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OSHA: Workers restoring home exposed to lead-based paint

(EVANSTON) A north suburban company is facing nearly $50,000 in fines for safety violations after workers were exposed to lead-based paint while restoring a home last spring in Evanston.

The U.S. Department of Labor found that employees of Arturo’s Painting and Restoration Inc. were exposed to dangerous levels of lead-based paint while they scraped and power-sanded a home without protective equipment on May 19.

The company was cited for 17 serious safety violations, which resulted in penalties of $46,000, according to a statement from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Workers were exposed to airborne lead levels up to 1.2 times the permissible limit, according to the statement.

OSHA claims the company failed to train employees concerning hazards associated with exposure, and failed to determine exposure levels before directing workers to remove the paint.

Lead exposure can cause long-term damage to the central nervous, urinary, circulatory and reproductive systems, according to the statement.