What Is Radon And Can It Cause Cancer?

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is invisible and odorless and it seeps through the soil and ultimately diffuses into the air. This topic has split opinions across the board. Many experts have been unable to come to an agreeable inference pertaining to whether radon has the potential of causing cancer or whether it is just a fallacy. It is vital to elucidate more on this topic to either reaffirm the aforementioned assertion or totally dispel it in case it is nothing but a myth, falsehood, or misconception. This article shall provide some logical and rational discussion about radon and its relation to cancer.

Radon as a Gas That Causes Cancer

Radon is a naturally occurring gas as mentioned above that tends to decay rapidly culminating into minute radioactive particles.

Cigarettes, radon gas, air pollution, asbestos: the main causes of lung cancer

Upon inhalation, these particles are believed to cause lung cancer. This can be attributed to the fact that the particles cause significant damage to the cells, which line the lungs. Surprisingly, it is said to be the only form of cancer that is directly associated with radon since the other studies pertaining to its other potential harm are yet to be ascertained hence there remain to be lingering doubts.

An example is whether radon does indeed cause leukemia. The research and efforts expended herein have not been satisfactory and it cannot be said with certainty that radon does cause leukemia and other forms of malignant cancers besides lung cancer as depicted in the foregoing. The veracity of the information pertaining to radon and lung cancer has also been wanting due to varied inconsistencies from several entities in this field hence demanding that every opinion be put to strict proof and ample scrutiny as done in the next paragraph.

Radon and Lung Cancer

To shed some more light on this topic, it is only imperative that we employ some statistics to try to decipher the same and arrive at a more conclusive and factual determination. Radon has been proven to be the second biggest cause of lung cancer and related deaths in the United States. Definitively, it is believed that around 17,000 to 23,000 people die annually in the US due to radon-related lung cancer. The leading cause of lung cancer cases is said to be cigarettes. People who are big or huge smokers are more prone and susceptible to cancer emanating from radon exposure and inhalation since their lungs are already compromised from the onset. It is crucial to mention this to avoid the blurriness that has marred this topic for decades. Radon and cigarettes can cause cancer independently but smokers are at a higher risk of radon-related cancer demise. It is also prudent to state that radon alone can also cause lung cancer even to nonsmokers as an estimated 10% often succumb to the same.

Factual Basis

It is always ingenious to back an assertion with some solid facts and cogent evidence, as many will definitely question how researchers and scientists were able to establish that there is a nexus between radon and lung cancer. One of the pointers and huge indicators spawned from the increment in the deaths of uranium miners who were exposed to radon. Subsequent tests confirmed the same and this was further reinforced through several tests performed upon rodents who died at a prolific rate after exposure to radon at high and concentrated levels.


Satisfactory research has been done in recent years to establish the nexus between radon and cancer. Prior to this, it was believed that radon is quite harmless and this was etched in people’s minds for an extended period due to mass hysteria. There was no clarity and specificity in this subject. Recently, scientists have been able to conduct more meaningful tests as they are much better equipped and they have determined that radon-related cancer deaths are more prevalent in homes with higher levels of radon than in homes with what is perceived to be normal or minimal levels of radon. This has served as a justifying factor of the fact that miners are always more likely to succumb to similar deaths as radon occurs in their work premises at very high levels.

The foregoing has aptly demonstrated the ability of radon to cause lung cancer when occurring at high levels. Its ability to cause other forms of cancer remains unproven. Regular testing and other mitigation techniques are vital to deter the situation from aggravating. This can aid to keep lung cancer at bay including any other forms of radon-related cancers and varied ailments that are yet to be proven.