HARRISBURG – Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty today urged Pennsylvania students, ages nine to 14, to enter a national poster contest designed to help raise awareness of radon.
“Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer deaths in the United States, killing an estimated 22,000 people each year,” McGinty said. “Many areas of Pennsylvania have high levels of radon and we need to do everything we can to encourage people to test their homes for this odorless, colorless gas. There is no way to know the radon level in your home without testing.”
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.
The national radon poster contest is sponsored by the National Safety Council in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The contest is open to all children who are 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 participate.
The deadline for submitting entries is Oct. 15. The national winner, along with parents and a sponsoring adult, will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the contest’s awards ceremony in January. A winning submission and runner-up will be chosen from each state and U.S. territory for entry into the national contest.
“Radon is a major public health issue in Pennsylvania. This contest is an excellent way for students to learn about this issue, and to raise awareness of the need for testing homes among the general public in our state,” McGinty said.
Information on the requirements for the posters, submission and release forms and other information on the national radon poster contest is available at the National Safety Council’s Web site or by calling (202) 293-2270.
For more information on radon, including testing and mitigation, visit here, keyword: Radon, or call 1-800-23 RADON.