SPRINGFIELD – Students from across the state recently put their creative talents to work to help spread the message about the hazards of radon, a radioactive gas that is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. More than 400 posters and nearly 100 one-minute YouTube videos were submitted to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the American Lung Association in Illinois (ALA-IL) for consideration in the agencies’ annual contests.
“Once again, these students amazed us with their creative and innovative ways to promote the message about radon hazards and the importance of testing your home,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken.
The three winning posters will be submitted for consideration in a national radon poster contest. The top winners and their prizes include:
• 1st place – Jarica Barth, Alwood Middle School, Woodhull, $200
• 2nd place – Nick Brown, Mt. Greenwood Elementary, Chicago, $150
• 3rd place – Tessa Richerson, Eldorado Middle School, Eldorado, $100
These posters will compete against posters from across the country in the 2013 National Radon Poster Contest sponsored by Kansas State University in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). The poster contest is designed to raise awareness about the harmful effects of elevated levels of indoor radon gas and to increase the number of homes tested for radon.
First, second and third place video winners were named in the video categories of drama, comedy and musical. The winning schools and their prizes include:
• 1st place – Riverside Brookfield High School, Riverside, $750
• 2nd place – Riverside Brookfield High School, Riverside, $500
• 3rd place – Chicagoland Jewish High School, Deerfield, $250
• 1st place – O’Fallon Township High School, O’Fallon, $750
• 2nd place – University High School, Normal, $500
• 3rd place – Riverside Brookfield High School, Riverside, $250
• 1st place – Capital Area Career Center, Springfield, $750
• 2nd place – University Laboratory High School, Urbana, $500
• 3rd place – University Laboratory High School, Urbana, $250
The prize money for all winners was provided by the ALA-IL. The winning entries are available on IEMA Radon website at www.radon.illinois.gov. The website also includes comprehensive information about radon risks, lists of licensed radon measurement and mitigation contractors, home radon test results by county and more.
Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that comes from the radioactive decay of naturally-occurring uranium in the soil. It can enter homes and buildings through small cracks in the foundation, sump pumps or soil in crawlspaces. The USEPA has determined that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind smoking. However, among non-smokers, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer.