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Illinois

Radon Day: Danger may lurk in your basement

Radon gas, which results from the decay of uranium, seeps into basements and can be a significant cause of lung cancer to residents of impacted homes.

The Grundy County Land Use Department and the Grundy County Health Department sponsored Grundy Radon Action Day at the county administration center Tuesday afternoon in an effort to raise awareness of the danger.

Illinois is a state with a high incidence of radon and area residents are urged to have their basement “or the lowest level of their residence“ tested.

Travis Jewell of Radovent Illinois explained that, as uranium“ which exists naturally in the soil “ decays, it gives off several by-products, including radon gas. This radioactive gas works its way through the soil. Because houses tend to have a negative air pressure, the radon is pulled into the basement or lowest level of the structure.

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Excess radon in 42 percent of Illinois homes tested

A state study shows that 42 percent of homes tested in Illinois had excess levels of radon, a leading cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers, according to Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Andrew Velasquez III.

It is estimated that 21,000 radon-related lung cancer deaths occur annually, 1,100 of which are in Illinois.

Radon is odorless, colorless and tasteless, making the radioactive gas difficult to detect.
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It originates from the radioactive decay of uranium that naturally occurs in soil. It enters homes through cracks and gaps in the foundation or interior construction. Radon can also contaminate the water supply.

The state normally offers free testing kits to residents; however, the 10,000 kits available have been distributed and funding for the program has been depleted.

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Another Gas Hike

A study released this week shows 42% of homes tested in Illinois have excess levels of radon. Radon is colorless, odorless and tasteless. But, it's considered the number one cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. And, it's in abundance across this area.

Here's a reason to get out of your house this winter. A study released this week shows 42% of homes tested in Illinois have excess levels of radon. Radon is colorless, odorless and tasteless. But, it's considered the number one cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. And, it's in abundance across this area. Nearly 72-thousand homes were tested for the gas between 2003 and 2007. And, the state lists nine local counties where more than half the tested homes need to be treated for high radon levels.

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