U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7 11201 Renner Blvd., Lenexa, KS 66219 Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Nine Tribal Nations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Lenexa, Kan., Feb. 12, 2020) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached settlements with Detroit Renovations, LLC and Growing Days, LLC to resolve alleged violations of federal regulations intended to reduce the hazards of lead paint exposure during renovations. The companies are respectively affiliated with two home renovation television programs, Rehab Addict and Bargain Mansions. The alleged violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule) depicted on the shows include performing home renovations for compensation without obtaining EPA renovation firm certification and failure to comply with several work practice standards required for the safe handling and disposal of lead-based paint.
“It’s important that consumers and contractors understand that renovating older homes can expose residents and workers to hazardous lead dust,” said Susan Bodine, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Through these settlements, these companies are putting safeguards in place to ensure the safety of their renovation work and helping to protect children from exposure to lead-based paint.”
Under the terms of the settlements, the companies have agreed to pay civil penalties. Further, the companies and their hosts, Nicole Curtis of Rehab Addict and Tamara Day of Bargain Mansions, will take steps to ensure compliance with lead-based paint regulations in future renovation projects and to educate the public about lead-based paint hazards and appropriate renovation procedures in self-produced videos, social media postings, and public events.
EPA also reached separate settlements with four Kansas City area contractors for multiple alleged RRP Rule violations identified with renovation work completed on various Bargain Mansions episodes. Remco Demolition, LLC, Open Door Homes, Inc., Homoly and Associates, Inc., and KC Demo, Inc., have each come into compliance with the RRP Rule and agreed to pay civil penalties.
For all the alleged renovation violations associated with the two television programs, EPA will collect combined civil penalties of $59,000.
Lead-contaminated dust from chipped or peeling lead-based paint in homes built prior to 1978 is one of the most common causes of elevated blood lead levels in children. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to lead paint exposure because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do, and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. They can be exposed from multiple sources and may experience irreversible and life-long health effects. Lead dust can be generated when lead-based paint deteriorates or is disturbed.
About 3.6 million American households have children under six years of age who live in homes with lead exposure hazards. According to the CDC, about 500,000 American children between the ages of 1 and 5 have blood lead levels at or above the CDC blood lead reference value (the level at which CDC recommends public health actions begin).
Reducing childhood lead exposure and the associated health impacts is a top priority for EPA.