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Does Radon Cause Leukemia?

Leukemia and Radon

Based on research done by Gary G Schwartz and Marilyn G Klug and published by Future Medicine there is a strong possibility that exposure to radon increases the risk of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Check out their full paper on their research and their findings here.

Exposure to radon over a long period of time can lead to lung cancer, in fact after cigarette smoking radon exposure is the most common cause of lung cancer in the United States. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that everyone breathes in on a daily basis. The health problems happen when the levels of radon we breathe in are at too high. This happens through cracks in floors or walls that allows radon to be released indoors (well insulated/tightly sealed homes or buildings) causing the radon levels to go up or your home was built on ground that has uranium, thorium, and radium in it.

In April of 2016, the American Cancer Society stated,”A new report from American Cancer Society researchers finds a statistically-significant, positive association between high levels of residential radon and the risk of hematologic cancer (lymphoma, myeloma, and leukemia) in women. “The overall lifetime risk of hematological cancers in the United States is about 2%, so even a 60% relative increase would still mean a relatively small absolute risk,” said Dr. Teras. “Nonetheless, radon is already associated with lung cancer, and if other studies confirm the link to blood cancers, we think it would warrant strengthened public health efforts to mitigate residential radon risks.” For more on that article click here.

With radon being a colorless, odorless gas, it is imperative that your home is tested to ensure safe levels of radon. You can check the risk of radon in your location by checking various maps like the one here –

Does-Radon-Cause-Leukemia

And this close up one of the Midwest –

Does-Radon-Cause-Leukemia

At Radon Specialists of Wisconsin, we are here to help you protect your family and your loved ones. Our contract guarantees to lower your Radon level to 1.9 pCi/L or below in most cases or 3.9 pCi/L or below on some homes, still the EPA recommended level. However, our goal with each system is to get you as close to outside air levels as possible, which is usually 0.4 to 1.0 pCi/L. We proudly serve Appleton, Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison and the surrounding areas with radon testing and radon removal. Call us today for a free radon test for homeowners.

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Know the signs of lung cancer

Radon is the second largest cause of lung cancer deaths in the U.S. behind smoking, and the largest among non-smokers.  Long-term exposure to elevated radon levels puts you at risk for lung cancer, so it’s extremely important to have your home tested.  It is also important – especially for non-smokers – to know the warning signs for lung cancer if one has lived in a home for a long period of time without knowing the radon levels.  Here are some major things to watch out for:

  • A stubborn cough that won’t subside – especially lasting eight weeks or more.
  • Chest pain, especially when it lingers and/or worsens with deep breathing or coughing.
  • Wheezing, shortness of breath or other breathing problems.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Feeling weak or tired.
  • Recurring infections, especially in airways
  • Irregular breast growth in men.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Pain or fatigue in hands and fingers.
  • Aches and pains in the shoulder, inner arm, hands and rib cage area.
  • Jaundice (yellowing skin and eyes).
  • Depression or mood changes.

While these signs, on their own, may have other causes or explanations, it is a good thing to monitor your health if you believe you may have been exposed to radon for an extended period of time.  Speak with your physician if you have questions or believe you may be exhibiting warnings signs for lung cancer.

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