Radon Studies

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. It takes the lives of 21,000 Americans each year.

Indications that radon causes lung cancer date back to the 16th century, and studies have continued up to present day.

1556      Agricola – Miners in Europe

1879      Harting & Hesse – Lung Cancer in Miners

1921      Uhlig – Radium Emanations & Lung Cancer

1950s   Peller – First Review of Mining Related Cancers

1970s   Studies of Underground Miners (ongoing)

1990s   Residential Radon Studies

1994     NCI Pooled Analyses of Miners

1999     NAS BEIR VI Report

2005    North American and European Pooled Residential Radon Studies

2007    Global Pooling of Residential Radon Studies

2007    Pooling of Glass-based Residential Radon Studies

Source: Please click here.

There are three types of radon studies that have been done:

1. Cohort studies, like the miner studies. “The miner studies produced some interesting findings.

  • At equal cumulative exposures, low exposures in the range of EPA’s 4.0 pCi/L action level over longer periods produced greater lung cancer risk than high exposures over short periods.
  • Increased lung cancer risk with radon exposure has been observed even after controlling for, or in the absence of, other mine exposures such as asbestos, silica, diesel fumes, arsenic, chromium, nickel, and ore dust.
  • Increased lung cancer risk has been observed in miners at relatively low cumulative exposures in the range of EPA’s 4.0 pCi/L action level (Sevc Kunz, Tomasik et al, Health Physics 54(1):27-46,1988; Mulles Wheeler et al, Proceedings of International Conference on Occupation Radiation Safety in Mining, Vol. 1, Canadian Nuclear Association; Radford and St. Clair Renard, New England Journal of Medicine310(23):1485-1494, 1984;Woodward, Roder et al, “Cancer Causes and Control” 2:213-220, 1991).
  • Nonsmoking miners exposed to radon have been observed to have an increased risk of lung cancer.”

Source: Please click here.

2. Case control studies, like the Iowa Radon Lung Cancer Study

3. Ecological studies, which compare level of disease and exposures in groups such as counties. For example, lung cancer rates in a county compared with radon exposure in that county.

Radon is a real concern and this has been confirmed by these different studies. There is no threshold exposure below which there is no health consequence associated with radon exposure. In other words, there is no “safe level” of radon. Even radon levels below 4.0 pCi/L pose a risk. The good news: Radon is a fixable problem. If elevated levels of radon gas exist in the home, an installed mitigation system can get the levels below 2.0 pCi/l.

Have your home tested! Call Radon Diva at (513) 561-8378 today.


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