Home builders in Illinois are being urged to go beyond the law when it comes to radon. Radon is a gas that’s a byproduct of the decay of naturally occurring uranium in the soil, and it’s a health hazard when it accumulates in homes. It’s the No. 1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Patrick Daniels, the head of the radon program for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, says the law is fine, but there’s a practice that’s better.
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“In Illinois, all homes are required to be built with what’s known as passive radon-resistant new construction techniques. We’re trying to encourage builders throughout the state to build their homes using active mitigation systems,” he said at a display of homes being built with such systems in Savoy.
The passive system that the law requires is a pipe that relies on air flow to reduce radon concentration in newly built homes. An active radon mitigation system uses a fan, and it’s twice as effective – a 50 percent reduction in radon for passive systems vs. up to 100 percent with the fan.