Environmental hazards

Radon, lead, asbestos, groundwater contaminants and hazardous waste. A booklet called "A Home Buyer's Guide to Environmental Hazards" (item 427X, 50 cents) discusses these potentially harmful environmental hazards, how you can detect them and what you can do to remove them.

For a copy send your name and address and 50 cents to the Consumer Information Center, Department 427X, Pueblo, CO 81009.

Our understanding of the environment has increased in recent years. More knowledge has led to heightened concern over certain substances and the way they may affect our health if they are pres-ent in our homes.

Radon gas and asbestos can cause cancer if you breathe them for long periods. Formaldehyde can trigger asthma attacks, irritate eyes, skin and throat and cause difficulty in breathing.

High concentrations of lead can permanently damage the central nervous system, the brain, kidneys and red blood cells. Hazardous waste and groundwater contaminants can cause rashes, respiratory difficulties, birth defects and even death.

These substances come from a variety of sources ranging from the earth itself (radon) to building materials (asbestos, lead and formaldehyde) to improper disposal of chemicals and chemical by-products of industry (groundwater contaminants and hazardous waste).

Most of these substances can be detected by having your home tested or inspected by trained personnel from qualified laboratories. Addresses and phone numbers for many government offices that conduct tests or certify testing labs are listed in "A Home Buyer's Guide to Environmental Hazards."

The booklet also has a bibliography of other materials that provide additional information.