There are common environmental issues to consider when buying a home.

Radon gas, lead based paint, mold, asbestos and household pesticides are environmental issues that need serious consideration when you are buying a home.

Radon gas is an odorless, colorless naturally occuring gas produced by the natural breakdown of uranium. Radon gas is the number one cause of lung cancer for non-smokers.

If you are buying or selling a home, test for radon. In fact, with the exception of a few areas, in Montgomery County Maryland single family home sellers are required to test for radon before the completion of a sale. The EPA offers information on their website.

If your home was built before 1978, there’s a good chance it has lead based paint. Generally speaking, the older the home the better the chance lead based paint was used on the exterior and interior walls, doors and windows.

The biggest areas of concern in a home are wherever there is movement between painted surfaces. Places like windows, doors, railings and steps are places where the paint can come off and create lead dust. The Environmental Protection Agency has information on how to protect your family from lead based paint.

Mold is natural and when it grows outdoors it’s usually not a problem but mold inside a home can make you very sick. The Environmental Protection Agency says the best way to prevent mold from growing in your home is to control moisture.

At the University of Maryland, 15 professors have complained of headaches, rashes and allergies they say are linked to mold growing in their offices in the Anthropology Department.

Mold and mildew can have a negative effect on indoor air quality. Mold spores can float in the air and in the duct system of a home. The Environmental Protection Agency has information on how to rid your home of mold and prevent it from growing in the first place.

If you are buying a home, work with an exclusive buyer agent. EBA’s are members of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents, dedicated real estate professionals who advocate and educate their buyer clients.