Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States. It also makes up to 13% of all new cancer diagnoses. These factors make prevention important. The dangers of cigarette smoking are well-documented and discussed. However, the 2nd biggest cause of lung cancer, radon gas, tends to go under the radar. Below is what needs to be known about radon gas and lung cancer.
Radon is a gas that is given off by the decomposition of specific elements such as uranium. It is found everywhere and in normal, low levels is not harmful. It’s when radon levels get high that we start to run into problems with lung cancer. This is because the particles given off by radon are radioactive and damage lung tissue.
Radon has been linked to lung cancer through a variety of studies. Most prevalently, it was found to be very common among uranium miners who were exposed to high radon levels by the nature of their job. Residential studies have also shown a correlation between homes with high levels of radon and an increased chance of the occupant having lung cancer.
The only way to know if radon gas is in the home is through testing. There are testing kits available in most hardware stores. State and local radon officials can also help with learning more about radon in the home.