Daycare Centers Must Test for Radon in 2014

ILLINOIS (WIFR) – A new state law has some local day care centers scratching their heads. It requires them to test their facilities for a potentially deadly gas, but doesn’t obligate them to fix anything if they find a problem.

At Circles of Learning, every classroom, every room has people in it that will have to be tested for Radon. It’s part of a new state law that goes into effect on January 1st. It’s a law that executive director Anita Rumage says has some holes.

“It’s good to know if radon is in your building, however the new law does not require any kind of mitigation. It only requires that you know what your Radon level is.”

Rumage says since the law forces daycare centers to test for Radon, it should force them to fix any problems if they find high levels, instead of just being aware of it.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the natural decay of Uranium that is found in the soil and exposure to the gas can cause lung cancer.

“I would want to know that when my child came to where they were going spend their day that they were safe. I’m just not 100% sure that people are going to take it to that next step if there’s a problem.”

Rumage says she doesn’t actually have to have the building tested until August. That’s when they have to renew the license for the daycare center, but that testing here and the other facility in town will cost thousands of dollars.

The EPA says Radon is the cause of about 21,000 lung cancer deaths a year in the U.S., 1,200 here in Illinois.

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