Verschoore-Backed Legislation to Protect Renters’ Health Heads to Governor

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

To better protect the health of Illinois residents who rent apartments and homes, legislation co-sponsored by state Rep. Pat Verschoore (D-Milan) to require the disclosure of dangerous amounts of radon was approved by the Senate and now goes to the Governor to be signed into law.

“It is important for renters to know if a high concentration of radon has been present in their home and to be informed of the potential side effects of being exposed to radon and how they can reduce those risks,” said Verschoore. “By increasing notification standards for landlords we can help protect Illinois residents from hazardous chemicals like radon that may threaten their health and safety.”

House Bill 141 requires landlords to report any findings of a hazardous concentration of radon found in previously conducted tests to prospective tenants. It would also require that any new testing results  finding radon contamination to be disclosed to current and prospective renters.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is a radioactive, toxic and colorless gas, and comes from a natural breakdown of uranium present in nearly all soil. Consistent exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer and second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. In Illinois alone there are almost 1,200 deaths a year due to lung cancer caused by radon exposure. These cases of cancer could be prevented with the use of highly accurate and low-cost radon testing and followed by radon reduction systems that can substantially reduce the levels of radon in a building.

“The monetary costs of radon testing are a small price to pay considering the high human cost of cancer,” said Verschoore. “Not only should landlords disclose any information about radon contamination to tenets, I also encourage all homeowners to get their homes tested to help protect their families from being exposed to this toxic gas. I hope the governor will work swiftly to sign this measure into law.”

The legislation passed the House 115-0 and passed the Senate 54-0. For more information on any legislative matters, please contact Verschoore’s constituent services office at (309) 558-3612.