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Lead paint remains a problem in older residential properties

For several decades now, the use of lead-based paints has been outlawed. However, many older residential properties in South Carolina may still contain lead paint, which is something that must be disclosed by a seller during residential closings. Failure to disclose the presence of lead-based paint in a home when it's sold could result in legal action.

Even though lead hasn't been legal since 1978 in many consumer products, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 535,000 American children have acquired unsafe levels of lead. Most of this problem is believed to be the result of exposure to lead-based paint in homes or rental properties.

Since lead-based paint was made illegal, rates of exposure have obviously fallen, but the problem still exists. Medical researchers have found that even low levels of exposure can be harmful to children, which is something that's largely been uncovered since lead products were banned.

Knowing that lead paint is sitll a problem in many homes built before 1978, it's even more critical for home sellers and landlords to disclose that lead paint is present on properties. After making a disclosure in a purchase agreements, certain literature from the Environmental Protection Agency must be provided and buyers have the option to get the property surveyed by a professional.

If a seller doesn't tell the buyer that there is lead paint in their home, then legal action may be taken against the seller. This lack of disclosure can create serious problems for both parties. As such, it's important for South Carolina buyers to be aware of the information they are entitled to know at closing time, and sellers must also do their part.

Source: Minn Post, "Lead exposure in older homes means children 'pay with their lives'," Lilly Fowler, April 11, 2013

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