Radon and cancer WHO 2009 Fact Sheet


Key facts

* Radon is the second most important cause of lung cancer in many countries. * Radon is estimated to cause between 3% and 14% of all lung cancers, depending on the average radon level in a country. * Radon is much more likely to cause lung cancer in people who smoke, and is the primary cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. * Radon-induced lung cancers are mainly caused by low and moderate rather than by high radon concentrations, because of the large number of people exposed to indoor radon in homes with such low concentrations. * The lower the radon concentration in a home, the lower the risk as there is no known threshold below which radon exposures carries no risk.

Health effects of radon

In many countries, radon is the second most important cause of lung cancer after smoking. The proportion of lung cancers attributable to radon is estimated to range from 3 to 14%.

Lung cancer increases proportionally with increasing radon exposure. Radon is much more likely to cause lung cancer in people who smoke.

Link to complete Fact Sheet http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs291/en/index.html

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