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Lowe's To Pay $500K Penalty To Settle Lead-Dust Exposure Violations

Lowe's Cos., Inc. (LOW), one of the largest home improvement retailer in the US, has agreed to pay a penalty of $500 thousand for the violation of rules related to minimize exposure of lead dust during renovations. Lowe's Home Centers has also agreed to implement a compliance program at its more than 1,700 stores.

The U.S Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency, in a statement said Lowe's will implement a compliance program nationwide to ensure its contractors minimize lead dust from home renovation activities, as required by the Federal Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule.

Robert Dreher, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division, said, "This action, the first of its kind to address lead safe work practices on a system-wide basis, will help prevent children's exposure to lead in communities across the nation by raising home improvement contractors' awareness of EPA's lead safety regulations and contributing to a culture of compliance."

Lead exposure from paints can lead to serious health problems. Small children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning, potentially leading to permanent mental and physical disorders and even death.

Lead-based paint was banned in the U.S. in 1978 but still remains in many homes and apartments across the country. Lead dust hazards can occur when lead paint deteriorates or is disrupted during home renovation and remodeling activities.

"Today's settlement sends a clear message to all contractors and the firms they hire: Get lead certified and comply with the law to protect children from exposure to dangerous lead dust," said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "Lowe's is taking responsibility for the actions of the firms it hires, and EPA expects other contractors to do the same."

LOW closed Thursday's trading at $46.80, up $0.07 or 0.15%, on the NYSE.

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