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World Health Organization

U.N. report pinpoints cancer risk from radon in homes

VIENNA (Reuters) - New studies have found direct evidence of a lung cancer risk from the presence of colorless, odorless radon gas in many homes, a United Nations committee said in a report released Tuesday. Officials on the U.N. Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) said the finding provided the first quantifiable evidence of the risk in homes from radon, long seen as a potential health risk.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and other agencies were revising recommendations on maximum levels of radon in homes and workplaces based on the 20 studies involving tens of thousands of lung cancer patients in North America, Europe and China.

"(Up to now) radon has been a typical health risk no one wants to accept or take note of," Wolfgang Weiss, UNSCEAR's vice chairman, told a news conference.

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