Does a Seller have to Disclose if they have asbestos in their home?

Legal Tips and Advice

Depending on the state where you live, there can be several disclosures you need to be aware of when you are buying or selling a home. These include disclosing the hazards and/or presence of lead-based paint for homes built prior to 1978, mold disclosures, and any knowledge of asbestos on the property.

Is the Seller Required to Disclose the Presence of Asbestos When Selling Their Home?

Increased incidents of cancer have been linked to asbestos exposure for years, especially for those working in an industry where asbestos was used, such as manufacturing or construction.There are standards that OSHA has established to test, maintain and disclose the presence of asbestos on the job; however, these standards are not in place for single-family homes. Many states have disclosures that the seller must sign revealing any knowledge of asbestos in their home. If the seller is aware of any asbestos in their home and does not disclose this to potential buyers, the seller could be sued for any damages suffered as a result of inhaling asbestos fibers

How Do I Know if There is Asbestos in the Home?

If the house was built prior to about 1975, it the insulation around the furnace or ductwork may contain asbestos and require an asbestos abatement contractor Los Angeles, CA chooses. In addition, asbestos tiles and vinyl floors containing asbestos were commonly used.

Never try to remove asbestos on your own. Disrupting asbestos releases the dangerous fibers that can be inhaled and cause dangerous health issues, such as lung cancer. Always use a professional trained to remove the asbestos and properly dispose of the dangerous substance in an approved waste disposal facility for hazardous materials. Asbestos that is undisturbed (such as a tile floor that is intact) is not dangerous; however, seek professional help from an asbestos removal professional if you want to remove the floor to remodel.  If you choose to leave the area where you suspect asbestos to be present intact, monitor it regularly for any damage that could release the fibers.

What Kind of Health Issues Can Arise Out of Asbestos Exposure?

The results of asbestos exposure have been studied extensively with the following findings:

  • Lung Cancer — inhaling the fibers from asbestos has been positively linked with an increased lung cancer risk, the longer the exposure the greater the risk. Most lung cancer cases occur about fifteen years after the first time they were exposed to asbestos.
  • Mesothelioma — This is a somewhat rare type of cancer that affects the linings of the organs in the chest and abdomen. This disease is very closely related to exposure to asbestos.

Most of the time, mesothelioma is because of asbestos exposure at work. In addition, families of these workers are exposed to asbestos fibers that can be found on their clothes and then inhaled by family members. There is no safe level or decreased chance of acquiring mesothelioma when discussing asbestos exposure.

Call An Attorney

If you or a family member was exposed to asbestos and you feel its existence should have been disclosed to you during a home sale or any other instance, contact an attorney experienced in handling asbestos or mesothelioma cases to discuss your next steps.



Thank you to our friends and contributors at Nielsen Environmental for their insight into asbestos removal and whether or not a seller has to disclose that they have asbestos in their home.