Oklahoma student wins national radon poster contest
A student from Guthrie Junior High School has earned national recognition for her efforts to raise awareness about radon. Jill Bisig and her “Wanted: Radon” poster won third place out of nearly 2,000 entries in the 2008 National Radon Poster Contest.
January is National Radon Action Month. The annual contest is sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and National Safety Council to help spread the word about radon and the importance of testing homes.
“Indoor radon exposure is easy to detect,“ said EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene. ”EPA is encouraging everyone to find out more about the risk of radon in their area to protect their health"
Students from 26 states and two Department of Defense schools entered this year’s radon poster competition. Winning posters can be viewed at http://www.nsc.org/issues/radon/poster_winners.htm.
Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that seeps into homes undetected through foundation cracks, and can reach harmful levels if trapped indoors. It travels up from underground sources of uranium in the earth’s crust. EPA estimates that one in 15 homes will have a radon level of four PicoCuries per liter (pCi/L) of air or more, a level the agency considers high.
Breathing home indoor radon causes nearly one hundred times more deaths each year than carbon monoxide poisoning. Radon is also the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking. Some 20,000 people will die this year due to breathing too much radon without even knowing it.
The radon threat is preventable with some simple steps. In existing homes, families can begin protecting themselves by buying an easy-to-use radon test kit to determine if a high level exists; if so, a high level might be lowered simply with a straight-forward radon venting system installed by a contractor. In new homes, builders can easily and economically include radon-resistant features during construction, and home buyers should ask for these. EPA also recommends that home buyers ask their builder to test for radon gas before they move in.
More information on radon is available at http://www.epa.gov/radon or 1-800-SOS-RADON (767-7236).
To learn more about activities in EPA Region 6, please visit http://www.epa.gov/region6.
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