Athens fifth grader wins radon education poster contest
Radon exposure is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States behind tobacco.
The odorless gas, formed from the decay of radioactive elements like uranium in soil and groundwater, kills roughly 21,000 people a year in the United States.
At the end of each year, UGA Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program helps sponsor a statewide poster contest for Georgia students between the ages of 9-14 to help raise awareness of the dangers of radon exposure and to promote testing.
Poppy Odom, a fifth grader at David C. Barrow Elementary School in Athens, is the overall winner of the poster contest this year. Tristen Cochran of Lithonia and Khloie Dykes of Jeffersonville took second and third place, respectively.
All winners were invited to the Capitol to meet with legislators and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
As the first place winner, Odom’s poster was entered in the National Radon Poster Contest, organized and sponsored by the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors and the American Lung Association, with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The UGA Radon program provides radon testing kits for $15. Visit radon.uga.edu for more information.
“One out of every 15 homes in the U.S. are estimated to have elevated radon levels,” said Pamela Turner, professor and UGA Extension housing and indoor environment specialist in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “The only way to know if your home has an elevated radon level is to test.”