Gov. Tom Corbett recently urged Pennsylvania students, ages 9 to 14, to enter a national radon poster contest designed to help raise awareness about the dangers of radon. The deadline to enter is Nov. 1.
"Through their participation in this contest, our students will learn more about an environmental health hazard that affects many Pennsylvania homes," Corbett said. "I hope that when they share what they've learned with the adults in their lives, helping them to become more informed homeowners who will test for radon."
Radon exposure causes nearly 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year, and 40 percent of homes in Pennsylvania have radon levels above the EPA guideline of four picocuries per liter.
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, territorial, tribal, Department of Defense, or home school or through a sponsoring club, such as an art, computer or science club; scouting organization; or 4-H club.
The poster topics are:
Ÿ What is radon?
Ÿ Where does radon come from?
Ÿ How does radon get into our homes?
Ÿ Radon can cause lung cancer.
Ÿ Test your home 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.