Radon Testing Now Required in Illinois Daycares - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Radon Testing Now Required in Illinois Daycares

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A new Illinois law requires daycare providers to get their facilities tested for dangerous levels of radon.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is colorless, odorless and is known to cause cancer. The new law is an effort to protect young children from the invisible gas.

"I don't think we think about it and the possible health hazard," said P & J Tender Care daycare director, Debbie Case. "It could be lurking without us even knowing."

Now, Illinois is forcing daycare providers to think about radon; requiring childcare centers and home daycares to test for it before licenses can be renewed next year.

"We basically have the whole year of 2013 to comply before the licensing representative will expect us to have that information on file that we have completed our radon testing," said Case. Daycare providers with P & J Tender Care are already looking for licensed radon testers. But Case admits, cost is a concern --

"For a center our size, the cost could vary from $100 to $200," Case said, "which is quite an expense for childcare centers. We're state funded, a lot of our children are state funded. So, everything we do, we're looking at the bottom line of the cost."

And if high levels of radon are found in either of the two P & J Tender Care centers, a mitigation system will need to be installed.

"That's another huge expense," Case said. "But again, if that is something that would be making the children ill, that is always the priority. To make sure that our centers are safe in every way."

Case said P & J Tender Care plans to have its facilities tested within the next three months.