New law requires radon testing in day care centers
Radon Action Month
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[January 08, 2013]
SPRINGFIELD -- Parents of children in
day care will be better informed about levels of radon in their
child's facility under a new law that took effect Jan. 1. Licensed
day care centers and day care homes are now required to test for the
radioactive gas, and beginning Jan. 1, 2014, day care centers will
need to show proof the facility has been tested for radon within the
last three years as part of the initial application or license
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is highlighting the new law
as part of Radon Action Month in January.
"Parents want to know their children in day care are as safe as
possible throughout the day," said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken.
"This new law will give them information about radon levels in the
day care, and hopefully will inspire them to also test their own
homes if they haven't already done so."
Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that
comes from the radioactive decay of naturally occurring uranium in
the soil. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the
U.S. and the leading cause among nonsmokers. It's estimated that
nearly 1,200 radon-related lung cancer deaths occur each year in
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established 4.0
picocuries per liter of air as the action level for radon.
Under the law, which was signed by Gov. Pat Quinn on Aug. 17,
2012, nonresidential day care centers are required to hire an IEMA-licensed
radon measurement professional to test the facility. Home day care
centers may purchase a home test kit and conduct the test themselves
or hire a licensed contractor to perform the test.
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Day care facilities are required to post the most current radon
measurement results next to the licenses issued by the Department of
Children and Family Services and provide copies of the report to
parents or guardians upon request.
The law does not require day care facilities to reduce radon
levels if they exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's
action level of 4.0 pCi/L. IEMA recommends radon reduction actions
be taken if radon levels are above 4.0 pCi/L and licenses
contractors who install radon mitigation systems.
More information about radon, including lists of IEMA-licensed
measurement and mitigation contractors, is available at
or by calling 800-325-1245.
Emergency Management Agency file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]