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How Exposure To Radon Gas Can Cause Lung Cancer?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Monish De 89% (68 ratings)
MBBS, Post Graduate Diploma In Medicine, Fellowship In Medical Oncology
Oncologist, Kolkata  •  16 years experience
How Exposure To Radon Gas Can Cause Lung Cancer?

You already know how cigarette smoking is a leading cause of Lung Cancer. But did you know that lung cancer can also be caused by a gas called 'radon' that can well be present in the air we breathe in. This gas slowly seeps into the body and causes damage without anybody noticing, so much so, that today Radon Gas is considered to be the second leading cause of lung cancer.

The fact that radon gas remains naturally present in landforms (rocks and soil), makes its termination nearly impossible This is a radioactive gas which forms as a result of the decomposition of radioactive materials, like Uranium. The gas can remain suspended in the air and can also become waterborne. High concentration of radon gas is found in underground water. Therefore, people who drink deep tube-well water remain at a higher risk of developing lung cancer owing to exposure to this harmful gas.

Radon gas, which is often inhaled during respiration travels to the lungs and breaks down into radioactive components. As a result, radiation emission takes place in the lungs which eventually destroys the lung cells and causes cancer. A combination of smoking and exposure to Radon gas make a person more prone to developing lung cancer. However, the condition can also develop among people who do not smoke.

Radon gas can be present in your house without your knowledge. Therefore get your home tested for this detrimental gas. Low levels of it can be present in granite countertops and concrete. The gas can also enter the house through cracks, windows, pipes and wires. If the amount of gas is above 4 picocuries per liter of air, then the treatment for the elimination of radon gas should be availed. Underground water should also be avoided. People working in plants where uranium is processed can inhale a large amount of radon gas. Even people working in mines are more vulnerable to Radon Gas exposure. These people should wear masks to protect themselves.

The level of radon gas in your home can be regulated by sealing the open gaps through which the gas might enter. Apart from that, the house should be properly ventilated. Radon gas treatment is not a do it yourself regime. You should get professional help to make your house radon gas free. Some of the symptoms of lung cancer include wheezing, coughing, chest pain. If you feel that you might develop lung cancer you can see a physician and get tested.

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