Search Results for: radon

That’s My Daughter’s Radon Poster Design on the T-Shirt You’re Wearing!

I love T-shirts, but what I love even more is a T-shirt about radon, and what I love even more than that is seeing my daughter’s poster design about radon on a T-shirt. Each year, state radon programs have been supporting children, parents and teachers to do just that for the National Radon Poster Contest. The contest is cosponsored by EPA and Kansas State University. The contest is an artistic yet educational way to teach students about radon and its effects on our health. We all have much to learn about radon, and we can help spread awareness by wearing these unique T-shirts and pinning up those posters in our offices and buildings. Do you want to know how to get contest information?2010_participatingmap

The top three picks nationwide, their teacher or sponsor, and a parent or guardian win a trip to Washington D.C. The students will be honored in front of a huge crowd of supporters at the annual IAQ Tools for Schools Symposium held from January 13 to 15, 2011. I had the pleasure of attending the national award ceremony last year. As I watched the students walk up to the podium to receive their accolades, I remembered just how powerful and passionate a message becomes when we hear it from a child.

Check out past national winners and their posters in the below photo. Visit the website to see more winning posters, video and audio. Last year’s contest had submissions from 37 states totaling nearly 3,000 entries! That’s up more than 1,000 from the year before. Well done!poster-winners-2009_

Don’t think you’re getting off that easy because I have a challenge: Let’s get entries from all 50 states this year! Look at the map of the poster contest participation last year and let all our blog readers know when you challenge someone from one of those states in white to submit an entry. Come on Arkansas, Wyoming, Maine; I know you have at least one child age 9 to 14 who would love to take advantage of this huge opportunity to help save a life. Don’t let them miss it, and tell those kids to get their creativity on because the deadline is approaching – October 31. Some states have earlier deadlines, so check for additional information.

About the author: Jani Palmer is a Physical Scientist in the Indoor Environments Division. She has been in the indoor air quality and industrial hygiene field for 10 years providing environmental consulting and services for school districts, industry, and public agencies.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Radon Reflections at the Tools for Schools Symposium

January is National Radon Action Month, or NRAM. Read more about EPA’s radon activities and what others are doing to reduce their radon exposure.

Each year, EPA’s Indoor Environments Division hosts an indoor air quality, or IAQ, symposium in Washington D.C. This year’s 10th IAQ Tools for Schools National Symposium took place January 14 to 16 — during National Radon Action Month. As a scientist for EPA’s Center for Radon and Air Toxics, naturally I was delighted to have the opportunity to present radon information at the symposium.

Workgroup meeting at Indoor Air Quality SymposiumThis year’s symposium featured five school districts with specific IAQ design challenges. Each attendee played an integral role as a design team member, formulating strategies to help a school district improve IAQ management. As I interacted with teams, I discovered IAQ stakeholders in many forms: facilities managers, building technicians, nurses, principals, government and even parents. Despite their different roles, people were passionate for school health and worked together to produce excellent solutions in a short period of time.

Discussions about radon were abundant at the symposium. While sipping my latte, a man started a conversation about radon in his school district. He whispered as if it were a secret, “We build radon prevention right into our new school designs.” My eyes lit up so bright; I think I startled him, or maybe he thought I was going to hug him. The importance of preventing pollutants from entering a building is no secret; think about how vapor barriers, gutters and even window screens keep a number of pollutants safely out of the indoor environment.

I overheard someone say, “How will they know if they don’t test?” I smiled and shook my head vigorously in agreement. Clearly this person had just grasped how important it is to test for radon. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, three children were recognized during the National Radon Poster Contest awards luncheon, and EPA’s Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, touted the benefits of recognizing radon in school IAQ.

As I reflect on activities at the symposium, it’s clear that radon is certainly at the forefront of school IAQ management. My hope is that symposium attendees will share their reflections on the symposium here or blog about it on Please comment, reply and get your story out there.

