The perception of radiation hazards in society must be completely re-evaluated as a result of the recent realization that radon represents the largest source of natural background radiation to the U.S. population (1). Studies designed to identify a link between lung cancer and radon in the home, by seeking a correlation between lung cancer incidence and variations in regional radon levels, have produced results that are equivocal. In epidemiological studies, uraninum miners exposed for many years to high radon levels in the mines show an enhanced incidence of lung cancer (2–4). The perceived risk to the public from breathing lower levels of radon in the home are based on an extrapolation from the high concentrations experienced by the miners. However, extrapolating from the uranium miner data involves complications because most miners studied were also heavy cigarette smokers. The number of non-smoking miners is too small to separate the effects of radon from those of the cigarette smoke.
KeywordsAsbestos Fiber Radiation Hazard Lung Cancer Incidence Natural Background Radiation Radon Daughter
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