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How can radon exposure affect my risk of developing cancer?

We all breathe a certain level of radon gas every day, usually at very low levels. It is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that seeps up through the ground and diffuses into the air. Radon is a radioactive gas released from the normal decay of uranium in rocks and soil. In a few locations, depending on the geology of the area, radon dissolves into ground water and can be released into the air when the water is used. Radon gas usually exists at very low levels outdoors. 

Those who inhale high levels of radon are at an increased risk for developing lung cancer. Ongoing exposure to radon gas is the second most common risk factor for lung cancer. Researchers generally agree that 5 to 10 percent of all lung cancer cases are directly caused by radon gas. Smokers who are exposed to radon gas long term, have an even greater risk of developing lung cancer than non-smokers with similar exposure.

Continue Learning about Radon Exposure (Poisoning)

How might I be exposed to high levels radon?
LIVESTRONGLIVESTRONG
Radon can enter homes through cracks in floors, walls, or foundations, and collect indoors. Radon ga...
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What are the treatment options for radon poisoning?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
Unfortunately there is no therapy currently available to treat radon poisoning itself. When a person...
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What causes radon poisoning?
Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhDDr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Very small amounts of radon are commonly found in the environment because radon is formed by the nat...
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What is radon poisoning?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
Radon poisoning occurs when a person is exposed to an excessive amount of radon. Radon is a tasteles...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.