PA DEP Awards Radon Awareness Grant to American Lung Association
WILKES-BARRE, Pa., Jan. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Department of Environmental Protection has awarded a $75,000 grant to the American Lung Association of Pennsylvania to continue statewide public outreach and awareness programs about the importance of radon testing and mitigation in homes and other buildings. The programs will first focus efforts on 10 counties in northeastern and central Pennsylvania.
“We have started to see lower rates of testing, mitigation and radon awareness in general in the northern part of the state, compared with other areas,” DEP Northeast Regional Director Michael Bedrin said. “That is why we are focusing the first phase of this project on the northeast region.”
To highlight January as National Radon Awareness Month, DEP and the American Lung Association are taking the opportunity to educate residents about the potential for this radioactive gas to exist, undetected, in their homes. The grant will provide funding for educational programs, distributing web-based test kits and television and radio advertisements.
This year’s first round of programs will target Bradford, Clinton, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Tioga counties. The grant will fund similar programs in 2013 and 2014 in the western part of the state.
Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally through the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks. It can seep into homes and buildings through cracks in basements and foundations, and can build up inside to concentrations many times the recommended level. It is estimated to cause thousands of deaths in the United States each year and is the second-leading cause of lung cancer. Radon exposure is the top cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.
The grant is funded by a combination of federal funding and the state’s Radiation Protection fund, which receives revenue from nuclear facility fees, radiological equipment registration fees, fines and penalties.
For more information, visit www.dep.state.pa.us and click on “Bureau of Radon Protection.”
Media contact: Colleen Connolly, 570-826-2511
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection