Radonand Health

Environmental radon: Health aspects and present status in northern India
Following the discovery of high levels of indoor radon in various parts of the world, every environmental protection agency is determined to address the potential radon problem. In India, many research groups are determined to characterize the problem as it might exist in Indian dwellings, where poor ventilation and mud structures are common. Not only radon but also its progeny are radioactive. Being a gas radon can disperse and its progeny can attach to aerosols/dust particles to be transmitted in indoor environments. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in North America and the leading cause of lung cancer for individuals who have never smoked. Due to potential public health implications of exposure to high levels of radon, the characterization of radon problem in India must also be complemented with the development of a program to educate the public regarding radon. This paper is an attempt to provide awareness about the environmental radon, its origin, health concerns, present status of radon concentrations in dwellings of Northern India and some remedial actions for protection from radiation. The estimated indoor radon levels are looked into as recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection, 2009. Environmental radon: Health aspects and present status in northern India.

Key facts

  • Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas which may be found in indoor environments such as homes, schools, and workplaces.
  • Radon is the most important cause of lung cancer after smoking.
  • Radon is estimated to cause between 3–14% of all lung cancers in a country, depending on the national average radon level and smoking prevalence.
  • The lower the radon concentration in a home, the lower the risk of lung cancer as there is no known threshold below which radon exposure carries no risk.
  • Well-tested, durable and cost-efficient methods exist for preventing radon in new houses and reducing radon in existing dwellings.

What is radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. It has no smell, colour or taste. Radon is produced from the natural radioactive decay of uranium, which is found in all rocks and soil. Radon can also be found in water.

Radon escapes easily from the ground into the air, where it decays and produces further radioactive particles. As we breathe, the particles are deposited on the cells lining the airways, where they can damage DNA and potentially cause lung cancer.

Outdoors, radon quickly dilutes to very low concentrations and is generally not a problem. The average outdoor radon level 1 varies between 5–15 Bq/m3. However, indoors, radon concentrations are higher, with highest levels found in places like mines, caves and water treatment facilities. In buildings such as homes, schools, and offices, radon levels in the range of 10 Bq/m3 to more than 10 000 Bq/m3 have been found.

We plan to do einterviews with MBBS doctors to understand 4 things
1) Tests or questions you ask in first few meetings
2) What it means in medical terms
3) What it means in non medical terms
4) What should the patient or care takers do

We might interview Aurvedic doctors, homeopathic doctors, Yoga teachers on this health issue

Video links
The Facts About Radon Gas - It's Deadly

Radon Health Effects

Radon - how it affects you
Brief sponsor information