Unlike many sites out there who shy away from posting opinions that differ from their own, we prefer to embrace the difference of opinion as one of two things, or both:
- As a chance to learn more about a topic and alter our views if necessary because we found out new information.
- As a chance to learn more about a topic and provide additional information we may not have already known about the topic here on the Water Testing Blog.
Today’s difference of opinion came to us from a gentleman by the name of ‘Keith’ who wrote, “You stated ‘Radon gas in homes can wipe out whole families and the victims never even know the gas existed before it happens. ‘ This is total B.S. I have studied Radiation effects in people since 1969 and there is no known case of this ocurrance. Prove it.”
First of all, thank you, Keith for contacting us.
Upon reading our own statement, perhaps we may have over-dramatized things a tiny bit, but then again, perhaps not. According to a page on the United States Environmental Protection Agency web site (www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html), “Radon is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year, according to EPA’s 2003 Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes (EPA 402-R-03-003).”
The numbers of deaths from other causes are taken
from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s
2005-2006 National Center for Injury Prevention
and Control Report and 2006 National Safety Council Reports.
The EPA’s web site goes on to say, “Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. That’s because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.”
So, while radon doesn’t run up into homes with both barrels of a shotgun blazing as it takes human life, it does seem to kill quite a few people — with both the USEPA and Surgeon General of the United States in agreement that radon poses a significant health risk to humans.