Potential lung cancer risk from indoor radon exposure
Potential lung cancer risk from indoor radon exposure The contribution of radon daughter exposure to excess lung cancer in underground miners is universally accepted. These miners received exposures from tens to thousands of WLM in a relatively few years. Although the miners were also exposed to other noxious agents in mines, the appearance of the excess lung cancer mortality in several types of mines and the increase with increasing exposure provide convincing evidence of the role of radon as the carcinogen. It is conceivable that exposures to radon at an average concentration of one to two pCi/liter, the levels for a majority of homes, might not produce excess lung cancers. This would require that a lifetime exposure at low concentrations produce a different response from that of a few years at higher levels for the miners. This is unlikely but not impossible. The current environmental epidemiology is of varying quality. The better studies may give some answers in a few years. These studies are more likely to establish an upper limit of risk than to provide an exposure-response model. Present risk estimates cannot be used accurately in estimating the overall lung cancer risk to the US population, since there are no good data on average exposure and exposure more »
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