Effective in January 1, 2008 all residential sales up to 4 unit properties requires the seller to provide the buyer with a disclosure, booklet about Radon. The Act does not require a seller to test for radon or engage in "mitigation activities", but it does require, as of February of 2009 that Amended the Illinois Radon Awareness Act, sellers of certain property to disclose, among other things, either (i) that they have no knowledge of elevated radon concentrations or (ii) that prior elevated radon concentrations have been mitigated or remediated (now, only (i) must be disclosed). Provides that the Act's provisions do not apply to the transfer of any residential dwelling unit located on the third story or higher above ground level of any structure or building.
Why the "big concern" for Radon Gas?
Radon is a Radioactive Gas
Radon is a radioactive element that is part of the radioactive decay chain of naturally occurring uranium in soil. You can?t see,smell or taste radon gas. Unlike carbon monoxide and many other home pollutants, radon's adverse health effect, lung cancer, is usually not produced immediately. Thus you may be exposed to radon for many years without ever suspecting its presence in your home.
The USEPA action level for radon is 4.0 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). The risk of developing lung cancer at 4.0 pCi/L is estimated at about 7 lung cancer deaths per 1000 persons. That is why USEPA and IEMA recommends reducing your radon level if the concentration is 4.0 pCi/L or more. Lung cancer in humans arising from radon exposure is recognized by the following health and environmental organizations:
There is a wonderful slideshow I found that was created by RADALINK, one of many firms, that gives some wonderful information in an easy format to understand.
So if you watched the slideshow, you learned that radon gas can be removed from a home with a special ventilation system. Installing a system collects radon prior to its entry into the house and discharges it to a safe location, usually outside.
Any home can have elevated radon levels. It doesn't matter if your home is old, new, basement, or crawl. One house is affected and the next door neighbor's home shows normal readings. It's not predicatable at all.
? Illinois Radon Awareness Act www.ilga.gov/legislation/