Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Study of lung cancer risk and residential radon exposure (Radon Epidemiology), Final report (summary)

Project ID: FIGH-CT-1999-00008
Funded under: FP5-EAECTP C


The radioactive gas radon is the most important natural source of human exposure to ionizing radiation. Studies of occupationally exposed underground miners, usually at very high concentrations, have consistently demonstrated an increased risk of lung cancer for both smokers and non-smokers. In contrast to studies of miners, epidemiological studies of residential radon and lung cancer, where concentrations are usually much lower, allow direct evaluation of the effects of exposure in dwellings, but the evidence of health effects from these studies has been less certain.
Measurements of current radon concentrations using air-based monitors have generally been used to assess cumulative radon exposures in the European studies. However, it is difficult to accurately determine past radon exposures in residential settings using current measurements. A recently developed surface-based methodology measures cumulative radon exposures directly. This new technique involves placing radon surface monitors on a glass surface. However, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in dwellings might influence the surface-based measurements and as yet there have been few validations of the surface-based detectors in epidemiological field conditions.

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