Plaintiffs win in Calif. lead paint case could threaten business, hit homeowners hard

Angela Logomasini, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who researches environmental regulatory issues, agrees that in the end, a ruling against defendants will hit homeowners the hardest.

She points out that in this case, all homeowners – even those without children – will be required to abate lead-based paint in their homes. However, she contends, it’s children who eat pieces of lead-based paint or breathe in dust from the paint who face the greatest risk.

“If you don’t have kids in the home, you have almost no risk,” Logomasini said. “But you still have to pay for it.”

She adds that California could fall in line with Washington, D.C., and Maryland, which uphold strict lead-based paint abatement requirements and hand out heavy penalties for noncompliance. Instead, she says, states should do more to balance all of the known facts about lead-based paint.

“If you’re in the inner city in a 100-year-old townhome with peeling lead paint all over the place, and people can’t afford to clean it up, there could be significant risks,” Logomasini said. “Those are the risks we should be looking for and addressing properly.”