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We’ve mentioned many times that Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas. It is naturally occurring, coming from the breakdown of uranium in soil & rocks. Prolonged radon exposure can lead to lung cancer.

According to the EPA, radon exposure is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year at attributed to radon exposure. Almost 3,000 of those deaths occur in people who have never smoked.

In 2005, there were two studies that revealed a definitive link between residential radon exposure & lung cancer. One was conducted in North America, the other in Europe.  The studies erased any question as to whether or not breathing low levels of radon can lead to lung cancer.

Part of this research led to some concerning findings. If there were 1000 people who never smoked, but lived in a home that had a radon level of 20 pCi/L (5 times the recommended action limit), about 36 people would get lung cancer. That is 35 times the risk of drowning. A less drastic level, 4 pCi/L (the recommended action limit) would lead to 7 people getting lung cancer. This is the same risk of dying in a car crash.Smokers & former smokers have an even greater risk when exposed radon. 20 pCi/L would lead to 260 people getting lung cancer, 250 times the risk of drowning. 4 pCi/L would lead to 62 people getting lung cancer, 5 times to risk of dying in a car crash.

These statistics helped to lead the US Surgeon General to issue a national health advisory on radon exposure.  If your home tests high for radon, you should strongly consider having a radon removal system installed. Prolonged radon exposure is dangerous. Whether you are a smoker or have never smoked a day in your life, radon exposure should be taken seriously. Taking the appropriate steps can help keep your family safe.

Are you surprised by any of these numbers?

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