The impact of declining smoking on radon-related lung cancer in the United States
American Journal of Public Health
Volume 101, Issue 2
Lung Neoplasms--epidemiology; Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced--epidemiology; Radon; Smoking--adverse effects; Smoking--epidemiology; Cancer
We examined the effect of current patterns of smoking rates on future radon-related lung cancer.
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.
By 2025, the reduction in radon mortality from smoking reduction (15 percentage points) will surpass the maximum expected reduction from remediation (12 percentage points).
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.
Mendez, D., Alshangeety, O., Warner, K.E., Lantz, P.M., Courant, P.N. (2011). The impact of declining smoking on radon-related lung cancer in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 101(2), 310-314.