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Health Evaluations When You’re Buying a Home

Beyond The Standard Home Inspection -- Mold, Radon, Allergens, and More continued...

When it comes to radon, an odorless, colorless, cancer-causing gas, here’s what you need to know.

“Mandatory property condition disclosure is required in 45 states and D.C., exceptions are Alabama, Kansas, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming,” Moloney tells WebMD. “Radon disclosure typically is included, especially in areas where it is known to be present in elevated amounts.”

Regardless of where your new home is located, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office recommend having your home tested for radon.

If the home you are purchasing has already been radon-tested, be sure to verify the results of the radon test, who conducted the test, where in the structure the testing was done and whether there have been any changes to the structure of the heating, ventilation or cooling systems since the radon test was conducted. These alterations may change the amounts of radon in a home and necessitate a new test.

If the home you’re purchasing needs a new test or has never been tested for radon, check with your state radon office for information about testing and where to find a qualified professional.

While it may all seem overwhelming, there are a variety of resources you can consult to help you make decisions about which health evaluations your home needs to make it safe for your and your family.

“Realtors help clients with all aspects of the transaction process, including resources necessary to assess health concerns,” Moloney says. “In addition, there are online resources that can advise consumers of any nearby environmental concerns.”

Other sites that might be helpful include the National Center for Healthy Housing web site and the U.S. EPA web site.

Reviewed on September 21, 2010
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