CHEYENNE — The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) recently invited students to enter a poster and video contest aimed at highlighting radon information and encouraging testing.
After receiving submissions, the WDH selected winners and Ivie Schaechterle, a Rock Springs eighth grade student, who submitted an independent entry, took first place in the seventh through ninth grade poster contest.
The WDH was using this contest as a way to educate residents about radon and why it’s important for families to consider testing their Wyoming homes for radon to find out whether a potentially dangerous health risk exists.
Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless and dangerous gas found in many places, including homes. Radon occurs naturally as a radioactive gas released from the element radium and is found in rocks, soil and water.
“As radium in the soil naturally degrades, it can seep up into buildings, get trapped inside and grow in intensity,” said Randi Norton-Herrington, Wyoming Cancer Program outreach and education coordinator. “All homes have radon; however, with higher levels, the risks become a health concern. Radon is recognized as the second leading cause of lung cancer.”
“Ongoing exposure to higher, more dangerous radon levels can be reduced with testing and home modifications. That’s why we offer low-cost test kits to Wyoming residents. We want them to know the risk level within their homes so they can address potential problems,” Norton-Herrington said.
An elevated level of radon is considered anything over 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter of air) and should be fixed.
Poster and Video Winners
Poster Contest Grades 3-6
1st Place: Makenzee Sands, 5th grader, Poison Spider School, Casper,
2nd Place: Max Valentine, 4th grader, Sunrise Elementary School, Cheyenne
Poster Contest Grades 7-9
1st Place: Ivie Schaechterle, 8th grader, independent entry, Rock Springs
2nd Place: Chloie Black, 9th grader, Powell High School
Video Contest Grades 9-12
1st Place: Cassidy Treesh, age 16, Thunder Basin High School, Gillette
KC Jackson, age 16, Thunder Basin High School, Gillette
2nd Place: Andrew Bilango, age 17, Riverton Wolverine High School
3rd Place: Alexis Gallegos, age 17, Campbell County High School, Gillette
Elizabeth Cryer, age 15, Campbell County High School, Gillette
Shawna Shupick, age 17, Campbell County High School, Gillette
Most Viewed Video
Alaina Steveson, Newcastle High School
The Wyoming Cancer Program has free radon test kits available while supplies last. To obtain a radon test kit or to view winning poster and video entries, please visit www.health.wyo.gov/publichealth/prevention/cancer/radon.