7 no 1, 1999
U.S. Right to Know Law is Good for Home Buyers
By Tim Conner, Envirocheck Analytical
Following is an abstract citation from the on-line databases at the local uni. There are a large number of articles covering this topic arguing the various stand points on this law.
From having read the abstracts of other articles and from what I saw on the internet earlier this year , the law is a right to know law. Its also known as Schedule X (10). Basically any house or flat built before 1978 that is to be sold or leased out, the owner must disclose any lead paint or lead paint hazard that they know of. There is no compulsion to test, but in the case of a house being sold, the buyer has the right to get testing done (at their own expense) and have a ten day period in which to do so. Also the buyer or tenant must be given a US EPA brochure on lead paint hazards as part of the sale or leasing process.
Interestingly, liability was mentioned at the seminar on the new Australian Standard AS 4361.2 on lead paint management in commercial and residential buildings. Apparently there is a principle under common law in Australia that if you know for instance that there is lead in a building then you have a duty of care to inform the purchaser, otherwise you could be sued for any injury due to your failure to disclose such information. The seminar also raised some other issues for bodies like local councils and other commercial building owners.
Author - Goldman, Lynn R.
Title - Information the key to preventing childhood lead poisoning.
Source - Journal of Environmental Health. V. 59, May 1997, p. 45-6
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have recognised the need for more public education on the subject of childhood lead poisoning. Improperly managed lead-based paint in older homes is still the greatest source of lead exposure for children in the U.S. The EPA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a regulation in March 1996 providing for the disclosure of potential hazards in such paint at the time when homes are sold or rented. The rule compels sellers, landlords, and their agents to provide information on lead-based paint and lead-based hazards to tenants and renters prior to selling or leasing a home. Consumers will thus be able to make informed decisions about home purchases, leased and maintenance to prevent lead poisoning.
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