For Immediate Release: March 30, 2016 Media Contact: Michele Huitric, Huitric.email@example.com, 415-972-3165
U.S. EPA requires Southern California contractor to warn residents of lead-based paint dangers
SAN FRANCISCO: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently fined G.D. Friend, Inc. (operating as Everlast Home Energy Solutions) $28,564 for failing to comply with the federal Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule while performing renovation work at two residential properties in Southern California. This rule seeks to protect the public from lead-based paint hazards that occur during repair or remodeling activities in housing built before 1978.
Renovation work in older homes can create hazardous lead dust, but there are simple steps contractors can take to keep everyone safe, said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. EPA will take enforcement action against companies to ensure they follow proper lead-safety procedures.
G.D. Friend, located in Anaheim, Calif., installs energy efficient home improvement products, such as windows and siding. An EPA inspection found that in February and March 2014, the company performed work at two pre-1978 residential properties in Anaheim and La Verne without: receiving proper certification from EPA; providing clients with the required federal Renovate Right brochure; keeping records indicating compliance with lead-safe work practices; or ensuring a certified renovator performed all of its lead-based paint responsibilities.
Lead-contaminated dust can be easily ingested or inhaled. Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips that can settle on home surfaces. Exposure to such contamination through hand-to-mouth contact or breathing can result in lead poisoning for children, families and construction workers.
Though it is harmful at any age, lead exposure is most dangerous to children. Children’s growing bodies absorb more lead and their brain and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. Lead exposure can lead to behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, and diminished IQ.
EPA enforces the federal Toxic Substances Control Act and its RRP rule to protect residents from exposure to lead-based paint hazards. Contractors who disturb painted surfaces in homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978 must be trained and certified, provide educational materials to residents, and follow safe work practices. Lead-based paint was banned for residential use in 1978, but EPA estimates that it is still present in more than 37 million older homes in the United States.