The Department of Environmental Protection has urged Pennsylvania students, ages nine to 14, to enter a national poster contest designed to help raise awareness about the dangers of radon. The deadline to enter is Nov. 2.
“This is a great way to educate students and their families about the dangers of radon,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. “I encourage all eligible students to participate, get creative and talk with their families about the importance of testing for radon in their homes and taking the easy and inexpensive steps to remedy if it is found.”
Radon exposure causes nearly 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year, and nearly half of Pennsylvania homes have elevated radon levels.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in rocks and soil. It enters homes through tiny cracks in basements and foundations, but home mitigation systems can quickly and significantly reduce radon levels.
Kansas State University’s National Radon Program Services sponsors the poster contest, which is open to all students enrolled in a public, private, Department of Defense or home school. Students involved with a sponsoring art, computer, science or 4-H club or scouting organization may also participate.
The poster topics are:
• What is radon?
• Where does radon come from?
• How does radon get into homes?
• Radon can cause lung cancer; and
• Test homes for radon.
Judging will be based on content accuracy, visual communication of topic, reproducibility and originality.
National winners will receive award plaques and gift cards in the amount of $1,000 for first place, $600 for second, $400 for third and $400 for special online voting recognition. These winners will also be recognized in their home area, and the posters will be reproduced and distributed nationally to promote radon awareness. A winning submission and runner-up will be chosen for entry into the national contest from each state and U.S. territory.
For more information about the contest and for entry submission forms, visit the Bureau of Radiation Protection’s Radon homepage at www.dep.state.pa.us, keyword: Radon. Information about radon testing and mitigation can also be found on that page or by calling 1-800-23 RADON.