EPA Fines Contractor for Unsafe Lead Paint Practices

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Know your rights and demand that contractors who work in your home do so in a manner that protects your health and their own.  A Missouri remodeling company was ordered to pay $30,000 penalty for a variety of serious infractions that jeopardized the health of the homeowners.

A company employee also used a high-speed belt sander without a HEPA exhaust attachment to remove lead-based paint. The use of high-speed machines to remove paint or other surface coatings is prohibited by regulations unless the machine is equipped with a HEPA attachment to collect dust and debris which may contain lead.

EPA became involved in this case a result of a complaint from the homeowner. The company was not a certified RRP contractor at the time of the work.

The RRP Rule requires that contractors that work on pre-1978 dwellings and child-occupied facilities are trained and certified to use lead-safe work practices. This ensures that common renovation and repair activities like sanding, cutting and replacing windows minimize the creation and dispersion of dangerous lead dust. EPA finalized the RRP Rule in 2008 and the rule took effect on April 22, 2010.

Work practices like utilizing a belt sander without proper attachments run the risk of creating and distributing lead dust throughout the house where it may be ingested by residents or workers.

Full text of this press release can be found at http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/cc0930b8ba9612b085257c0d0069975d