Washington, D.C. – Winners of the National Safety Council’s 2007 National Radon Action Month Poster Contest will have their work displayed as part of a campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of the radioactive gas and to encourage more people to test their homes for it. The poster contest was conducted in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The winners, 6th-grader Mitch Nolte of Anniston, Ala., and 7th-grader Samantha Savage of Canastota, N.Y., will be recognized by the council at the EPA’s Radon Awards and Recognition Ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 16.
Nolte, who attends Saks Middle School in Anniston, and Savage, a student at Otto Shortell Middle School in Wampsville, N.Y., along with the first- and second-place runners-up, won all-expense paid trips to Washington, D.C., to participate in the ceremony with their parents and teachers.
The ceremony is being held as part of activities during National Radon Action Month in January. The ceremony begins at 4 p.m. in the Great Hall (Green Room) in the Ariel Rios (North) Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave.
The EPA estimates that radon causes about 20,000 deaths from lung cancer in the United States every year. The U.S. Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking and the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.
Radon is a naturally formed radioactive gas produced by decay of uranium in rock, soil and water. The colorless, odorless and tasteless gas can seep into buildings through cracks and other openings and can be found in all 50 states. The Surgeon General recommends that all homes, schools and other buildings be tested.
“Nearly one out of every 15 homes has a radon level that the EPA considers elevated,” said Alan C. McMillan, president and CEO of NSC. “Fortunately, testing for radon is easy, inexpensive and effective.”
Families can purchase test kits or learn more about radon by calling the National Radon Helpline at (800) 55-RADON (557-2366) or visiting NSC's Website www.nsc.org where a coupon for test kits can be downloaded.
More than 750 posters were entered into the contest from children ages 9-14, and posters were judged in two categories, computer-generated and hand-drawn. Savage’s computer-generated poster and Nolte’s hand-drawn poster will be displayed during the awards ceremony and can be seen at NSC's Website. First-place winning posters of the state, territories and tribal nations are also posted on the Web site.
The posters were first submitted at the state level and the state winners and two runners-up in each state, territory and tribal nation were entered into the national competition.
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.