Because problems such as tainted soil or groundwater and vapor intrusion can affect the health of people exposed to them, environmental land awareness is important knowledge for homeowners to have. Disclosure of any known contamination also is critical to home sellers and buyers alike, as well as for real estate practitioners. To avoid needless exposure to dangerous toxins and safeguard against disclosure litigation down the road, they increasingly are looking up environmental land data as part of the due diligence process. Even if the research shows that a home is not in present danger, Jack Huntress — vice president of residential services with Environmental Data Resources Inc. in Milford, Conn. — says consumers should consider adding environmental land reports to their home due diligence after the purchase. He explains that existing conditions may mitigate a threat of contamination from a potential source of pollutants — including industrial sites, gas stations, and dry cleaning operations — but that homes within half a mile of such sites could be affected years later.
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