Missouri: Groeller Painting, Inc., St. Louis

Nebraska: Albracht Permasiding and Window, Co., Omaha

New Hampshire: CM Rogers Handyman, Manchester; New Hampshire Plate Glass Corporation, Portsmouth; Reeson Construction, Webster

New Jersey: PZ Painting, Springfield

New York: Accolade Construction Group, Inc., Manhattan; Creative Renovations, Brooklyn

Pennsylvania: EA Construction and General Contracting, West Chester; Roman Builders, Morton

Tennessee: Home Resources Management, LLC, Columbia

The companies were assessed with fines ranging from $23,000 to $37,500. While the clients who hired them aren't culpable, they will have run the potentially greater risk of exposure to harmful lead dust. That's why it's essential to ensure that any contractor you hire to work on a pre-1978 home is properly trained and certified.

And if you're repainting your home, check our paint Ratings for finishes that deliver top performance while also containing the lowest levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), other toxins that, like lead, can be harmful to your health.

—Daniel DiClerico

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