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EPA Cites Hanson’s Window and Construction for Failures to Warn Residents About Potential Exposures in 2005; $784,380 Penalty Proposed

Release Date: 06/17/2010
Contact Information: Kären Thompson, 312- 353-8547, thompson.karen@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 10-OPA067

CHICAGO (June 17, 2010)) — Based in part on information that two children living in renovated Michigan homes had tested positive for elevated blood lead levels, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has 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.

In this case, EPA alleges that during 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 alleged violations of the 1998 Pre-renovation Lead Information Rule occurred in work performed around May 2005.

The “warning” rule being enforced here is the 1998 federal Pre-renovation Lead Information Rule, which requires that renovators provide homeowners, tenants and owners or lessors 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.

This complaint has no connection to the recent Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule that went into effect April 22, 2010. The 2010 rule concerns new and additional requirements for renovation and repair worker training and certification.

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.

For more information about protecting your family from lead-based paint and to download “Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools”, go to http://www.epa.gov/lead/

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