Radon Evaluation

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 About Radon
•    The EPA’s indoor radon program promotes voluntary public actions to reduce the risks from indoor radon.   The EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General recommend that regular radon tests are performed.  If high levels of radon are confirmed, it is recommended that those high levels be mitigated or reduced using straightforward techniques.

•    The EPA recently completed an updated assessment of their estimates of lung cancer risks from indoor radon, based on the NAS's 1999 report on radon titled "The Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR) VI." This report is the most comprehensive review of scientific data gathered on radon, and builds on and updates their previous findings. The NAS concluded that homeowners should still test and, if necessary, mitigate their exposure to elevated radon levels in their homes.

•    Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is colorless, odorless and tasteless.  It's naturally produced from the radioactive decay of uranium that's present in soil, rock and groundwater. It emits ionizing radiation during its radioactive decay, changing into several radioactive isotopes known as radon decay products or RDPs.

•    Radon gets into the indoor air primarily from soil under building structures.  Radon is a known human lung carcinogen and is the largest source of radiation exposure and risk to the general public.  Most inhaled radon is rapidly exhaled, but the inhaled decay products readily deposit in the lung tissue where they irradiate sensitive cells in the airways, increasing the risk of lung cancer.

•    The NAS BEIR VI Report confirmed the EPA’s long-held position that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and a serious public health problem. The NAS estimates that radon causes about 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year. The report found that even very small exposures to radon can result in lung cancer.  They concluded that no evidence exists that shows a threshold of exposure below which radon levels are harmless. The report also found that many smokers exposed to radon face a substantially greater risk of getting lung cancer compared to those who have never smoked. This is because of the synergistic relationship between radon and cigarette smoking.

Radon Causes Lung Cancer in Non-Smokers

          Exposure to Radon Causes Lung Cancer in Non-Smokers and Smokers Alike

Lung cancer kills thousands of Americans every year.  Smoking, radon, and second-hand smoke are the leading causes of lung cancer.  Although lung cancer can be treated, the survival rate is one of the lowest for those with cancer.  From the time of diagnosis, between 11 and 15% of those afflicted will live beyond five years.  In many cases, lung cancer can be prevented -- this is especially true for radon.

Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer.  Smoking causes an estimated 160,000 cancer deaths in the U.S. every year, according to 2008 statistics from the American Cancer Society.  And the rate among women is rising.  In 1964, Dr. Luther L. Terry, then U.S. Surgeon General, issued the first warning regarding the link between smoking and lung cancer.  Lung cancer now surpasses breast cancer as the Number One cause of cancer deaths among women.  A smoker who is also exposed to radon has a much higher risk of lung cancer.

Radon is the Number One cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to EPA estimates.  Overall, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.  Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year.  About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked.

Second-hand smoke is the third leading cause of lung cancer and is responsible for an estimated 3,000 lung cancer deaths every year.  Smoking affects non-smokers by exposing them to second-hand smoke.  Exposure to second-hand smoke can have serious consequences for children’s health, including asthma attacks.  It can also affect the respiratory tract and make them vulnerable to bronchitis and pneumonia, etc.  It may lead also to ear infections.

The following Web sites provide a wide range of comprehensive information about lung cancer, prevention and treatment:

Radon is a Carcinogen

Two studies based on research conducted in North America and in Europe show definitive evidence of an association between residential radon exposure and lung cancer.  Both studies combined data from several residential studies.  They went a step beyond earlier findings and confirmed the radon health risks predicted by occupational studies of underground miners who breathed radon for years.  Early in the debate about radon-related risks, some researchers questioned whether occupational studies could be used to calculate risks from exposure to radon in the home environment. 

“These findings effectively end any doubts about the risks to Americans of having radon in their homes,” said Tom Kelly, director of the EPA’s Indoor Environments Division.  “We know that radon is a carcinogen.  This research confirms that breathing low levels of radon can lead to lung cancer.”

Call me now to book a radon inspection.  I will be there within 24 hours!