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Radon in Child Care

Radon testing in child care

What do licensed child care providers need to know?

Beginning on March 1, 2023, Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) will require licensed family and group child care providers in Wisconsin to test for radon and mitigate radon if needed. This rule change applies to licensed (not certified) child care providers only.

Why is this important?

Radon is an odorless, colorless, naturally occurring gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Testing and mitigating for radon protects the health of child care employees and of the children attending the child care facility. Lung cancer is more common in later life, so reducing exposure to radon over the lifespan is key for maintaining overall health of employees and the future health of children.

Best practices for testing for radon in child care settings

These best practices are based on the standards for radon measurement in homes and radon measurement in schools and large buildings, set by the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST).

 

Family Child Care Centers

Group Child Care Centers

Definitions

Refers to DCF 250 – Family Child Care Centers

Many family child care centers are located in residential buildings. A “residential building” means a building that meets the definition of a “dwelling" in Wis. Stat. § 101.71(2).

Refers to DCF 251 – Group Child Care Centers

Many group child care centers are located in “commercial buildings." This means a building that is not a residential building and meets the definition of “place of employment” or a “public building” in Wis. Stat. § 101.01(11) or Wis. Stat. § 101.01(12).

Who should test my business for radon? Use a certified measurement professional who holds a certification from the National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) or the National Radon Safety Board (NRSB) or test it yourself using a home radon test kit. To test for radon in commercial buildings, the AARST standards recommends using a certified measurement professional who holds a certification from the National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) or the National Radon Safety Board (NRSB). While using a certified measurement professional is best practice for commercial buildings, it is not required in the rule change and you may test the building yourself using a home radon test kit.
What is the cost of testing for radon? Radon testing with a home test kit can range from $10 to $30 per test. When using a certified measurement professional, the price can range from $125 to $150 for a residential building. The child care provider is responsible for the cost of testing. Testing a commercial building with a certified measurement professional can range from $500 to $1,500. The cost of testing may vary depending on the size of the facility. The child care provider is responsible for the cost of testing.
Where should my building be tested for radon? Test in lowest level of a building that is used by children in care for at least seven hours per week.* Follow the instructions included with a home test kit. Test in lowest level of a building that is used by children in care for at least seven hours per week.* Best practices for testing for radon in schools and large buildings varies depending on the building. Use a certified measurement professional, or refer to the AARST standards for specific guidance.
When do I need to test for radon?

Test within six months of March 1, 2023. Submit a copy of the test results to DCF.

Test residential buildings every two years.

Prospective child care providers must test for radon prior to obtaining a license after March 1, 2023.

Test within six months of March 1, 2023. Submit a copy of test results to DCF.

Test commercial buildings every five years.

Prospective child care providers must test for radon prior to obtaining a license after March 1, 2023.

 

Radon mitigation in child care

What steps should be taken if the radon level is above 4 pCi/L?

  • Notify parents that the radon measurement test was elevated.
  • A radon mitigation system must be installed within 12 months after the date of the radon measurement test above 4 pCi/L. Using a certified radon mitigation professional to install a mitigation system is highly recommended. Choose a radon mitigation company that holds certifications from NRPP or NRSB to ensure that the installer will follow the proper procedures and codes.
  • After the mitigation system has been installed, test the building again. Submit the updated test results to DCF within 12 months after initial radon test to show that radon levels have been reduced to less than 4 pCi/L.
  • Review the AARST standards for mitigation in existing homes and mitigation in schools and large buildings.

What funding is available for child care providers?

Payment program A of Child Care Counts

Resources for child care providers

Trainings for professionals

Upcoming trainings

Radon Mitigation for DCF Licensing Staff 

Tuesday, February 21, 10:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m. 

The link to this training will be sent out to DCF licensing staff via email. 

Radon Basics for Child Care Providers

Wednesday, March 22, 12:30 p.m. — 1:30 p.m. Register in advance.

Friday, March 24, 12:30 p.m. — 1:30 p.m. Register in advance.

Previous trainings

Last revised January 24, 2023