Some homes and buildings may suffer from one or more of the following
environmental hazards. If necessary, we can recommend trustworthy, experienced professionals to address the following
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that can be positively identified only with
a special type of microscope. There are several types of asbestos fibers. In the past, asbestos was added to many products
to strengthen them and provide fire resistance and heat insulation. If disturbed, asbestos material may release asbestos fibers
which can be inhaled into the lungs. Asbestos material that crumbles easily if handled or which has been scraped, sawed, or
sanded into a powder is more likely to create a health hazard. Breathing high levels of asbestos fibers can lead to an increased
risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma (cancer of lining of chest and abdominal cavity), and asbestosis (lungs scarred with the
tissue). Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos insulation. Most of today’s products do not contain asbestos.
If asbestos material is more than slightly damaged or you plan changes that might disturb it, you require a professional for
repair and removal. Before home remodeling, find out if asbestos is present. Excerpts from U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency “Asbestos and Vermiculite”. LEAD
Lead is a highly toxic metal used for many years in products in and around homes. Lead’s adverse health effects range
from behavioral problems and learning disabilities to seizures and death. Because their bodies are growing quickly, children
age 6 and under are at greatest risk. Primary sources of lead exposure for children are deteriorating lead-based paint, lead-contaminated
dust, and lead-contaminated residential soil. Lead might be present in any home built up until the 1940s. Rarely found in
source water, lead can enter tap water through corrosion of plumbing materials. Homes built before 1986 are more likely to
have lead pipes, joints, and solder. New homes are also at risk: even legally “lead-free” pipes can contain up
to 8 percent lead and leave significant amounts of lead in the water for the first several months after installation. Since
the 1980s, EPA and its federal partners have banned or limited lead used in consumer products, including residential paint.
Federal regulations limiting the amount of lead in paint sold for residential use started in 1978. If your property was built
before 1978 or you are considering remodeling, renovating, or repair, you may wish to think about lead inspection. Water quality
can be compromised by such other trace elements as iron, excess acidity, manganese, calcium, magnesium, mineral salts, hydrogen
sulfide, selenium, chromium, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium. Excerpts from U.S. Department of Environmental Protection,
“Lead in Paint, Dust, and Soil”. MOLD
(fungi) is present everywhere, indoors and outdoors. There are more than 100,000 species of mold, at least 1,000 of which
are common in America. Species of Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus are some of the most commonly found species.
Mold most likely grows in bathrooms, basements, and anywhere else where there is dampness or water. Many types of mold routinely
encountered aren’t hazardous to healthy individuals. Too much exposure to mold may cause a worsening of such conditions
as asthma, hay fever, or other allergies. Fevers and breathing problems in a vulnerable individual are possible but unusual.
When moldy material becomes damaged or disturbed, spores, which are reproductive bodies similar to seeds, can be released
into the air. Exposure can occur if people inhale the spores, directly handle moldy material, or accidentally ingest the spores.
Since all molds need water to grow, mold can grow almost anywhere where there is high humidity, dampness, or water damage.
Most often molds are confined to areas near the water source. Removing the source of moisture through repairs or dehumidification
is crucial in preventing mold growth. Correcting underlying water damage and abating the affected area is the best way to
treat mold. If mold contamination is extensive, a professional abatement company may be needed. Excerpts from The New
York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, Environmental & Occupational Disease Epidemiology, “Facts About
WOOD DESTROYING ORGANISMS/INSECTS- Contact your
qualified pest inspector.Termites,
which play a positive role in recycling wood and plant
material, become a problem when they consume structural lumber. Every year thousands of U.S. housing units require termite
treatment. These pests cause serious damage to wooden structures and posts and can also attack stored food, household
furniture and books. Successful termite management require special skills, and including a working knowledge of building
construction and an understanding of termite biology and termite identification. In most cases, it is advisable to hire a
professional pest control company for the inspection and control of the problem.