Two new Illinois laws aimed at reducing health hazards from radioactive radon will take effect next year. Starting in January, day-care homes and centers must be tested for radon every three years. And starting next June, new homes must be built with radon-resistant construction.
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Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that has been linked to lung cancer. It's created when uranium deposits in the ground begin to break down, and can seep into houses and other structures. The American Lung Association calls the new laws "landmark legislation," and says more than 35 percent of homes in the state have radon levels that are a concern. Experts say it's easy to test for radon, and there are ways to limit its entry and draw it out of existing homes.