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Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35) – a member of the House Subcommittee on Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies, reintroduced the Asbestos Exposure in Housing Reduction Act of 2024 to safeguard residents from asbestos exposure by mandating the disclosure of asbestos hazards in the sale and lease of residential housing. The bill would enforce civil and criminal penalties for non-disclosure.

“Buyers and renters throughout the country deserve to know if a prospective property they are interested in has known asbestos contamination to protect the health and wellbeing of themselves and their families,” said Congresswoman Norma Torres. “My bill would safeguard the well-being of renters and homeowners by establishing requirements for transparent disclosure when homes with asbestos are on the market. The last thing a new homeowner should have to worry about is developing new health issues from their home, and I will continue to advocate for legislation that protects new homeowners.”

In March, the EPA announced a historic ban on ongoing uses of asbestos. Asbestos disclosure regulations currently differ by state. In California, landlords are not required to disclose asbestos.

Background: Congresswoman Torres introduced this legislation to ensure the Housing and Urban Development Secretary and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator issue the following regulations:

  • Disclose to the purchaser or lessee the presence of any known asbestos, and any known asbestos-based hazards, in such dwelling and provide to the purchaser or lessee any asbestos hazard evaluation report available to the seller or lessor.
  • Under the new regulations, potential buyers or lessees have a significant 10-day period (unless the parties mutually agree upon a different period) to conduct a thorough risk assessment or inspection for the presence of asbestos hazards, ensuring their safety and peace of mind.
  • Every contract for the purchase, sale, and leasing of any interest in a dwelling shall contain an Asbestos Warning Statement and a statement signed by the purchaser/lessee that the purchaser/lessee has read the Asbestos Warning Statement and understands its contents and had a 10-day opportunity (unless the parties mutually agreed upon a different period) before becoming obligated under the contract to purchase the dwelling to conduct a risk assessment or inspection for the presence of asbestos-based hazards.

Bill text can be found here.

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