Title

The impact of declining smoking on radon-related lung cancer in the United States

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2-2011

Journal

American Journal of Public Health

Volume

Volume 101, Issue 2

Inclusive Pages

310-314

Keywords

Lung Neoplasms--epidemiology; Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced--epidemiology; Radon; Smoking--adverse effects; Smoking--epidemiology; Cancer

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We examined the effect of current patterns of smoking rates on future radon-related lung cancer.

METHODS:

We combined the model developed by the National Academy of Science's Committee on Health Risks of Exposure to Radon (the BEIR VI committee) for radon risk assessment with a forecasting model of US adult smoking prevalence to estimate proportional decline in radon-related deaths during the present century with and without mitigation of high-radon houses.

RESULTS:

By 2025, the reduction in radon mortality from smoking reduction (15 percentage points) will surpass the maximum expected reduction from remediation (12 percentage points).

CONCLUSIONS:

Although still a genuine source of public health concern, radon-induced lung cancer is likely to decline substantially, driven by reductions in smoking rates. Smoking decline will reduce radon deaths more that remediation of high-radon houses, a fact that policymakers should consider as they contemplate the future of cancer control.

Comments

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Peer Reviewed

1