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Primary lung tumors in dogs and cats associated with radon exposure

Date Published: 12/02/2020 [Source]

Radon is a radioactive gas and found in rocks and soils. Studies have suggested that residential radon exposure can increase the risk of primary lung cancer in people, but those studies have been limited due to the participant's mobility.

A hypothesis suggested that the primary pulmonary neoplasia (PPN) rate is higher in dogs and cats residing in counties with a high radon exposure risk compared to zones of moderate and low exposure. A retrospective study of medical records from 10 veterinary colleges identified dogs and cats diagnosed with PPN in a period of five years. The exposure with radon in each pet was determined by matching the patient's zip code with published county radon exposure risk.

The results showed that the PPN rate ratio in counties in high radon zones was approximately 2-fold higher than in counties in lower radon zones for dogs and cats. Exposure to household radon is of clinical importance and might contribute to the development of PPN in dogs and cats.