Posted on Jan 22, 2010, 6 a.m.
A radioactive gas that emanates from rocks and soils and tends to concentrate in enclosed spaces such as basements and first floors of residential homes, the World Health Organization International Radon Project recently issued new findings on the scope and impact of radon on human health.
Radon is a radioactive gas that emanates from rocks and soils and tends to concentrate in enclosed spaces, with soil gas infiltration recognized as the most important source of residential radon. Radon is a major contributor to the ionizing radiation dose received by the general population, and recent studies on indoor radon and lung cancer in Europe, North America and Asia provide strong evidence that radon causes a substantial number of lung cancers in the general population. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers and the second leading cause for smokers and causes 15% of all lung cancer deaths, resulting in approximately 20,000 deaths in the U.S. and 100,000 deaths worldwide each year. Recently, more than 100 scientists from 30 countries participated in the World Health Organization International Radon Project and assisted in the publishing of the Handbook on Indoor Radon which was released in 2009.
“WHO Handbook on Indoor Radon: A Public Health Perspective.” World Health Organization, 2009;