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EPA Radon Video Contest Featured in Omaha World Herald

EPA Radon Video Contest Featured in Omaha World Herald

Drooling Stars Have a Serious Message About RadonThe toughest thing about filming a recent video about radon — for Douglas County Health Department officials, at least — was dealing with the ad's high-maintenance stars. Many wouldn't sit still. Others drooled on the set. Don't blame the actors, though. They were, after all, dogs.

Nine Midlands pooches made their screen debuts in the public service announcement, which officials submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of an EPA online video contest to promote radon awareness.

The one-minute Douglas County video, called "Subterranean Radon Blues," is a take on the music and lyrics of the Bob Dylan classic "Subterranean Homesick Blues." In it, the dogs — not Dylan — flip through cue cards with the help of puppet puppy paws.

"The idea of it was all my crazy wild hare," said Richard Schultz, a local supervisor for health data and statistics who filmed the video and performed the music with his band. "It just kind of came together in a quick brainstorming session."

Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer deaths, and the EPA required entries to include information on the importance of at-home radon testing. Douglas County's was among 30 entrants. The winning video will earn its creators $2,500 and a posting on the EPA's Web site.

But the local video already is gaining at least some attention on YouTube, an online video site.

By late this morning, more than 950 people had watched the Douglas County video, the most of any competing submission.

Jeremy Ames, of the EPA's national radon team, said the idea behind the contest was to reach a new audience of people who think rarely about radon and use the Internet for information.

Some videos, like the Douglas County offering, amused; others struck more serious tones.

In the end, more dogs of Douglas County employees tried out than made the final cut.

"There was a little trouble between the canines about that," joked Phil Rooney, a health department spokesman who wrote the video lyrics. "They all think they're stars."

Related: Nebraska Information on Radon, Iowa Information on Radon
Contact the writer: maggie.obrien@owh.com
Original Story

Douglas County Health Department Radon Video Contest entry:

View all the EPA Radon Video Contest entries at: www.youtube.com/group/RadonContest