January is National Radon Action Month and the time of year when the Florida Department of Health announces the winners of our 2020 Florida Radon Poster Contest. For 11 years, this annual contest of original designs, art and concepts has engaged Florida middle-school students and schools to help educate their communities about the health risks connected to elevated indoor radon levels.
Florida winners are entered into the national contest organized by RadonLeaders.org, an online learning and action network that supports the Radon Leaders Saving Lives campaign. Since 2008, Florida’s past national winners have won first, second and third placements a total of nine times. Congratulations to our 2020 Florida winners and our national contest winner!
First Place: “The Fragments of Radon” by Sophia Ossaoulenko, Hollywood Academy of Arts & Science, eighth grade. Sophia also won second place in the national contest.
Second Place: “Radon Can Cause Lung Cancer” by Isabelle Karroum, Hollywood Academy of Arts & Science, eighth grade.
Third Place: “Protect Your Home” by Kylie Wheeler, Hollywood Academy of Arts & Science, eighth grade.
Honorable Mention: “Radon” by Leishka Rodriguez, Hollywood Academy of Arts & Science, eighth grade.
The Contest Promotes this Fact: Radon Causes Lung Cancer
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas and the largest source of everyday radiation exposure. It’s colorless and odorless so you don’t know you’re breathing it in. In recent years, radon in indoor air has caused an estimated 21,000 deaths from lung cancer—in fact, it’s the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths. For non-smokers, it’s number one.
Common Misconception: Radon is Only Found in Basements
Radon comes from uranium, a heavy metal found in the earth’s soil. Radon is pulled from the ground into buildings through cracks in foundations, plumbing and electrical penetrations and other openings. It can accumulate in any type of building including the upper floors of homes, apartments and high-rises. One in 15 homes across the U.S. has an elevated radon level. In Florida, one in five homes—in some areas it’s one in three.
You Can Test Your Home for Radon
There are ways to reduce high levels of radon in your home—your first step is to test your indoor air. The test is simple and you can request a free kit from Radon.FloridaHealth.gov (while supplies last). Also on the site:
- Find Florida-certified radon measurement professionals.
- Find a list of public and private schools, day care and 24-hour care facilities that have measured their indoor radon levels (this is not a requirement for all counties).
- Contact the Florida Radon Program at 1-800-543-8279.
This FloridaHealth.gov feature story is provided by the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Communications. It can be reused without permission, but kindly list the Florida Department of Health as a source and include the month and year.
Originally published at https://www.floridahealth.gov/newsroom/2020/01/012120-radon.article.html