Search Results for: radon

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?

Question of the Week: Qué ha hecho usted para protejer su hogar del radón?

En español: 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.

El radón es un gas radiactivo que se encuentra en la naturaleza. Este se puede concentrar en el interior de los hogares y causar cáncer del pulmón (es la segunda causa de cáncer despúes de fumar). Usted puede comprar kits para la detección del radón, aumentar la ventilación de la casa, entre otros. Enero es el mes de consientización sobre radón.

¿Qué ha hecho usted para protejer su hogar del radón?

National Radon Action Month: Test Your Home For Radon

About the author: Julia Ortiz joined EPA in April of 2008.  She works in communications for the Office of Air and Radiation in Washington, DC.
January is National Radon Action Month, and I hope that it can be the time when you take a small step to protect your family by testing your home for radon. Until I started working at EPA, radon testing wasn’t on my radar, much less my to-do list. I have vague memories of hearing about it in high school chemistry class, but I never thought of it as something I should be concerned about. In my job as a communication specialist, I sift through a lot of meaningful statistics. This one really stands out – radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Knowing I could prevent something as serious as cancer with something as simple as a radon test astonished me.

Every day I have to explain a wide range of issues so that the public can easily understand them. In this case, my parents were my target audience – they hadn’t tested their home for radon. I bought them a radon test kit and dropped it off at their house. Little did I know that I was about to face my greatest communication challenge yet: my mom. When I arrived with the test kit, she eyed the package warily and asked dozens of questions. She was worried about what would happen if we found high radon levels, whether the test was accurate, and if it was even necessary. It took some convincing, but in the end she agreed that their health was paramount, and we sent off the test. When we get the results back, we will have the peace of mind of knowing that either our radon levels are low, or that they soon will be after we install a radon mitigation system.

More information to coax stubborn relatives can be found at