3 New York Children Entered in National Poster Contest To Raise Awareness of Radon Risks

ALBANY, N.Y. (Dec. 24, 2009) – Vying for an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., 125 New York school children submitted designs for the National Radon Poster Contest. Held annually, the contest goal is to raise awareness about the harmful effects of elevated levels of indoor radon gas.

The contest, sponsored by the National Safety Council and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, engages students in learning more about radon as they design their projects. Children ages 9-14 are eligible, through public, private or home school, or through sponsoring clubs or organizations. They can choose from these 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.

Three judges from the New York State Department of Health evaluated the posters for content accuracy, visual communication of topic, reproducibility and originality. The winner, Frankie Mejia, and two runners-up, Jose Premole and Eduardo Arizmend, were entered into the national contest. All three attend Saints Peter and Paul School in Mount Vernon, Westchester County.

The national winner, a parent and a teacher win the paid trip to the nation's capital, and the winning poster is reproduced and distributed across the country to promote radon awareness. The winner will be announced as part of National Radon Action Month in January 2010. New York has had a previous winner and is hopeful for another one.

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 nation. It is a radioactive element that moves through the ground to the surface and can easily enter homes and buildings. There is no way to detect radon without testing. To learn more about radon or get a test kit for your home, see www.nyhealth.gov/environmental/radiological/radon/radon.htm.