Washington, DC – The National Safety Council’s Radon Awards Ceremony, held tonight at the National Press Club, will recognize individuals and organizations for their contributions to reducing deaths from radon. Radon, a colorless, odorless and tasteless natural gas, is our nation’s second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking. Radon is linked to about 21,000 cancer deaths each year. It is estimated that residents of one in every 15 homes are exposed to unsafe levels of radon.
At tonight’s ceremony, National Safety Council president and CEO Janet Froetscher will deliver opening remarks and award the winners of the NSC’s 2009 National Radon Poster Contest, recognizing young people for their artistic efforts to educate the public about the importance of testing for radon. 2009 poster contest winners include:
- 1st place: Shana Stone, age 10, grade 6, Good Hope, Ga.
- 2nd place: Raquel Goldman, age 13, grade 8, Hollywood, Fla.
- 3rd place: Gurbani Kaur, age 13, grade 8, Copley, Ohio
“The enthusiasm demonstrated by our winners and the many other children who submitted contest entries this year is impressive and inspiring,” Froetscher said. “If more Americans could match these young people’s interest and action, to test their homes for radon, we could undoubtedly begin to lower the number of cancer deaths caused each year by this silent killer.”
Froetscher will also present an award to the East Shawnee Tribe, Oklahoma, for its public education work.
Tonight’s program also includes Beth Craig, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who will recognize winners of the EPA’s Radon YouTube Video Contest, “Radon: Test, Fix, Save a Life,” which called for short videos encouraging Americans to test and fix their homes for radon.
Additional speakers include Elizabeth A. Cotsworth, Office Director of the EPA’s Office of Radiation and Indoor Air, who will showcase her agency’s new media campaign, “Green Sox,” and Elizabeth Hoffman, representing Cancer Survivors Against Radon, with her compelling tale of cancer diagnosis at age 37, in 2003. Because Hoffman never smoked and had no lung cancer in her family history, her father, looking for her cancer’s cause, tested her home for radon. He found the air in her home contained more than twice the EPA’s recommended action level.
Radon Awards for educational outreach will also be presented by:
- Bill Angell, President, American Association of Radon Scientists & Technologists, Inc.
- John Winston, Chairperson, Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors
- Gloria Linnertz, representative for the National Conference of State Legislatures
Visit NSC to learn more about radon and its risks and see the 2009 National Radon Poster Contest state and tribal winners. NSC information specialists are available to answer questions about radon, weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST. at 800/557-2366. The NSC also offers a toll-free Radon Hotline, 800/767-7236, for radon brochures and information on ordering cost-effective, short-term test kits.
The NSC’s Radon Awards Ceremony is funded by the EPA and held in partnership with the AARST, NCSL, CRCPD, and CanSAR.
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.