Illinois Radon Laws: What You Need To Know

Posted 2018/04/25

Illinois Radon Laws

Did you know Illinois has Radon laws? These radon laws have been implemented to protect home owners, renters as well as children. Let’s take a look at some of the most recent Illinois Radon laws.

Radon Law #1: Illinois Radon Resistant Construction Act

On June 1, 2013, all new construction single family homes or dwellings containing 2 or fewer apartments, condos or town houses must have a passive radon pipe installed. This pipe may be installed by the contractor or subcontractor. However, if the homeowner wishes to “activate” the system by having a radon vent fan installed, or they would like to upgrade from a passive system to an active mitigation system, it must be done by an IEMA licensed Radon Mitigation contractor.

Radon Law #2: Illinois Radon Testing in Daycare Centers

As of January 1, 2013, all licensed daycare centers and home daycares are required to test for Radon. Effective January 1, 2014, daycare facilities must show proof of having conducted a test within the past 3 years when applying for an initial license or a renewal.

Radon Law #3: Illinois Radon Awareness Act

On January 1, 2008 it became a requirement for all sellers of a residential building to provide information about indoor radon exposure, as well as the fact that radon is the leading cause of non-smoker lung cancer & 2nd leading cause of lung cancer overall. This law does not require a radon test to be conducted prior to the sale of a home or even that a mitigation system has to be installed if the home does test high. It does, however, require that the results of a radon test must be disclosed to the buyers.

Radon Law #4: Illinois Law to Protect Renters

June 28. 2011 marked the start of a new requirement for landlords. Owners of rental units are required to inform renters in writing before a lease is signed if the rental unit has been tested for radon, as well as the fact that a radon hazard may exist. IF the rental unit hasn’t been tested for radon, the renter has the right to conduct a do-it-yourself test or to ask the owner to have a test performed by a licensed radon contractor. If the levels are high, the renter is responsible for informing the owner of the unit in writing.

These Illinois Radon Laws exist to help protect people from the dangers of radon. Do you have a question about these laws? Give our offices a call today at 630-499-1492.

5 Causes of Lung Cancer (in non smokers)

Posted 2018/04/12

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While cigarette smoking is an undisputed cause of lung cancer, not all cases of lung cancer occur in smokers or former smokers. Each year, over 170,000 Americans develop lung cancer, and approximately ten per cent of lung cancers, or 17,000 cases, occur in non-smokers. Although not every non-smoker suffering from lung cancer will have an identifiable risk factor for development of the disease, a number of conditions and circumstances have been identified that will increase a non-smoker’s chance of developing lung cancer.

Cause of Lung Cancer #1:

Passive smoking, or the inhalation of tobacco smoke from other smokers sharing living or working quarters, is an established risk factor for the development of lung cancer. Non-smokers who reside with a smoker have a 24% increase in risk for developing lung cancer when compared with other non-smokers. Each year, up to 3,000 lung cancer deaths are estimated to occur in the U.S. that are attributable to passive smoking.

Cause of Lung Cancer #2:

Radon gas, a naturally-occurring gas that forms when uranium decays, is another known cause of lung cancer. An estimated 12% of total lung cancer deaths in both smokers and non-smokers, or 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer-related deaths annually in the U.S, are believed to be at least partially related to radon gas exposure. Those who do smoke and are exposed to radon have an even greater risk of developing lung cancer than non-smokers who are exposed to radon gas. Radon gas can travel up through soil and enter homes through gaps in the foundation, pipes, drains, or other openings. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that one out of every 15 homes in the U.S. contains dangerous levels of radon gas. Radon gas is invisible and odorless but can be detected with simple test kits.

