How Does Radon Affect the Lungs?
Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless radioactive gas that is produced from the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil. It is a natural component of the earth's crust and can seep into buildings through cracks and gaps in the foundation, resulting in indoor radon exposure. Radon exposure is a serious public health concern as it is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking. In this blog, we will discuss how radon exposure affects your lungs.
When radon gas is inhaled, it enters the lungs and releases small bursts of energy. The energy released by the radon particles damages the lung tissue, increasing the risk of developing lung cancer. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), radon exposure causes approximately 15% of all lung cancer cases worldwide. The risk of lung cancer from radon exposure is higher for smokers, as their lungs are already compromised from tobacco smoke.
The effects of radon exposure on the lungs are cumulative and long-term. It can take several years for lung cancer to develop after exposure to radon. Therefore, it is important to take steps to reduce your exposure to radon to minimize the risk of lung cancer.
We had a customer in Streetsboro, OH who had a friend that lived in a home with radon levels of 20 pCi/L for 15 years and unfortunately ended up passing away from lung cancer. They spent lots of time in their basement which could have further increased their exposure.
Symptoms of lung cancer caused by radon exposure are similar to those of lung cancer caused by smoking or other environmental factors. They include coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, and weight loss. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor and get screened for lung cancer.