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Law and Real Estate

February 05, 1989|GRACE MITSUHATA and BARNETT SUSSMAN | Grace Mitsuhata is an attorney with the law firm of Bryan, Cave, McPheeters & McRoberts. Barnett Sussman is a Times real estate writer. and

Say hazardous waste, and most folks conjure up images of asbestos or ashes from your Uncle Max's exploding cigar.

But if you own or rent business property, you could get into legal trouble from far more commonly used products.

The list, which keeps growing, includes paints, varnishes, battery fluid, weed killers and printing inks. Generally, these products are not illegal in themselves, it's how they're handled, stored or disposed.

As a renter, you're required to tell your landlord if you know of hazardous wastes that are illegally dumped or stored on his property.

As an owner, you're required to tell a buyer.

If you don't do what you're supposed to do, you could find yourself facing criminal penalties as well as lawsuits from injured persons.

And if you don't know what you're supposed to do, you'd be wise to find out.

For information, you can call your county health or environmental health department or the Southern California regional office of the state Department of Health Services at 213/620-2380.

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