About the Author: Jani Palmer is a Physical Scientist in the Indoor Environments Division. She has been in the indoor air quality and industrial hygiene field for 10 years providing environmental consulting and services for school districts, industry, and public agencies.

Kids, Creativity and the National Radon Poster Contest

January is National Radon Action Month, or NRAM. Read more about EPA’s radon activities and what others are doing to reduce their radon exposure.

Two months ago, I helped judge the 2010 National Radon Poster Contest.

What amazed me most was the amount of creativity in the posters submitted by children, aged 9 to 14. Several times I assumed I was staring at an entry from a junior high student and it turned out to be from a fourth grader … a fourth grader! It gave me a great opportunity to appreciate children as messengers for environmental causes. The amount of poster entries this year was incredible: 216 schools in 36 states, one U.S. territory and seven tribal nations created a total of 2,862 posters!

Creators of the winning 2010 posters are being recognized today at the Indoor Air Quality Tools for School Symposium in Washington, D.C. The national first place winner is pictured in this column and you can find posters for all national, state, territorial and tribal nation winners here. Posters were judged on criteria set by the National Safety Council, Kansas State University, and Environmental Protection Agency, co-sponsors of the 2010 contest.

It’s important to get children involved early with simple messages. Some messages we stress through the Radon Poster contest are:

  • Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless.
  • Radon is a radioactive gas that can reach harmful levels if trapped indoors.
  • Radon comes from the soil underneath your home.
  • Radon causes lung cancer.

Simple messages to children inspire adults to take action. Our action message is clear, “Test. Fix. Save a life.” That is, test for radon in your home, school and other buildings; fix existing radon problems; and build new homes to be radon resistant.

Kansas State University’s National Radon Program will co-sponsor upcoming radon poster contests. Get involved! Promote the National Radon Poster Contest at your school. Organize a local awards ceremony to honor the winner selected by your school, community or state. Contact your state radon program to get started.

Children play key roles as messengers. They are our radon, and environmental, advocates of the future.

About the Author: Rebecca L. Reindel, MFS, is an Association of Schools of Public Health Environmental Health Fellow in the Indoor Environments Division, part of the Office of Radiation and Indoor Air. She is completing her Master’s Degree in Public Health at the George Washington University. She holds a Master’s in Forensic Toxicology, has previously addressed workplace exposures for taxi drivers and is an instructor at GWU.

Community Action For Radon – An Important Step For Better Indoor Air Quality

January is National Radon Action Month, or NRAM. Read more about EPA’s radon activities and what others are doing to reduce their radon exposure.

While many people have heard of radon and some even know it is a carcinogen, not enough are taking action to reduce their risk. That’s why the EPA Radon program is working with others to improve public awareness and promote action. One example is the Radon Leadership Initiative, or RLI, developed by the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, with EPA support.

The RLI is designed to engage communities at the grassroots level, to demonstrate results and mobilize leaders. Communities promote radon risk reduction locally and form coalitions with states and others organizations. With EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s support for stronger focus on community initiatives, it seems like good timing to kick off another project rooted in local action.

This first year, the RLI has four communities tackling radon exposure in creative ways to increase action through awareness, testing and building new homes with radon resistant new construction, or RRNC:

  • Maine Indoor Air Quality Council: train code officials and builders in RRNC code.
  • Southern Illinois Radon Awareness Task Force: recognize homeowners with radon systems and develop participation from local health professionals.
  • Minnesota State University-Mankato: train realtors on RRNC and improve quality and marketability of RRNC homes.
  • Kentucky Association of Radon Professionals: increase awareness through social marketing and the traveling T-shirt.

You can read more about Kentucky’s RLI program here.

The RLI is part of Radon Leaders Saving Lives, a campaign bringing together government, industry, non-profits and other groups to address radon exposure in communities of all shapes and sizes. The dialog on the campaign’s Web site has been truly impressive; we’ve always known that people who work with radon are passionate, but we now have proof! Check it out. This is also where you can track the progress of the four RLI programs throughout the year.

