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Daycare Facilities Now Have to Test for Radon
According to the American Lung Association, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the nation, killing over 1,200 residents in Illinois every year.
Now, a new law is trying to put a stop to radon-related deaths by requiring regular radon testing at daycare facilities.
Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas that causes over 20,000 lung-cancer related deaths every year, and it could be lingering in your local daycare.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is urging the public to start being proactive and testing their homes and daycares for radon.
"Children are a concern for everybody," IEMA Communications Manager Patti Thompson said. "Parents want their children to be as safe as possible no matter where they are."
IEMA is reminding daycare facilities to make sure they are complying with the new law and are getting radon tesing done.
SIU School of Medicine Dr. Stephen Hazelrigg said that earlier detection of radon in daycares could help lower the risk of getting lung cancer.
"The effects of radon are related to the concentration of it, so the more there is the worse, and the duration of exposure," Hazelrigg said. "So if you are a young kid and you are exposed to it for a number of years, it increases your risk of cancers developing."
Building Blocks Daycare owner Devi Harper has two daycare facilities in the Springfield area, housing over 500 children. She is glad the new radon testing law is now madatory for any licensed day care center and day care homes.
"I think to get this word out and to institute this new law for daycare and daycare homes, it's a good thing," Harper said. "No one should be worried to have the test done. It's a welcome regulation that we want to do."
Previously, there were no mandates that required daycares to be tested for radon. Now, licensed daycare centers must be tested for radon every three years, because the state wants to put a stop to this silent killer.
January is Radon Awareness Month, and the American Lung Association is selling home radon kits to the public for $10, so be sure to get your home tested.