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Radon is Linked with 10 Percent of Lung Cancer Deaths

Long-term exposure to residential radon is responsible for about 10 per cent of lung cancer deaths, according to experts in Canada. The combination of smoking and long-term radon exposure drastically increases the risk of lung cancer, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) recently stated.

“Many Canadians are not aware of the risks from residential radon gas and what they can do to stay healthy,” noted Dr Jeff Turnbull, President of the CMA. “With winter approaching, physicians want to make sure their patients are aware of this potential health hazard.”

The CMA, together with the Canadian Lung Association, have joined forces with Health Canada to raise public awareness of the effect radon exposure can have on an individual’s health.

Radon is a naturally-occurring, colourless, odourless radioactive gas that can, in enclosed spaces such as basements, reach sufficient levels to be harmful to human health. Formed by the breakdown of uranium, radon is present in all soil. The gas can enter a home through dirt floors, cracks in concrete, sump holes, joints and basement drains.

“The link between smoking and lung cancer is well known. However, not many are aware of the link between radon and lung cancer. Long-term exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer, especially for those who smoke or are exposed to second-hand smoke in their homes,” added Heather Borquez, CEO and President of the Canadian Lung Association.

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