The RLI is one more innovative way to bring the radon message closer to home for many people. I’m curious how you first learned about radon and what you are doing to promote radon action locally. Please share your experience in the comments section below.

Remember… Test. Fix. Save a life.

About the author: Rebecca L. Reindel, MFS, is an Association of Schools of Public Health Environmental Health Fellow in the Indoor Environments Division, part of the Office of Radiation and Indoor Air. She is completing her Master’s Degree in Public Health at the George Washington University. She holds a Master’s in Forensic Toxicology and has previously addressed workplace exposures for taxi drivers and was an instructor at GWU.

Pregunta de la Semana: ¿Cómo verificó su hogar para determinar si había radón?

Enero es el Mes Nacional de Acción del Radón. Hace un año le preguntamos sobre cómo protege su hogar del radón. Comparta lo que usted encontró cuando hizo la prueba en su hogar y cómo la hizo.

¿Cómo verificó su hogar para determinar si había radón?

Cada semana hacemos una pregunta relacionada al medio ambiente. Por favor comparta con nosotros sus pensamientos y comentarios. Siéntase en libertad de responder a comentarios anteriores o plantear nuevas ideas. Preguntas previas.

Test Your Home for Radon!

Hey Pick 5’ers, it’s time again for you to share what you’ve done, how you did it, etc.  If you haven’t done it yet, Pick 5 for the Environment and then come back to comment. Today we cover action #5: Test your home for radon! Please share your stories as comments below.

I never really thought that radon would ever become an issue in my home. Radon is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and chemically inert. Unless you test for it, there is no way of telling how much is present in your home. According to EPA estimates, radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. I’m a non-smoker and I needed to know if radon is present in my home.

So on my day off, I decided to visit my county health department to get a free radon test. I received the test. It was easy to set up. So I did the testing for three days. I then sent the kit back to the manufacturer for my results. Later I went on line and used my serial number from my test and got my results. I was really happy to know that my home was radon-free.

EPA has designated January as National Radon Action Month.  Please get your home tested; radon is serious.

Now it’s your turn: how do you test your home for radon? If you’re not sure what you can do, learn more on our site.

You can also still share how you save water, commute without polluting, save electricity, and reduce, reuse, recycle.

Note: to ward off advertisers using our blog as a platform, we don’t allow specific product endorsements.  But feel free to suggest Web sites that review products, suggest types of products, and share your experiences using them!

About the author: Denise Owens has worked at EPA for over twenty years. She is currently working in the Office of Public Affairs in Washington, DC.

Resolve to Protect Your Family and Kick Radon Out of Your Home in 2009

About the author: Builder Fuad Reveiz* is a former professional football placekicker and a current
Member of the National Association of Home Builders. He has his own building and development company in Knoxville, Tennessee. He includes radon-resistant features when building new homes.

Recently the headlines have been pretty dire – crises in the financial and housing markets, a poor holiday season for retailers. Reflecting on this state of affairs a friend recently said to me, “at least I’ve got my health.” How right he was! I cherish my health and that of my family. As a builder, homeowner, and parent, I know that having a healthy and green home is extremely important in protecting the health of my family.

In my experience as a builder, homes built for health and safety sell faster. More and more of my customers know the importance of indoor air quality to their families’ health. They also know one of the most dangerous indoor air pollutants is radon. Some years ago, I learned about the health risks of breathing radon from the American Lung Association, and I learned about ways to build new homes so radon can be prevented from entering them.

Radon is a deadly radioactive gas that rises up from underground and can seep into any home. Breathing in radon can cause lung cancer. In fact, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking – and among non-smokers it’s the leading cause of lung cancer.

The good news is that homes can be built safer, healthier, and radon-resistant. The techniques to prevent radon from entering a home are practical and straightforward for any builder. It’s an inexpensive way to offer families a benefit that could reduce their risk of lung cancer. And it’s a smart way to build trust between builders and their customers. If you are looking to buy a new home, ask your builder about radon-resistant features or seek out a builder that builds radon-resistant to make your home healthier and greener at the same time.

