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Radon and cancer

As radon forms naturally by radioactive decay inside minerals, part of it escapes into the atmosphere and indoor air, where it becomes a potential hazard to the occupants, exposed mainly through inhalation (Joint Research Centre, 2019). Radon and its decay products are known carcinogens, causing, or contributing to, lung cancer, a risk enhanced by exposure to air pollution and smoking.

radon sign

Although cancer risks from radon are limited to exposure to relatively high and sustained indoor concentrations, radon is one of the leading causes of lung cancer (Ruano-Ravina et al., 2017). 1.2-1.9% of all cancer cases, and 1 in 10 lung cancer cases in Europe may be due to indoor radon exposure (Darby et al., 2005; Brown et al., 2018; IARC, 2018; Couespel and Price, 2020). According to Global Burden of Disease study data, around 19,000 lung cancer deaths in Europe in 2019 may have been due to naturally occurring indoor residential radon (Murray et al., 2020). The risk of lung cancer increases in non-smokers by about 11-16% for exposure to every additional 100Bq/m3 (a measure of exposure to radiation) increase in long-term average indoor radon concentration (Ruano-Ravina et al., 2017; WHO, 2021b). While the association of radon with other types of cancer has been studied, the evidence is still inconclusive.

Although radon comes from natural sources, exposure can be reduced in existing and new buildings, and radon prevention should be considered at the design stage in radon-prone areas. WHO (2021b) lists technical solutions that can significantly reduce radon levels in existing buildings, such as installing a radon sump system, preventing radon passing from the basement into living spaces, sealing floors and walls, and installing special forced ventilation units. 

The situation has been made worst by the warming of the climate allowing easier gas filtration through the drying ground.  Spain has one of the highest EEE levels (Earth Tremors) Especially along the coastline.  These faults create rock plate movement, allowing more radioactive gas to pass through.

 

Over the last decade, we have noted much higher radioactive meter reading in most homes we serviced. So common were the properties with high readings, its fair to say every home owner should arrange for a radioactive survey test on their property. 

Possible symptoms include shortness of breath (difficulty breathing), a new or worsening cough, pain or tightness in the chest, hoarseness, or trouble swallowing.

Book a full house survey, we are equipped with high grade meters for the detection on Radon.  When detected, we have a full range of systems that remove Radon and maintain a safe home. Book now off this link

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