LCHM Winter18 - 10



hether you are purchasing or
own a home in Pennsylvania,
you may have heard about
radon testing. Currently, Pennsylvania is one of the most radon-laden states in
the US, with an estimated 40% of PA homes
having levels above the EPA's guideline of 4
pCi/L (picocuries per liter). This naturally
occurring, gaseous byproduct of uranium
breakdown in rock, soil, and water penetrates
through the small cracks and fissures of a property's foundation, where it can accumulate to
toxic levels. It can be found in schools, offices
and homes, however, household levels are of
greatest concern due to the prolonged exposure
of domestic living. Additionally, radon is a
known carcinogen that is specifically linked to
lung cancer. According to the Surgeon General,
this odorless gas is responsible for the second
10 Lehigh County Health & Medicine | WINTER 2018


highest rates of lung cancer deaths in the US, childhood leukemia, has also been researched.
falling second only to smoking-related lung Yet, according to The American Cancer Society,
the evidence is mixed and the link is not as
cancer fatalities.
strong as it is for lung cancer.
Radon gas in the air breaks down into tiny
Given these facts, it is equally important to
units called radon progeny. These small particles
that there is not set criteria that places
are radioactive and when inhaled, can cause
at a higher risk than another for
tissue damage in the lungs and eventually lead
of this gas. Radon can amass
to pulmonary cancer. The majority of radonrelated lung cancer cases occur in smokers, in both old and new homes, with or without
due to the combination of smoking and radon basements. Furthermore, testing a residence is a
inhalation. However, radon is also suspected crucial step in protecting your family from this
to cause a significant number of lung cancer harmful, radioactive gas. In fact, both the EPA
deaths among non-smokers as well. Studies and the Surgeon General recommend testing
performed on people and in the lab were all homes below the third floor for radon. So,
utilized to form the body of evidence that if your home has never been tested before, it
supports a link between radon inhalation and may be time to consider doing so.
lung cancer. On the contrary, the relationship
of radon to other forms of cancer, such as


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of LCHM Winter18

LCHM Winter18 - 1
LCHM Winter18 - 2
LCHM Winter18 - 3
LCHM Winter18 - 4
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