The contest is an activity of National Radon Action Month, sponsored each January by the council and the EPA to increase public awareness of radon. The winning poster will be displayed as part of this campaign, to raise awareness about the dangers of radon gas and encourage more people to test their homes for it, said Donna Stein-Harris, executive director of NSC’s Home & Community Partnerships and Initiative.
The EPA estimates that radon causes about 20,000 deaths from lung cancer in the U.S. every year, Stein-Harris said. Colorless, odorless and tasteless, radon is the nation’s second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking and the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, according to the U.S. Surgeon General.
“Nearly one out of every 15 American homes has a radon level the EPA considers to be elevated. Because most people spend as much as 90 percent of their time indoors, indoor exposure to radon is an important concern,” Stein-Harris said.
The council will honor the national poster contest winners at the EPA’s Radon Awards and Recognition Ceremony, Jan. 10 in Washington, D.C.
Found in all 50 states, radon is a naturally formed radioactive gas produced by decay of uranium in rock, soil and water. The Surgeon General recommends that all homes, schools and other buildings be tested for the gas, which can seep into buildings through cracks and other openings.
To purchase a test kit or learn more about radon, call NSC's National Radon Helpline at (800) 55-RADON (557-2366) or visit the council’s Website at www.nsc.org.
The National Safety Council (www.nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads, through leadership, research, education and advocacy.