Exposure to Radon Causes Lung Cancer In Non-smokers and Smokers Alike
- Lung cancer kills thousands of Americans every year. Smoking, radon, and secondhand smoke are the leading causes of lung cancer. Although lung cancer can be treated, the survival rate is one of the lowest for those with cancer.
- Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. Smoking causes an estimated 160,000* cancer deaths in the U.S. every year (American Cancer Society, 2004). And the rate among women is rising. On January 11, 1964, Dr. Luther L. Terry, then U.S. Surgeon General, issued the first warning on the link between smoking and lung cancer. Lung cancer now surpasses breast cancer as the number one cause of death among women.
- Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to EPA estimates. Overall, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked.
Read more on the EPA’s analysis on Radon and lung cancer here.
On their website, The EPA details a chart that describes the likelihood of developing lung cancer for smokers and non-smokers. This is based on the level of Radon one is exposed to. For instance, out of 1000 smokers exposed to 20 pcI/L of radon over their lifetime, around 260 might get lung cancer. Compare that to the same number of non-smokers and that number drops to 36.
If you’ve never had a radon test for your home, now might be a good time to get one. There are kits you can purchase online to conduct this test. If levels are found to be unsafe, call Bauer Restoration for radon mitigation service at 507-333-9838.