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Radon Is A Leading Cause Of Lung Cancer: How To Reduce Radon Levels In Your Home

Long-tern exposure to high radon levels can increase your risk for developing lung cancer. Here's how to prevent radon-associated lung cancer.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori | Updated : January 26, 2023 6:13 PM IST


Causes Of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer was the most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide in 2020, accounting for 1.80 million deaths. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. Other causes include use of tobacco products, secondhand smoke, exposure to substances such as asbestos or radon, and having a family history of lung cancer. Radon is considered the number one environmental cause of any cancer. It causes between 3 per cent to 14 per cent of all lung cancers in a country, as per WHO estimates. In the United States, radon is identified as the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking. According to the country’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as many as 21,000 radon-associated lung cancer deaths are recorded every year.


Know What Is Radon

Radon is an odorless, colourless and tasteless radioactive gas produced from the natural radioactive decay of uranium, which is found in rocks, soils and water. In outdoor environments, radon is generally found in very low levels and thus considered not harmful. But the gas can get into buildings through cracks or holes in floors and walls, and build up to higher levels or harmful levels in indoor environments, such as homes and workplaces. Also Read - Listening To Your Favorite Music Can Make Medicines More Effective


Health Impact Of Radon

As we breathe in radon gas, its radioactive particles get deposited on the cells lining the airways. Over time, these particles can damage DNA and increase the risk of lung cancer. However, it may take years before the problem appears.


How To Reduce Radon Levels In Your Home

You can prevent radon-associated lung cancer by limiting exposure to radon in indoor air. Here are a few steps you can take to reduce radon levels in your home: • Keep your house well-ventilated, open windows, use fans and vents to increase air flow. • Look for cracks in floors and walls and seal them. • Do not smoke or allow smoking at home, as it can significantly increase the risk of lung cancer from radon. • If you’re buying a new house or building a new one, you can add radon-resistant features. • Installing a radon reduction system is also an option if your home’s radon levels are over 4pCi/L.