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RELEASE: 11/14/01

CONTACT: Amy Collings or Sharon A. Southard
(609) 984-1795 or 609-292-2994


The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) presented awards today to two municipalities for conducting outstanding radon education programs that provide an exceptional level of service to their residents in ensuring that they are informed and taking appropriate action to reduce the risk of radon-related lung cancer.

Accepting the awards on behalf of the municipalities were Bernards Township Director of Health/ Health Officer Lucy A. Forgione and Washington Township (Morris County) Senior Environmental Health Specialist Michelle McIntyre.

According to State Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Shinn, "Radon continues to be the largest environmental health risk faced by the average person. A recent national review of radon risk data actually increased the estimate of risk, to between 15,000 and 22,000 deaths each year from radon-related lung cancer in the U.S. It is essential that people continue to test their homes and take action to protect themselves from elevated radon levels."

The communities conducted a variety of radon outreach activities during 2000 including notices about radon in their municipal newsletters and web pages, public service announcements on local radio and television stations, Radon Action Week displays, and sale of radon test kits at reasonable prices.

The presentation occurred during a meeting of the New Jersey Health Officers Association at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is created when uranium in the soil undergoes radioactive decay. If not properly ventilated, it can accumulate to significant levels in homes and is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Information about radon can be obtained from the DEP Radon Program Information Line, 1-800-648-0394, or from the related website at



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