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EPA cites Chicago landlord for lead-based paint violations; $18,958 penalty proposed

Release Date: 04/11/2008
Contact Information: Karen Thompson, 312-353-8547,

No. 08-OPA058

(Chicago, Ill. - April 11, 2008) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has filed a 21-count complaint against Habeeba Shariff, owner and M. Anwar Shariff, agent, for allegedly failing to warn tenants of five apartments that their homes may contain lead-based paint hazards. An $18,958 penalty has been proposed.

The Shariffs own and offer for rent units in a residential building at 3957 N. Ashland, Chicago. Investigators from EPA and HUD conducted a records inspection at the building. The Chicago Department of Public Health also issued a letter advising the building owners of federal regulations on lead-based paint hazards.

The Federal Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule requires that landlords and sellers of housing constructed prior to 1978 provide tenants and buyers with specific lead-hazard disclosure and warning language before the purchaser or lessee is obligated under contract to purchase or lease target housing.
Lead exposure can cause reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height, poor hearing and a host of other health problems in young children.

Peeling lead paint is the most common source of lead exposure to children in the United States. About 75 percent of the nation's housing built before 1978 contains lead-based paint. When properly managed, lead-based paint poses little risk. If paint is not maintained, however, even low levels of lead exposure can threaten occupants' health, especially children and pregnant women. For more information about protecting your family from lead-based paint see

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