Cause of Lung Cancer #3

Asbestos is a compound that was widely used in the past as both thermal and acoustic insulation material. Microscopic fibers of asbestos break loose from the insulation material and are released into the air where they can be inhaled into the lungs. Asbestos fibers can persist for a lifetime in lung tissue following exposure to asbestos. Both lung cancer and a type of cancer known as mesothelioma are associated with exposure to asbestos. Cigarette smoking drastically increases the chance of developing an asbestos-related lung cancer among workers exposed to asbestos; nevertheless, asbestos workers who do not smoke have a five fold greater risk of developing lung cancer than other non-smokers. Today, asbestos use is limited or banned in many countries including the Unites States.

Cause of Lung Cancer #4:

Heredity, since all smokers do not eventually develop lung cancer, it is likely that other factors, such as individual genetic susceptibility, may play a role in the causation of lung cancer. Numerous studies have shown that lung cancer is more likely to occur in both smoking and non-smoking relatives of those who have had lung cancer than in the general population.

Cause of Lung Cancer #5

Air pollution from vehicles, industry, and power plants, can raise the likelihood of developing lung cancer in exposed individuals. It has been estimated that up to 2,000 lung cancer deaths per year may be attributable to breathing polluted air, and many experts believe that prolonged exposure to highly polluted air can carry a risk for the development of lung cancer similar to that of passive smoking

Trinity Radon is ready to help you reduce your risk of lung cancer caused by radon gas. Give us a call today at 630-499-1492 to see how you can protect your family.

Your Passive Radon System Isn’t Good Enough

Posted 2017/12/10

My new home came with a passive radon system. Isn’t that good enough? The short answer: no. The long one: even a perfectly constructed passive radon system will not necessarily reduce radon levels below the EPA’s action level of 4 pCi/l. This doesn’t mean your home wasn’t built well. It just means that the strength of the radon emanating from the ground into the house is stronger than your passive radon system.

What is a Passive Radon System?

Passive radon systems usually consist of a 3 or 4 inch PVC vent pipe that is sealed into the gravel layer under the basement slab or into a sealed sump cover which runs from the basement up through the home, into the attic and venting through the roof. The theory of a passive system is based on thermal stack effect, which causes a house to act as a vacuum on the soil due to temperature differences inside and outside the home.

Why isn’t my Passive Radon System Good Enough?

Reason #1:

Radon is slightly heavier than air. Because of this, it generally won’t go up the vent pipe (which is a big component of your passive radon system) on its own. To draw the radon out of your home, you need to have a radon fan installed on the vent pipe inside of your attic in order to effectively reduce the radon levels in your home.

Reason #2

Sometimes in new construction, the passive radon system’s vent pipes are obstructed when they are set in the slab, rather than in the sump cover. It may be stuck too far into the dirt below the gravel, the gravel may be too compacted, the gravel is too small with too much dirt and sand in it are all things that make it difficult to create good air flow, or a vacuum, across the entire slab. When this happens, we have to re-configure the vent pipe to have a new slab penetration, creating enough open air space beneath it in order to be able to guarantee results.

What is the ideal setup for my Passive Radon System?

A passive radon system’s vent pipe should ideally be run through one of the combustion appliance chases (furnace or hot water heater) that run from the basement to the attic of a house. The heat inside these chases may create a vacuum in the vent pipe, but ONLY if the following conditions exist:

  • The floor-to-wall joint and all other basement slab openings, such as sump crocks are completely sealed during construction, with a sealed vapor barrier under the concrete
  • The vent pipe has no completely horizontal runs and minimal bends.

Even then, the passive systems cannot overcome high emanations of radon.

What is the best way to reduce levels of radon in my home?

Converting your passive radon system into an active radon mitigation system is the best way to reduce levels of radon in your home. So long as there is at east three feet of accessible, vertical vent pipe in the attic, we can convert your passive radon system into an active system. There are many other factors that determine the ease of an install, such as whether or not another contractor renders the vent pipe useless during the build process.

Even if you have a passive system in place, you should test your home A passive radon system does not guarantee you will have an acceptable level of radon in your home. The best way to find out if your radon levels have been sufficiently reduced is to have your home tested.

Do you have a passive radon system that needs work? Give us a call at 630-499-1492 today!

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