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Radon program sponsors student poster contest

Posted 8/3/2010

By Susan Howe

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program is sponsoring a poster contest for all Nevada children between the ages of 9 and 14. The first-place winner will receive $50 and the second- and third-place entries will receive $25 each. The deadline for entries is Oct. 31, and the top three posters will be entered in the 2011 National Radon Poster Contest by Nov. 15.

The top three national winners will receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the Award Ceremony Jan. 14. The winning national poster will also be reproduced on next year’s poster contest promotional materials.

Contestants can be enrolled in a public, private, territorial, tribal, Department of Defense or home school. Children can also enter through a sponsoring club, such as an art, computer or science club, scouting organization or 4-H club.

Children can choose one of five poster topics:

  • What is radon?
  • Where does radon come from?
  • How does radon get into our homes?
  • Radon can cause lung cancer
  • Test your home for radon

Posters will be judged on accuracy, visual communication of topic, reproducibility and originality.

Artwork requirements are as follows:

  • Must be original
  • Must not have student’s name on the front
  • Should include a title on the front
  • Topic and title must be on the Artwork Submission Form (available at www.RadonNv.com). The form should be attached to the back of the poster
  • White paper, 12 x 18 and 8.5 x 11 sizes, are preferred, but all submission sizes will be accepted (preferred size eases reproducibility)
  • Can be created with crayon, markers, paint (watercolor, tempera, acrylic), collage, photographs or computer graphics
  • Lettering and message should be large enough to reproduce well, with all pencil markings erased
  • Copyrighted characters (such as Snoopy), product logos and trademarked or brand names cannot be used

Radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that can kill. The Surgeon General lists it as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. This radioactive element moves through the ground to the surface, and can easily enter homes and buildings. There is no way to detect the amount of radon present unless it is tested.

Harmful effects of elevated levels of indoor radon gas are a problem. The solution is to reduce the number of homes with elevated levels of radon. This contest is designed to raise awareness for radon testing and inform people of the danger of radon in their homes.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) and the Nevada State Health Division urge all Nevadans to get their homes tested for radon. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 21,000 people in the U.S. die each year from lung cancer caused by indoor radon exposure. Radon kills more people than secondhand smoke, drunken driving, falls in the home, drowning or home fires.

An estimated one out of every four homes in Nevada has radon levels at or above the EPA Action Level of 4 picoCuries per liter of air (pCi/l). Radon can enter any home — old or new, well-sealed or drafty. Even homes with basements, slab on grade, crawl spaces or no visible foundation cracks are susceptible.

Nevada posters should be sent to Megan Long, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, 5305 Mill St., Reno, NV 89502 by Oct. 31. For more information, call 1-888-RADON10 (1-888-723-6610). The contest is sponsored by the Nevada Radon Education Program, Nevada State Health Division, Kansas State University and EPA.

For more information on how to acquire a radon test kit or to locate the nearest UNCE office, go to the Nevada Radon Education Program Web site, www.RadonNV.com, or call University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s toll-free number, 1-888-RADON10 (1-888-723-6610).

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