Students from Boulder, Littleton and Fort Collins took top honors in this year’s statewide radon poster contest to raise awareness of health risks associated with radon gas. More than 250 students across Colorado participated in the contest. The top three Colorado posters will be entered in a national contest sponsored by National Radon Program Services in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
First place was awarded to Chiara Calcao from Boulder. Her poster featured an artfully drawn child with a “save this child” message. Calcao is a student of Dawn Deming at Manhattan Middle School in Boulder.
“The state health department joins Chiara in urging Coloradans to test their homes for radon,” said Chrystine Kelley, radon program manager for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “It’s easy to do, and it’s the only sure way to tell whether or not your home is affected by radon, which occurs naturally in the soil.”
Sara Barker from Littleton won second place, and Sivani Badrivenkata from Fort Collins received third place.
Long-term exposure to radon – a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas – is the most frequent cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in smokers. Exposure to radon is responsible for approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year, which is why testing is crucial.
Discount coupons for radon test kits are available at www.coloradoradon.info . The website includes a link to a public information video, a list of certified contractors and other resources. People without Internet access can call the department’s Radon Hotline at 1-800-846-3986. Colorado residents also can check with their local health department, county extension office or public health nurse for radon information.