IEMA encourages people to test homes for radon during Radon Action
Month in January
youth contests promote awareness of radon health risks
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[January 27, 2014]
SPRINGFIELD — As part of Radon
Action Month in January, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency
urges people throughout Illinois to test their homes for radon, a
cancer-causing radioactive gas that has been found in nearly 40
percent of Illinois homes tested.
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. Radon is the leading cause of
lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second-leading cause of lung
cancer overall in the U.S. The IEMA estimates that nearly 1,200
Illinois citizens die from radon-related lung cancer each year.
The agency is also joining with the American Lung Association in
Illinois, Respiratory Health Association, Southern Illinois Radon
Awareness Task Force and Ecology Action Center to host the annual
statewide radon poster and video contests.
"Every year, students from across the state find imaginative ways
to promote the radon message through posters and videos," said IEMA
Director Jonathon Monken. "This contest helps students learn more
about the health risks associated with radon and the importance of
testing your home. Hopefully, they will encourage their friends and
family to test their own homes."
The radon poster contest is open to students ages 9-14. Entries
for the 2014 contest are due by March 1. Prizes include $200 for
first place, $150 for second place and $100 for third place. In
addition, the top three posters will compete in a national contest
for additional prizes. For more information about the poster
[to top of second column]
High school students can compete for prizes by producing
creative 60-second YouTube videos about radon and entering them
in the statewide video contest. Videos can be created by an
individual student, group of students or classroom. Prizes
include $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place, $500 for
third place and $250 for seven honorable mention videos. In
addition, the schools of the top three winners will receive
$300, $200 and $100 for first, second and third places,
All videos, entry forms and release forms must be submitted by
March 5 at 5 p.m. Details about the video contest are available on
the American Lung Association in Illinois website at
All contest prizes are funded by a grant from the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency.
The top posters and videos from the 2013 contest can be viewed on
IEMA's radon website at
www.radon.illinois.gov. The website also includes information
about radon and lists of licensed measurement and mitigation
professionals. Information is also available through IEMA's Radon
Hotline at 800-325-1245.
Emergency Management Agency file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]