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January is Radon Awareness Month

Gov. Bruce Rauner has proclaimed January Radon Awareness Month in Illinois to increase awareness about the presence of radon. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is recognized as the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. It’s estimated nearly 1,200 people in Illinois develop radon-related lung cancer each year.

“Radon related health risks are preventable,” Rauner said. “Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established techniques. With greater awareness we can save lives.”

Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the American Lung Association in Illinois are joining forces in January to increase public awareness of radon risks and ways to reduce radon exposure. They will continue a statewide contest that encourages students to use creative talents to promote radon awareness. American Lung Association will begin accepting submissions for the annual radon poster and video contests starting this week.

The Illinois Radon Poster Contest is open to students ages 9 to 14. Entries are due by Friday, March 1. Prizes include $200 for first, $150 for second and $100 for third. For more information about the poster contest, visit

High school students can compete for prizes by participating in the Illinois Radon Video Contest. This contest requires for students to produce a creative 30-second YouTube video about radon. Video submission deadline is Friday, March 8. Videos can be created by an individual student, group of students or classroom. Student prizes include $1,000 for first, $750 for second, $500 for third and $250 for seven honorable mention videos. New this year, the winning video may appear on the big screen in local movie theaters across the state.

The top 10 videos also will be entered into a most views contest to develop students’ marketing and outreach skills. Winners will be provided a link to share with their friends. The video with the most views will receive an additional $300. Additionally the schools of the top three winners will receive $300, $200 and $100 for first, second and third places, respectively.

All videos, entry forms and release forms must be submitted by March 8. Details about the video contest are available at

All contest prizes are funded by a grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Both contests are sponsored by IEMA, ALAIL and EPA Region 5.

The top posters and videos from the 2018 contests can be viewed at The website also includes information about radon and lists of licensed measurement and mitigation professionals. Information also is available through IEMA’s Radon Hotline at 800-325-1245.

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