Radon and environmental diseases

Sung Soo Oh, Sangbaek Koh, Suk Joong Yong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

People are generally exposed to radiation from natural sources. Radon is the most important radiation source among natural sources. Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive noble gas that is odorless and tasteless. Radon is normally found at very low levels in outdoor air and in drinking water from rivers and lakes but higher levels in indoor air in homes, schools, and office buildings, and in well water. When radon undergoes radioactive decay, it expels high-energy alpha particles. The alpha particle radiation dose from long-term exposure increases the chance of developing lung cancer. Radon is the second most important cause of lung cancer after smoking. There is no known threshold concentration below which radon exposure presents no risk. Even low concentrations of radon can result in a small increase in the risk of lung cancer. No study of the radon exposure-lung cancer association has been performed in Korea. What is needed is a large-scale prospective study of the association between residential radon exposure and lung cancer. The cumulative indoor radon exposure is an important environmental health hazard (carcinogen).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-229
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Korean Medical Association
Volume55
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar 1

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Radon
Alpha Particles
Lung Neoplasms
Air
Background Radiation
Noble Gases
Environmental Health
Korea
Lakes
Rivers
Drinking Water
Carcinogens
Smoking
Prospective Studies
Radiation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Oh, Sung Soo ; Koh, Sangbaek ; Yong, Suk Joong. / Radon and environmental diseases. In: Journal of the Korean Medical Association. 2012 ; Vol. 55, No. 3. pp. 223-229.
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Radon and environmental diseases. / Oh, Sung Soo; Koh, Sangbaek; Yong, Suk Joong.

In: Journal of the Korean Medical Association, Vol. 55, No. 3, 01.03.2012, p. 223-229.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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AU - Koh, Sangbaek

AU - Yong, Suk Joong

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AB - People are generally exposed to radiation from natural sources. Radon is the most important radiation source among natural sources. Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive noble gas that is odorless and tasteless. Radon is normally found at very low levels in outdoor air and in drinking water from rivers and lakes but higher levels in indoor air in homes, schools, and office buildings, and in well water. When radon undergoes radioactive decay, it expels high-energy alpha particles. The alpha particle radiation dose from long-term exposure increases the chance of developing lung cancer. Radon is the second most important cause of lung cancer after smoking. There is no known threshold concentration below which radon exposure presents no risk. Even low concentrations of radon can result in a small increase in the risk of lung cancer. No study of the radon exposure-lung cancer association has been performed in Korea. What is needed is a large-scale prospective study of the association between residential radon exposure and lung cancer. The cumulative indoor radon exposure is an important environmental health hazard (carcinogen).

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