Five Midwest home renovation companies have agreed to pay over $38,000 collectively in penalties to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to resolve alleged violations of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
EPA has found that the following companies failed to comply with regulations that reduce the hazards of lead-based paint exposure during renovations:
- Astoria Design Build LLC in Mission, Kansas
- CAM Home Contracting LLC in St. Louis, Missouri
- DRS Contracting LLC in Springfield, Missouri
- Davis Contracting LLC in Omaha, Nebraska
- Dynasty Restoration Inc. in Omaha, Nebraska
According to EPA, among other alleged violations, each of the companies performed renovations on properties built prior to 1978 without an EPA-certified renovator, as required by federal law.
“Certification is a key requirement to ensure the use of safe work practices when dealing with lead-based paint,” said David Cozad, director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “Reducing exposure to lead – especially among children and pregnant women and in communities already overburdened with pollution exposure – is a top priority for EPA.”
Lead-contaminated dust from disturbed lead-based paint in homes built before 1978 is one of the most common causes of elevated blood lead levels in children. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to lead-based paint exposure because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults, and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. They can be exposed to multiple sources and may experience irreversible and lifelong health effects. Lead dust can be generated when lead-based paint is disturbed by renovation work such as window installation, demolishing painted surfaces such as walls or porches, and scraping and repainting of homes.
Companies and individuals that perform home renovations or hire subcontractors to perform renovations on pre-1978 housing are required to comply with regulations under EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program (RRP). The regulations include requirements to train employees in proper work practices, obtain certification from EPA before performing renovations, as well as compliance with lead safety practices, and records retention, and notification to homeowners about the hazards of renovation-related lead exposure.