PURPOSE: Exposure to indoor radon is associated with lung cancer. This study aimed to estimate the number of lung cancer deaths attributable to indoor radon exposure, its burden of disease, and the effects of radon mitigation in Korea in 2010. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Lung cancer deaths due to indoor radon exposure were estimated using exposure-response relations reported in previous studies. Years of life lost (YLLs) were calculated to quantify disease burden in relation to premature deaths. Mitigation effects were examined under scenarios in which all homes with indoor radon concentrations above a specified level were remediated below the level. RESULTS: The estimated number of lung cancer deaths attributable to indoor radon exposure ranged from 1946 to 3863, accounting for 12.5-24.7% of 15623 total lung cancer deaths in 2010. YLLs due to premature deaths were estimated at 43140-101855 years (90-212 years per 100000 population). If all homes with radon levels above 148 Bq/m³ are effectively remediated, 502-732 lung cancer deaths and 10972-18479 YLLs could be prevented. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that indoor radon exposure contributes considerably to lung cancer, and that reducing indoor radon concentration would be helpful for decreasing the disease burden from lung cancer deaths.
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