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 StudiesSource: 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.