Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer deaths in the U.S behind lung cancer. (Photo by dmerti/flickr)
By Eric Stock
NORMAL - Two news laws have taken effect in Illinois are intended to prevent the spread of radon.
Radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that comes from the radioactive decay of naturally occurring uranium in the soil. It's linked to about 1,200 radon-related lung cancer deaths in Illinois annually.
One law that takes effect in June requries all new construction to be build radon resistant. Health Educator with the Ecology Action Center in Normal, Ruth Ann Lipic, said the law simply makes sense.
"I always have someone in the class say 'Why don't they make it a law that every home have a radon pipe?' I said 'We would just love that.' So it is coming about now," Lipic said.
The radon pipe is used to vent the gas through the home and exhausts below the home and into the atmosphere.
The other law, which took effect Jan. 1, requires licenced day care centers to test for radon.
Licensed day care centers are now required to test for radon, which is a radioactive gas. A year from now they will have to show proof that they have been tested for the gas.
Ecology Action Center is hosting a public information program on radon on Jan. 22nd at 3 at the Normal Public Library's Community Education Room.
Radon kits will be on sale for $10. They are also available at the EAC offices during regular business hours.
"It's epidemic and we need to take measures to stop it," Lipic said.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is highlighting the new laws because January is Radon Action Month.
Eric Stock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.