Newsroom > DHHS News Release

November 23, 2009

Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047 or

Students Win State Radon Poster Contest

Lincoln— Charrissa Zverlein, a student at Scotus Central Catholic Jr.-Sr. High School in Columbus, has won the Nebraska State Radon Poster Contest. Lindsey Grahleer of Pender Public Schools in Pender and Amy Price, also from Scotus Jr.-Sr. High, were runners-up, according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

The statewide contest was held to highlight the risks posed by exposure to indoor radon. As winners of the state contest, all three posters will be entered into the 2009 National Radon Poster Contest which is sponsored by the National Safety Council and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The winners of the National Poster Contest along with a parent and sponsor will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to attend the national award ceremony in January.

The U.S. Surgeon General has warned that radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon causes about 20,000 deaths from lung cancer annually in the United States. Radon is formed by the natural radioactive decay of uranium in rock, soil, and water; and is colorless, odorless, and tasteless.

Nebraska has a high prevalence of radon, with approximately 56% of tests showing levels above the action level of 4.0 picocuries per liter of air.

As students participating in the Nebraska Radon Poster Contest learned, the level of radon exposure in homes, schools, and other buildings can be determined through a simple test. Testing for radon is easy, inexpensive and effective. If elevated levels are detected, proven mitigation techniques can be used to lower the levels.

For more information on radon, call the Nebraska Radon Hotline at (800) 334-9491 or go to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services’ Web site at . The posters can be viewed at .

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