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PA DEP Secretary Announces Pennsylvania's Radon Poster Contest Winners
Date:11/15/2007

State Winners Enter National Competition to Raise Radon Awareness

HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Three Pennsylvania students are advancing to national competition after winning the state's radon poster contest, which is designed to raise awareness about this potentially dangerous gas.

"I congratulate these students on their creativity in helping to make more people aware of radon, and I urge everyone to have their homes tested for this gas," Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty said in announcing the winners. "Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States behind cigarette smoking. Many homes throughout Pennsylvania may have high levels of radon, yet the occupants are not aware. That's why it's so important to test."

The National Safety Council and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sponsored the radon poster contest for students ages 9 through 14. The Pennsylvania winners are:

-- First place: Maria Lydon, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, a sixth-grade student at Keystone Oaks Middle School in Pittsburgh. Maria's teacher is Nadine Pisani.

-- Second place: Colleen Devine, Edinboro, Erie County, a seventh-grade student at Villa Maria Elementary School in Erie. Colleen's teacher is Mary Wright.

-- Third place: Angelika Wyzlie, East Stroudsburg, Monroe County, a sixth-grade student at J.T. Lambert Intermediate School in East Stroudsburg. Angelika's teacher is Sheila Bove.

The students' posters will enter the national competition, where the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in January in Washington, D.C.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that occurs naturally in rocks and soil through the breakdown of uranium. Radon enters homes through cracks in basements and foundations and can build to levels above what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers healthy.

The only way to know the radon level is to test, which most homeowners can do with kits they can buy for about $25 at hardware, outdoor supply, lawn and garden, and department stores.

Testing should be done during colder months when windows and doors are closed, and on the lowest level of the home on which you live, such as a finished basement.

"The good news is radon mitigation systems can be installed to reduce radon levels quickly and permanently," said McGinty. "I urge all Pennsylvanians to have their homes tested for radon and if the results indicate the gas is present, take action to lower the radon level in your home for the safety of your family."

Radon mitigation systems can cost anywhere from about $700 to $1,200. Anyone in Pennsylvania who conducts radon testing or installs mitigation systems on a home, other than the home in which they live, must be certified by DEP. Builders can also use radon resistant construction techniques when building new homes.

Information on radon, including a list of certified radon professionals can be found by calling 1-800-23-RADON, or by visiting http://www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: Radon.

CONTACT: Ron Ruman

(717) 787-1323


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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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