REALTORS® need to lead the way: A trial has begun in California this week which sheds light on how something toxic, which has been around for more than a century in this country, is still showing its ugly face (or chipping walls) — lead-based paint. Five major corporations: Atlantic Richfield Company, ConAgra Grocery Products Company, E.I. du Pont de Nemours, NL Industries, Inc. and the Sherwin-Williams Company are facing a civil trial where ten cities and counties are seeking $1 billion in costs to reverse some of the harmful effects of this “public nuisance.”
Lead-based paint has been this nuisance, since before 1978. Thirty-five years ago, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission banned paint containing more than 0.06% lead. Since then sellers and landlords are required to fully-disclosure the potential of the existence of this paint, whether or not they have knowledge of it being used, and that it may exist if the home was constructed prior to 1978. REALTORS® and their firms must assist and provide full-disclosure of this to their customers and clients as well.
This is important stuff! The first line of the lead warning statement, provided to our clients, declares: “Housing built before 1978 may contain lead-based paint.” It seems like a harmless statement, but according to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (in 1991), lead was “the number one environmental threat to the health of children in the United States.” Last year, the CDC had gone on record as saying that “even at the lowest levels, lead causes permanent neurological damage to children, decreasing IQ and causing other serious health consequences.”
Regardless of how this court case turns out, our children need to be protected from this harmful substance. It can affect them in addition to adults when it deteriorates and goes airborne. Our team of professionals at Realty Network Group and those associates in the Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS® have a duty of doing everything in their power to protect families and their children throughout the homeownership process.
For more information about lead-based paint, its harmful effects and what you can do to protect your loved ones, please download the Protect Your Family From Lead In The Home pamphlet.
Don’t be “MisLEAD,” lead-based paint is not a joke.