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SPRINGFIELD — Parents of children in day care will be better informed about levels of radon in their children’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-renewal process.
Radon — a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that comes from the radioactive decay of naturally occurring uranium in the soil — is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. It is estimated that nearly 1,200 radon-related lung cancer deaths occur each year in Illinois.
Under the law, non-residential 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.
Free test kits are available to home day care providers and homeowners through the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department and may be picked up at either the Paxton office at 235 N. Taft St. or the Watseka office at 114 N. Third St.
Day care facilities are required to post the most current radon measurement results next to the licenses issued by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and provide copies of the report to parents or guardians upon request.
For more information regarding radon testing call the Radon Hotline at 800-325-1245, visit www.radon.illinois.gov or call 815-432-2483.