The Real Estate Encyclopedia
What Environmental Hazards Must Be Disclosed, Especially In Older Homes?
Category - Home Selling Questions - General Home Selling FAQ's

Disclosures of environmental hazards, which must be disclosed, are:

Urea Formaldehyde– used in building materials, especially insulation, emits gases that can cause respiratory problems and eye and skin irritation.

Asbestos—used in building materials, especially insulation in older homes; microscopic fibers can result in respiratory diseases.

Lead-based paint—elevated levels of lead in the body can cause damage to the brain, kidneys, nervous systems and red blood cells; estimated that one in six children may have dangerously high amounts of lead in his or her body. By federal law, persons selling or leasing residential housing constructed before 1978 must disclose the presence of known lead-based paint. They must also provide purchasers or tenants with records and reports regarding prior testing for lead-based paints.

Radon Gas—an odorless and tasteless gas that is produced by the natural decay of other radioactive substances; breathing radon gas can cause respiratory problems and lung cancer. Because Radon Gas can be prevalent depending on the area the home is located in and is not necessarily restricted to older homes, buyer’s do well in ordering a Radon Gas inspection at the time the home inspection is conducted. Typically, the home inspector of choice will have experts to conduct this test and install a system to remove the gas. A seller is required to disclose the presence of Radon Gas, if a positive test was conducted in the past.

Carbon Monoxide—an odorless and colorless gas that occurs as a byproduct of burning fuels such as wood, oil and natural gas to incomplete combustion; with improper ventilation, carbon monoxide inhibits the blood’s ability to transport oxygen, which can cause nausea and even death. Because Carbon Monoxide can be present in new homes as well, Buyers are well advised to look for or install a Carbon Monoxide detector in any home they buy.

Underground Storage Tanks—commonly found where gas stations, auto repair shops, printing and chemical plants, dry cleaners, etc. for the storage of chemicals; if used to store toxic wastes and the tanks are neglected, they leak hazardous substances into the environment; this can contaminate the soil and groundwater.

Home Buying Questions - Buying Disclosure & Inspection FAQ's
Home Buying Questions - General Home Buying FAQ's
Home Selling Questions - General Home Selling FAQ's
Home Selling Questions - Selling Disclosure & Inspections FAQ's
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