Sen. Baldacci bill to reduce lung cancer rates in Maine by promoting radon testing and mitigation becomes law

Posted: July 19, 2021 | Senator Baldacci

AUGUSTA – On Thursday, July 15, a bill from Sen. Joe Baldacci, D-Bangor, became law without the governor’s signature. LD 819, “An Act To Reduce Lung Cancer Rates in Maine by Creating a Voluntary Radon Testing and Mitigation Program for Landlords, Homeowners and Home Builders,” would reduce lung cancer rates in Maine by creating a program for landlords and other homeowners to receive incentives to test their buildings for radon more frequently.

“We know that radon continues to pose health risks to Mainers, and that Maine has high rates of cancer deaths and of new lung cancer cases in comparison to national trends. But we’ve gone years without taking much new action to address the threat posed by radon,” said Sen. Baldacci. “This new program will help keep residential buildings safer by incentivizing testing and mitigation efforts, and by giving renters and homeowners more information about the risks to them and their families.”

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that may be found in high concentrations in indoor environments, such as homes and workplaces. Radon is a known carcinogen and is linked to lung cancer when people are exposed to certain amounts of the gas.

As amended, LD 819 establishes the Maine Gold Standard for Radon Testing and Mitigation Initiative within the Department of Health and Human Services. The program will reward, recognize, promote and assist landlords, homeowners and home builders who participate in mitigation activities with a gold standard designation.

The new law goes into effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die.