BURLINGTON -- Students from the Waterford Elementary School won the top four prizes of the 2015 Vermont Department of Health Radon Poster Contest.
Laurie Roberts, the teacher responsible for encouraging her students to create the posters, was impressed with their understanding of the dangers of radon -- a colorless, odorless gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.
"I am so proud of the work they put into their posters," Roberts said. "I think it is so important homes get tested for radon, and the contest raises awareness in the community."
Lexey Drown, 11, won first place for her "Protect Your Home?" poster, and Bridget Denio, 13, earned second place for her "Where Radon Seeps Through." Third prize went to Delaney Buck, 13 for "RN: The Silent Killer," and Grace Nadeau, 13, received honorable mention.
Fifty-one elementary and middle school students submitted artwork to the Health Department in 2014. Posters were judged based on the quality of the artwork, the poster's educational value, and its originality. Artwork created for the Radon Poster Contest is used to promote radon awareness and encourage people to test their homes for radon.
One in eight houses in Vermont have elevated levels of radon, and approximately 50 Vermonters die each year due to radon-related lung cancer. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that seeps into homes from soil and bedrock.
The only way to know if a house has elevated levels of radon is to have it tested. Any Vermont resident can request a free long-term test kit by emailing email@example.com or calling 1-(800) 439-8550.
The top three posters from Vermont were entered in the National Radon Poster Contest, operated by Kansas State University.