Casper student takes second in Wyoming contest; people asked to test homes for health risk - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Casper student takes second in Wyoming contest; people asked to test homes for health risk

Casper fifth grader Lohla Stevens created this poster, winning second place in the Wyoming Department of Health’s contest. (Wyoming Department of Health)

CASPER, Wyo. — Radon is a naturally occurring but potentially dangerous radioactive gas.

People are encouraged to have their homes tested for the invisible, odorless and tasteless gas. The Wyoming Department of Health says that high levels of radon can lead to lung cancer.

“As radium in the soil naturally degrades, it can seep up into homes, get trapped inside and build in intensity,” said Star Jones, Wyoming Cancer Program outreach and education supervisor. “All homes have radon; however, with higher levels, the risks become a health concern.”

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“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.”

The health department also announced winners of a student poster contest on Friday, Jan. 10.

“First place winners will receive $200 with $100 for second place,” the department says. “Teachers of the winning students receive $100 in classroom supplies.”

The winners are as follows:

  • Grades 3-6:
    • First place: Faith Hinton, Sheridan (5th grade)
    • Second place: Lohla Stevens, Casper (5th grade)
  • Grades 7-9:
    • First place: Emma Beazley, Dubois (9th grade)
    • Second place: Charlize Gonda, Sheridan (7th grade)

“An elevated level of radon is considered anything over 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter of air) and should be fixed,” the release adds. “Jones said while there is no safe radon level, reducing exposure to the gas can also reduce the linked risk of cancer.”

“The Wyoming Cancer Program has low-cost radon test kits available for purchase. For more information, to obtain a radon test kit, or to view the winning poster entries, please visit www.health.wyo.gov/publichealth/prevention/cancer/radon.”