I hope you’ll resolve to protect your loved ones by learning about radon, testing for it and kicking it out of your home. The winter season is a great time to get informed about radon, as January is National Radon Action Month, a time dedicated to increasing radon awareness. As someone who knows quite a lot about kicking, I suggest you kick off this New Year right because living in a healthier home starts from the ground up.
For detailed information about radon-resistant new construction, radon testing, and National Radon Action Month visit

*EPA does not endorse this particular builder or any other commercial service or enterprise.


Comprométase a proteger a su familia y elimine el radón de su hogar en el 2009

Acerca del autor: El constructor Fuad Reveiz* es un ex jugador estrella del fútbol americano profesional y un miembro de la Asociación Nacional de Constructores de Viviendas. El tiene su propia compañía de construcción y desarrollo en Knoxville, TN. Además, incluye elementos resistentes al radón cuando construye nuevas viviendas.

Recientemente los titulares han sido bastantes sombríos—crisis en los mercados financieros y de vivienda, una temporada adversa para los minoristas, por ejemplo. Al reflexionar sobre estos asuntos, un amigo me dijo recientemente “al menos estoy en buenas condiciones de salud”. ¡Cuánta razón tenía! Yo atesoro mi salud y la de mi familia. Como constructor, propietario de vivienda, y padre, sé que el tener una casa saludable y verde es extremadamente importante para proteger la salud de mi familia.

En mi experiencia como constructor, las casas que son construidas tomando en cuenta las normas de salud y seguridad se venden más rápidamente. Día a día son más los clientes que saben cuán importante es la calidad del aire interior para la salud de su familia. También saben que uno de los contaminantes más peligrosos del aire en entornos interiores es el radón. Hace varios años aprendí sobre los riesgos a la salud que surgen al respirar el radón de la Asociación Americana del Pulmón y aprendí cómo se podrían construir nuevos hogares prevenir el radón penetre en los mismos.

El radón es un gas radioactiva mortal que sube desde debajo del suelo y penetra en cualquier hogar. El respirar radón puede ocasionar cáncer pulmonar. De hecho, el radón en la principal causa de cáncer de los pulmones después de la de fumar—y entre los no-fumadores es la principal causa de cáncer pulmonar.

Las buenas nuevas son que las casas pueden estar construidas más seguras, más saludables y resistentes al radón. Las técnicas para prevenir el radón de entrar en el hogar son prácticas y directas para cualquier constructor. Es una manera de bajo costo para ofrecer a las familias un beneficio que podría reducir su riesgo al cáncer pulmonar. Es una manera inteligente de desarrollar confianza entre los constructores y sus clientes. Si está pensando comprar una nueva vivienda, pregúntele al constructor acerca de los elementos resistentes al radón o busque un constructor que utilice estas prácticas resistentes al radón para hacer que su hogar sea más saludable y verde a la vez.

Espero que usted decida proteger a sus seres queridos al aprender acerca del radón, realizar la prueba del radón, y eliminarlo de su hogar. La temporada de invierno es un buen momento para informarse acerca del radón ya que enero es el Mes Nacional de Acción del Radón y es una buena época para crear conciencia sobre el radón. Como alguien que ha dedicado tiempo a este esfuerzo, recomiendo que inicie el nuevo año con el propósito de tener una casa más saludable comenzando desde los cimientos hacia arriba.

Para información detallada acerca de la nueva construcción resistente al radón, las pruebas de radón y el Mes Nacional de Acción del Radón, visite:

*EPA no auspicia ningún contratista en particular ni ninguna otra empresa o servicio comercial.

Question of the Week: What have you done to protect your home against radon?

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas, but it can build up inside homes and cause lung cancer (it’s number 2, after smoking). You can buy radon test kits to check for radon, improve home ventilation, and other things. January is National Radon Action Month.

What have you done to protect your home against radon?