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New law aims to protect Illinois' little ones from radon

Because of a new law that went into effect on January 1, day care centers and home day cares in Illinois must be tested for radon. While the law requiring radon tests went into effect at the beginning of 2013, day care facilities have until January 1, 2014 to post the results of their radon test.

The law requires day care facilities to have a record of a radon test performed within the past three years. Day care centers must hire a professional to perform the radon check. However, home day care providers can purchase their own radon test kit or hire a professional to perform the test.

This new law could have significant impacts on the health of children who currently spend time in day care facilities. It could also prevent health problems in future generations of children who will go to Illinois day cares.

Radon testing is a serious issue, since radon is the second most common cause of lung cancer. Among non-smokers, radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer. According to one report, estimates suggest that approximately 1,200 Illinois residents die from radon-related lung cancer each year.

Once day care facilities have the radon test performed, they must post the test's results near their license to operate as a daycare facility. In addition, if any parents or guardians of children who attend the daycare ask for the results, the daycare must provide copies of the report.

Since lung-related illnesses and deaths are not limited to smokers or people working or living around asbestos, day care centers with radon in them could lead to illness or death among society's most innocent and youngest members-children.

Radon cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted, so it is critical that tests are done to determine if it is present in a building. It is likely that day care providers would not know whether or not radon is present in their facility.

If a person is diagnosed with an illness, like lung cancer, as a result of radon or asbestos exposure, look into seeking compensation for medical expenses may be worthwhile.

Source: Paxton Record, "Illinois day cares must test for radon under new law," Feb. 2, 2013

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