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Lung cancer

The second-leading cause of lung cancer (after smoking), radon-induced lung cancer leads to the death of tens of thousands of people each year worldwide. Although it can be treated, lung cancer is notorious for its very low survival rate, with just 11 to 15 percent of those afflict living beyond five years from the time of diagnosis. Fortunately, with the proper radon testing, mitigation, and monitoring, radon-induced lung cancer is entirely preventable. 

Radon and smoking

Smokers exposed to radon vastly increase their risk of lung cancer, as radon and cigarette smoke together amplify the exposure of lung tissue to carcinogens. Amongst smokers exposed to radon, 62 in 1,000 will die of lung cancer, compared to 7.3 in 1,000 amongst non-smokers.      

Smokers' radon risk: a breakdown

Note: Former smokers may have a lower risk.

* Lifetime risk of lung cancer deaths from "EPA Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes (EPA 402-R-03-003

** Comparison data calculated using the Centers for Diease Control and Prevention's 1999-2001 National Center for Injury and Prevention and Control Reports

Radon Health Risks

Non-smokers' radon risk: a breakdown

Note: Former smokers may have a higher risk.

* Lifetime risk of lung cancer deaths from "EPA Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes (EPA 402-R-03-003

** Comparison data calculated using the Centers for Diease Control and Prevention's 1999-2001 National Center for Injury and Prevention and Control Reports

Radon-induced lung cancer in perspective

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, radon-induced lung cancer is the third deadliest compared to other types of cancers in the United States. Other data was taken from the National Cancer Institute's 2010 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) estimated US mortality numbers

 

Estimated 2010 US Mortality for Selected Cancers  

1. Leukemia - 21,840; 2. Lymphoma - 21,530; 3. Lung cancer (radon) - 21,000; 4. Liver & intra-hepatic bile duct - 18,910; 5. Esophagus - 14,500; 6. Ovary - 13,850; Brain/nervous system - 13,140; 7. Kidney & renal pelvis - 13,040; 8. Cervix - 12,200; 9. Stomach - 10,570; 10. Melanoma - 8,700; 11. Oral/pharynx - 7,880; 12. Larynx - 3,600; 13. Thyroid - 1,690; 14. Bone/joint - 1,460

Helpful literature on radon and lung cancer:

Radon in groundwater

While radon in-water exposure overall poses a notably less significant health hazard than radon in-air exposure, there are cases where exposure to radon in water can be a cause for concern, and South Africa is likely to be a country where radon in water poses health risks. 

Radon is most hazardous in groundwater, and as country's such as South Africa examine an increase in groundwater reliance to satisfy potable-water needs, this hazard is likely to become more of a problem. Case in point, a recent study in southwestern Nigeria found that over 90% of water samples taken from manually operated bore-holes with no storage had radon concentrations above the limits specific by the US Environmental Protection Organizations and the EU. Excess limits were also found in wells and storage-equipped bore-holes, albeit amongst a lesser percentage. 

The study also found that the highest concentration of radon in the human body, after the lungs, was found in adipose tissue (tissue used for the storage of fat) and red bone marrow given their ability to retain notably more radon and radon's high solubility in them. 

Risk Reduction in South Africa

CareTac provides a wide range of radon solutions across South Africa.

  • long-term passive and short-term electronic testing

  • Mitigation consultation, guidance, and training

  • Monitoring devices for residential and corporate use

  • Radon in-air and in-water testing

CareTac is recognized as a leader in South Africa in radon testing, mitigation, and monitoring, bolstered by our appearance on Carte Blanche, South Africa's leading investigative journalism program. We partner with and use the equipment of several South African and international companies that are second to none: Durridge, PARC RGM, and Airthings

If you are looking to do radon testing, mitigation, and/or monitoring, see our radon services and contact us today.