Illinois announces radon mitigation program for new homes
The Radon Excellence Program will seek to lower exposure to the colorless, odorless, and tasteless radioactive gas by promoting activated radon mitigation systems in new homes.
“Home builders in Illinois currently are required to install passive radon mitigation systems in all new construction,” IEMA Director James K. Joseph said. “This program encourages builders to provide even more protection for their homebuyers by activating those systems. It’s an easy, yet very important step they can take to help families avoid the serious health risk associated with radon.”
As is, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. In Illinois in particular, the gas has tested at higher than normal levels in every county.
“Radon-induced lung cancer is responsible for the deaths of nearly 1,200 Illinoisans each year and is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers,” Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Nirav D. Shah said. “Given that nearly 40 percent of all homes tested in Illinois have radon levels in excess of recommended guidelines, we strongly encourage homeowners to test their homes for radon. There is no safe level for radon, but IDPH and IEMA recommend fixing homes that have levels at or above 4pCi/L.”
The program has already seen some success during its pilot phase, which was conducted last year in partnership with Ironwood Builders and Signature Builders, each based in Champaign, Illinois. The companies built more than 100 homes that included the new activated mitigation systems.