Health Risks of Radon

Radon poses a serious health threat to humans, especially to persons who are exposed to high levels for extended periods of time. Radon is classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Class A carcinogen - one that is known to cause cancer in humans. Other Class A carcinogens include tobacco smoke, asbestos, and benzene. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, resulting in approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year. When radon gas is inhaled, it decays into radioactive particles that become trapped in your lungs. These radioactive particles can cause damage to lung tissue, and over time, this tissue damage can result in lung cancer.

Lung Cancer Risks

Not everyone who breathes radon will develop lung cancer. Your chance of getting lung cancer from exposure to radon depends mostly on the following:

  • How much radon is in your home
  • How much time you spend in your home
  • Whether you currently smoke or have smoked in the past

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