Radon is a radioactive element that is part of the decay chain of naturally occurring uranium in soil. You can’t see radon. You can’t smell radon and you can’t taste radon. As radon gas travels through the ground
and mixes with the air above, it can build up inside of buildings and homes. Unlike carbon monoxide and many other home pollutants, radon’s adverse health effect, lung cancer, is usually not produced immediately. “According to the US EPA, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and the leading cause among non-smokers.” (University of Illinois Extension, http://takeactiononradon.illinois.edu/about_radon) Rather, you may be exposed to radon for many years without ever suspecting its presence in your home or facility.
Radon and Your Child Care Business
You may have tested your home of building for radon during the purchase process; or you may have signed a disclosure statement as a seller. Licensed day care centers and day care homes are now required to test for the radioactive gas, and as of January 1, 2014, day care centers need to show proof the facility has been tested for radon within the last three years as part of the initial application and license renewal process.
On October 20, 2015, 6:30pm to 8:00pm, YWCA Rockford, Patrick Daniels, a representative of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, will present a workshop specifically designed for licensed day care facilities. The new requirements for radon testing, based on the revisions to the Illinois Child Care Act, will be reviewed. See the YWCA Child Care Solutions Fall 2015 Training Calendar for registration information.
Do not miss this opportunity to become more knowledgeable about radon and what is actually expected of you as a child care provider. More information about radon, including lists of IEMA-licensed measurement and mitigation contractors, is available at www.radon.illinois.gov or by calling the Radon Hotline at 800-325-1245.