toxicYou may have diamonds in your eyes as you are purchasing your new home or land. You may believe it’s impossible for hazardous wastes to exist on your property. Regardless, it is always a good idea to get an expert opinion from a professional in the field. There are several good professionals available in the Zion Canyon area.

Your Real Estate agent may know some general information about hazardous wastes, but, unless we are considered an expert, our opinion should not be relied on. Ask your real estate agent for referrals of experts in the area.

Here are examples of hazardous waste that could affect your purchase property:

1. Lead Paint

Lead paint is generally a potential concern in buildings built prior to 1978. It was banned after that. If the home you are buying is pre-1978, then a lead paint pamphlet is required to be given to the buyer. The seller is required to provide the buyer with a lead paint disclosure. All parties including the Real Estate agents involved sign this disclosure.

The buyer then has the option to have a lead paint test performed on the home to determine if the paint has lead. If it has lead, then it does not necessarily mean that the buyer should opt out of the sale. As long as the buyer knows the proper procedures for mitigating lead paint and they are willing to accept those conditions, then that is all that is necessary.

2.   Radon Gas

Radon gas is a naturally occurring gas that emanates from various parts of the earth. When it is allowed to build up in an enclosed space and inhaled for a period of time, it can cause all kinds of damage. In the out of doors, where it is allowed to dissipate into the atmosphere, it is not dangerous. Newer homes have more of a concern for potential radon, especially those with basements. I would highly recommend researching the “in’s and out’s” of radon gas so that you understand what it is, what it can do and how to mitigate it. Most home inspectors know how to test for Radon.

3.   Asbestos

Asbestos was used in the early part of the century for its fire resistance, tensile strength, sound absorption and affordability. However, if particles are released into the air and inhaled, then it can potentially get lodged into your lung tissue thereby causing serious diseases like lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis. If you have asbestos on your property, it’s best to have it removed by a professional so that you can avoid the release of fine particles.

4.  Methamphetamine

Some homes have been condemned due to methamphetamine production that happened on sight. The residue left in the building is extremely dangerous to live around. The building does not have to go through an outright destruction. It can be professionally cleaned up.

Some buyers may still not choose to live there. I believe that, even though it may have undergone a clean up, the value will be decreased simply due to the amount of buyers that will decline on purchasing it regardless of clean up. You may only find out about this hazard by talking with the local police department and seeing if it was ever condemned.

5.   Hazardous Waste Dumped on Land 

Lastly, we will discuss potential hazardous wastes that have been dumped on/in the land.


a. Old town dumps that occurred on the site.

b. Old gasoline tanks that were buried under ground.

c. Old barrels of fuel/oil that were dumped on site.

Please wander your ground and look carefully everywhere. Ask the neighbors. Ask a qualified environmental engineer.  Ask the governing body. You may be amazed at the information you receive.

There are federal laws that require the present landowner and ALL previous owners be responsible for the cost to clean up any hazardous wastes. Even if you owned it for a couple of months and knew NOTHING about it, you still may be required to share in clean up costs. Always better to be safe then sorry!

Important Point