Bfs health effects of radon this is how radon affects health

How radon affects healthRadon can cause lung cancer in humans. The radioactive gas is very mobile. Occurs in varying concentrations everywhere in our environment. If it accumulates in closed rooms such as apartments, high radon concentrations can develop there, which are dangerous to health.

How does radon in the body affect health?

When radon decays radioactively, radioactive isotopes of polonium, bismuth and lead are formed as short-lived by-products. In the air, they are predominantly attached to dust particles known as aerosols.

Radon in the human body

Radon and its secondary products are inhaled with the air. While the gaseous radon is almost completely exhaled, the radioactive by-products polonium, bismuth and lead accumulate in the sensitive lung tie and continue to decay there.

Alpha radiation is produced. This radiation can damage the cells in the lungs, in particular the genetic material contained therein, or. DNA . This can cause lung cancer.

Radon also results in radiation doses to other human organs, especially the throat or skin. For all other organs, the radiation dose is very small even at elevated radon concentrations. This also applies to pregnant women for their unborn babies. Evidence that long-term elevated indoor radon concentrations can cause diseases other than lung cancer has not yet been found.

How dangerous is radon for health?

Breathing radon and its radioactive by-products over a longer period of time increases the risk of developing lung cancer.

The risk of developing lung cancer is greater the more radon there is in the air we breathe and the longer the period of time during which radon is inhaled. It increases linearly with long-term radon concentration in the home, studies found.

A research project conducted on behalf of the BfS has determined that about five percent of all deaths from lung cancer in the German population can be attributed to radon. In the period 1996 to 2000 covered by the study, this was about 1.900 deaths per year. This makes radon one of the leading causes of lung cancer after smoking.

There is no evidence of a threshold below which radon is not a health risk with certainty.

Are children particularly at risk?

There is no scientific evidence that radon increases the risk of cancer for children more than for adults. However, the data available on this subject are insufficient so far. In a European research project on radon risk, which is coordinated by BfS, the risk for children is therefore also being specifically investigated.

In general, the radon concentration in the home is likely to play the greatest role in the health risk for children compared to other places, such as school, because children usually spend the most time at home.

What is the influence of smoking on the health risk of radon??

Smoking and radon reinforce each other in their harmful effects on human health, so that radon increases the risk of lung cancer particularly strongly for those who smoke or have smoked.

However, radon has also been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer for people who have not smoked all their lives.

How can I protect myself from radon?

The lower the radon concentration a person is exposed to on a daily basis, the lower the risk of developing lung cancer because of radon. Simple protective measures are often sufficient to significantly reduce the concentration of radon in a building and thus the risk of illness.

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