Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper have been charged $40,000 by the EPA for incorrect handling of lead-based paint during their series.
Fixer Upper, which aired its final episode on April 8 of this year, was a popular renovation series during the course of its running. During that time, Chip and Joanna performed some renovations on older-style properties built before 1978. When renovating properties of this age, the assumption must always be made that the house contains lead-based paint and correct handling procedures must be enforced for the safety of those involved.
Yahoo! has reported that the EPA has issued fines to Chip and Joanna after it came to their attention that in some instances these practices were not carried out. According to the report, the Fixer Upper stars have agreed to pay the fines. However, a settlement was made after initial fines totaled $556,000 for potential breaches on 33 of the properties they renovated during the span of their series, Fixer Upper.
Chip and Joanna also own Magnolia Waco Properties, LLC (also known as Magnolia Homes), a renovation firm that remodels homes in the Waco, Texas area. According to the EPA information sheet on this settlement, “the firm specializes in renovations that require extensive remodeling of older homes while preserving historical design elements.” As a result of Magnolia Homes and the Gaines featuring on Fixer Upper, it came to their attention that some of the renovations were performed on houses that may still contain lead-based paint. Immediate action was taken as a result.
As well as the $40,000 fine, Chip and Joanna Gaines have been instructed to release a short video that outlines the dangers of lead-based paint. This video must be completed within 90 days. They will also have to “complete $160,000 in lead abatement work in Waco, Texas, their hometown,” according to Yahoo!
Susan Bodine, the head of enforcement at the EPA, also issued the following statement in regard to the incorrect handling issue in relation to Chip and Joanna Gaine’s infringements.
“It’s important that consumers and contractors understand that improper home renovation can expose residents and workers to hazardous lead dust.”
Lead-based paint was banned for use in building structures from 1978 as it had been proven to cause negative side effects. The young are particularly susceptible to lead paint poisoning via ingestion or inhalation of paint particles. Symptoms can include kidney and nervous system damage, so it’s a serious matter that needs to be properly addressed in renovations shows such as Fixer Upper.