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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2011

IEMA, American Lung Association Launch Radon Video Contest for High School Students
Winning video will promote awareness of radon health risks statewide

SPRINGFIELD – On the heels of the Oscar nominations, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the American Lung Association in Illinois (ALA-IL) today announced a contest for aspiring teen film makers.  The second annual “Illinois High School Radon Video Contest” offers high school students an opportunity to compete for prizes by producing creative 60-second YouTube videos about radon.

“Last year, we received more than 30 videos that provided fun, fresh perspectives on the radon message,” said IEMA Interim Director Joe Klinger.  “We’re very excited to once again join with the American Lung Association in Illinois for this contest, and look forward to seeing the creative videos teens create to raise public awareness about radon.”

The 2010 winning video featured a ninja attempting to get into a home, illustrating the message, ‘you wouldn’t let a ninja into your home, so why would you let radon in?’ The winning video, which was produced by a group of teens at Wheaton North High School, can be viewed on IEMA’s radon website at www.radon.illinois.gov.

Videos entered in the 2011 contest can be created by an individual student, group of students or classroom.  Entries must be submitted by March 7.

The entries will be judged by a panel from the sponsoring agencies, as well as by the public through a designated website.  Prizes will be awarded to first place ($2,000 to the winning school, $1,000 to the winning students), second place ($500/school, $500/students), and third place ($250/school, $250/students).  The prizes are funded by a grant from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). 

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.  It’s estimated that nearly 1,200 radon-related lung cancer deaths occur in Illinois each year.

"The American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest appreciates the enthusiasm and talent of the students who can take the message of radon health concerns and share it with their classmates," said Harold Wimmer, ALA-IL President and CEO.

Complete details about the contest, including entry and release forms, are available on the ALA-IL website at www.healthhouse.org/radon/videocontest.cfm. More information about radon, including lists of measurement and mitigation professionals, is available on IEMA’s radon website (www.radon.illinois.gov) or by calling the Radon Hotline at 1-800-325-1245.

In addition, IEMA and the ALA-IL also sponsor a radon poster contest for children ages 9-14.  Entries for the 2011 contest are due by March 1.  For more information about the poster contest, visit http://takeactiononradon.illinois.edu/.

 



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