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Environmental Hazards

In many states, seller disclosure regulations will reveal knowledge of certain toxic substances on a property. Typically, though, it's up to the buyer to pursue environmental inspections and tie any findings to the purchase offer.


Many houses and apartments built before 1978 have paint that contains lead. If you are planning to buy a home built before 1978 get your home checked for lead hazards. A paint inspection tells you the lead content of every painted surface in your home. A risk assessment tells you if there are any sources of serious lead exposure (such as peeling paint and lead dust). It also tells you what actions to take to address these hazards.

Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home
Further Information on Lead
Residential Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Program


Environment Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you obtain the indoor radon level in a home you are considering buying. Ask the seller for radon test results. If the home has a radon reduction system, ask the seller for information about the system.

Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon (EPA)
Further Information on Radon


If your new house isn't connected to public water systems and you will get your drinking water from private or community wells then contact state or county officials and find out whether pesticide contamination problems have been reported by residents in the area. Also find out which pesticides and fertilizers are commonly used nearby. If contamination has been confirmed in the area, you should have the well tested. Be sure to obtain the services of a certified testing service or laboratory.

Pesticides in Drinking--Water Wells (EPA)
Further Information on Pesticides

Other Environmental Issues

Asbestos (EPA)
Energy Efficiency
How to Buy an Energy Efficient Home

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