New law require radon testing in daycare centers

By Denise Jackson

January 4, 2013 Updated Jan 4, 2013 at 7:25 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Illinois daycare centers will come under closer scrutiny for radon screening as a new state law now requires radon testing for those facilities.

Myah's Just 4 Kids daycare has two locations in Peoria with nearly 200 children. A new state law requiring daycare owners to test facilities for radon levels raises lots of questions by owner Lynne Costic.

"A little confused over what it is really all about and why now," Costic said.

Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that occurs with the decay of uranium in the soil. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S.

In Illinois, it is estimated nearly 1,200 Illinois residents die from radon-related lung cancer a year. One local radon inspection official says children can develop problems with lesser amounts of exposure to the gas compared to adults.

"The children's' lungs aren't developed and of course, they can have more serious problems," said Enviro Phase Inspector Daryl Steele.

Four-point-zero and above is considered within high exposure level. Steele only tests residential facilities and adds a commercial screening is likely to be more expensive. That means smaller daycares like Myah's could feel the expense in their budgets.

"For daycare centers, the cost to have a licensed radon tester to come in and do the testing can range from 500 to $1,5000. For me that has an impact with two centers," Costic said.

Daycare centers have one year to comply with the new law.

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