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Harnessing the Media to Raise Awareness
In the past, the local newspaper in Jessamine County, KY was not eager to print stories about environmental issues. This January, however, Lindsay Ball and the Jessamine County Health Department decided to engage the newspaper to help distribute free radon tests during National Radon Action Month.
“I called the newspaper office and asked them how I needed to go about getting an article about radon in the newspaper,” explained Lindsay Ball. “I told the editor what radon was and how it was the second leading cause of lung cancer. I asked if they could print an article about radon stating that the Health Department had free radon test kits available.”
After learning about the major health effects of radon and potential impact on their community, the editor was more than happy to print the article. He asked Lindsay to submit an article.
Involving the Community in Innovative Outreach
This January, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension's Radon Education Program sought new and innovative ideas for getting the radon message out to the public. Among several new efforts was using volunteers to help during NRAM and an idea suggested by our area director -- to hang door tags on houses in high radon potential areas.
The door tag idea seemed plausible and the area director was willing to do some of the legwork, so I developed two-sided, four-color door tags and had them printed in time to be distributed in Reno neighborhoods during National Radon Action Month.
One Woman’s Story, One Woman’s Impact
In Greater Cincinnati, we have a radon awareness advocate that has made more impact in one month than we have over many years. The message is simple: “Test, Fix, Save a Life.” Her name is Debra Rebensdorf and she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in October of 2009. Late last year, she contacted At Home Radon for a radon mitigation system. She has deeply touched all of us and made us once again realize how important our work is.
Debra and her husband, Lou, live in a beautiful home in the country. They moved away from the city about 11 years ago, to have more space and “breathe in country air.” Debra was unaware of radon and the potential for lung cancer. No one in her family has ever had lung cancer and she is a healthy active woman with a husband, career, friends, horses and lots of 4-legged creatures!