Environmental Factsheets

  • Public Health Fact Sheet – Asbestos:  Asbestos is used in a variety of products because of its physical properties, which make it resistant to heat, fire, and many caustic chemicals. Asbestos has been used extensively as fireproofing, an insulating agent, and for decorative purposes, among many other uses.


  • Public Health Fact Sheet – Lead Paint:  Under Massachusetts and federal law, owners and real estate agents must comply with Property Transfer Lead Paint Notification requirements when a prospective buyer or tenant with an option to buy is about to purchase a home built before 1978.


  • Public Health Fact Sheet – Radon:  Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. It is produced in the ground through the normal decay of uranium and radium. As it decays, radon produces new radioactive elements called radon daughters or decay products. Radon and radon daughters cannot be detected by human senses because they are colorless, odorless, and tasteless.


  • Public Health Fact Sheet – Title 5: Inspections are necessary to ensure the proper operation, upgrade and maintenance of on-site sewage disposal systems. The Code, therefore, requires system inspections to be done in certain circumstances. Most inspections will occur as a result of property transfers when facilities are sold, divided or combined. In order to provide further guidance to the regulated community, this document is intended to clarify the regulatory intent of the Department.


  • Public Health Fact Sheet – UFFI: Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation (UFFI) is a home insulation made of urea formaldehyde resin and a foaming agent, blown or pumped into the walls and ceiling. Formaldehyde in the insulation, even if properly installed, reacts with heat and humidity in the air. This allows formaldehyde gas to be released into the air of a UFFI-insulated building. This type of insulation, popular during the energy crunch of the 1970’s, was banned by Massachusetts in November, 1979.


  • Public Health Fact Sheet – UST: Fuel oil underground storage tanks (UST) are major obstacles to closings, often complicating and sometimes even stopping home sales. Residential USTs are an issue today because of publicity and regulations. But a UST is a manageable issue. Our experience is that the probability of a residential UST leaking is very slim. Federal Regulations exempt USTs used for storing heating oil for consumptive use on the premises. Massachusetts regulations do address these tanks, and some communities have enacted more stringent rules. Massachusetts UST


  • Public Health Fact Sheet – Wetlands:  The Wetlands Program ensures the protection of Massachusetts’ inland and coastal wetlands, tidelands, great ponds, rivers and floodplains. It regulates activities in coastal and wetlands areas, and contributes to the protection of ground and surface water quality, the prevention of flooding and storm damage and the protection of wildlife and aquatic habitat.


  • Other Fact Sheet:  Fair Housing:  When a person purchases or sells a home it is not just the most significant event of their lifetime. To protect against discriminating practices during this process, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 was enacted to prohibit all racial discrimination in the sale or rental of property. The United States Congress determined that all citizens should have the same rights as white citizens to sell, rent, hold, or convey any type of property. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was held to apply to all property, public and private, by the United States Supreme Court in Jones vs. Mayer, decided in 1968.