Undoubtedly, smoking is the largest cause of lung cancer but it is also true that it is not the only one. The second leading risk factor for lung cancer is exposure to radon. Radon is a radioactive has that one cannot see nor smell. According to WHO, it causes up to 14% of lung cancer deaths worldwide.
Does Radon Causes Cancer?
Radon releases from normal decay of uranium, thorium and radium. It can seep in through cracks and diffuses into the air. This radon gas decays into radioactive particles and these particles get trapped into the lungs. Long term exposure to radon leads to lung cancer. There has been an increased risk of getting lung cancer with radon exposure in adults and children.
As radon gas cannot be seen or smelled, the only way to know its presence is to test it. You can hire a professional tester or do it yourself with a kit. You can follow the instructions the kit in your house and mail it to lab for results. When the radon levels are high, you need to take necessary steps to lower it. The usual method is to have a vent pipe system and fan installation.
Combining Radon and Smoking
If you know that you have been exposed to high levels of radon and you smoke also, it is very important to quit smoking. The lung cancer risk from radon is much lower than that of smoking. But, exposure to the combination of radon gas and cigarette smoke creates a higher risk for lung cancer.
Other Risks of Radon
Usually, lungs are exposed to and damaged by radon gas. There’s no consistent evidence that it causes any other harm or cancer elsewhere.
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The information shared in this blog is for educational purposes only.