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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. EPA requires Orange County contractor to protect residents from lead-based paint dangers

Contact Information: 
Michele Huitric (huitric.michele@epa.gov)

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently fined Clearview Home Improvements Inc. $58,450 for failing to comply with the federal Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule while working at seven residential properties in Southern California. This rule was created to protect the public from lead-based paint hazards that occur during repair or remodeling activities in housing built before 1978. 

“While renovations can make homes energy efficient, it is crucial to protect residents from the hazards of lead paint dust,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Lead-based paint is the main source of lead poisoning for children, and even low levels of lead in their blood can cause irreversible harm.”

Clearview, which operates as Clearview Home Energy Solutions, is located in Anaheim. The company performs energy efficient home improvements, such as installing windows and vinyl siding. An EPA inspection found that in 2013 the company performed renovation work at pre-1978 homes in Los Angeles, San Pedro, Huntington Beach, Carson, Mission Viejo and Riverside without:

  • confirming that a certified renovator, who ensured compliance with the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, was assigned to the job
  • keeping records to show that the renovator complied with lead-safe work practices
  • maintaining proper certification as a Renovation, Repair and Painting firm
  • providing clients with the required federal Renovate Right brochure, which gives basic facts about lead and information about lead safety during renovation work

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 harmful at any age, lead exposure is most dangerous to children. Children’s growing bodies absorb more lead, and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to its damaging effects. Lead exposure can cause behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, and diminished IQ. Children can be checked for lead with a simple blood test.

EPA enforces the federal Toxic Substances Control Act and its Renovation, Repair and Painting 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; must provide educational materials to residents; and must 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.  

Notify EPA about lead-based paint rule violations in California: https://www.epa.gov/region-9-documents/pacific-southwest-lead-based-paint-tips-complaints

Find a certified contractor in your area: http://cfpub.epa.gov/flpp/searchrrp_firm.htm

Learn about lead-based paint requirements and hazards: http://www2.epa.gov/lead