Radon Symptoms and Health Effects
According to Medical News Today, there are no direct symptoms of radon poisoning. Long-term exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States behind smoking. Things like coughing up blood, chest pain, or breathing difficulties could potentially be a sign of lung cancer.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) radon causes 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. Of those 21,000 deaths approximately 2,900 occur in people who have never smoked. See the following charts from the EPA and Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
This document contains more information regarding the charts above. The data in the charts show that those who smoke increase their risk when exposed to radon over a period of time. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry documents that smoking and radon have a compounding effect.
Radon Exposure Studies
Governments and health organizations across the world have conducted numerous studies on radon and long-term health effects. According to the American Cancer Society, some studies involving people consisted of underground mine workers who are exposed to elevated levels of radon. Other studies focused on the level of radon in homes of those with lung cancer versus the level in homes of those without.
Agencies such as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) have concluded that radon is a known human carcinogen.
The EPA states that studies conducted in North America and Europe “show definitive evidence of an association between residential radon exposure and lung cancer.”
What To Do Next
The only way to know what level of radon exists in a home or structure is to test it. This post details the different types of tests that can be done in order to help you determine what would be best for you.