A study of Spanish Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR) With 1,415 individuals who had never smoked, from 10 hospitals in Galicia, Asturias, Madrid and Castilla y León, it concludes that radon gas at high doses doubles the risk of lung cancer. This substance becomes dangerous inside enclosed spaces, in which it enters and accumulates from the subsoil stealthily, without giving any alarm signal. The only way to detect it is by installing detectors. Its relationship with lung cancer has been known for some time to the point that the World Health Organization (WHO) it classifies it as the most important risk factor to suffer this disease in people who have never smoked and the second in smokers.
SEPAR began recruiting patients in 2011 and says that "this is the largest sample research carried out so far exclusively in never smokers." The objective was to evaluate the relationship between exposure to environmental radon with the subsequent appearance of lung cancer and investigate if there was any specific risk for adenocarcinoma, the type of this type of tumor most frequent today. The results have been published in the journal Environmental Research.
The analysis of the data shows that people exposed to residential radon concentrations above 200 Bq / m3 have practically twice the risk of developing lung cancer (1.73 times more) than those who have endured 100 Bq / m3 or less. "It is observed that the dose-response relationship between radon and lung cancer is linear," the research specifies. All the participants had lived a median of 30 years in the home where radon had been detected.
Dr. Alberto Ruano Raviña, professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health of the University of Santiago de Compostela and coordinator of the study, assures that the results "confirm" the data of the WHO and the North American Environmental Protection Agency. Therefore, he adds, "measures must be taken to prevent it." Among them, he points out the "urgent need" for Spain to apply the European directive on ionizing radiation, which should have been transposed in February 2018. This standard applies a radon limit for homes and workplaces of 300 Bq / m3. The research also highlights the need to review the concentrations considered risk, as is already the case in the United Kingdom, Canada or Ireland, which set the limit at 200 Bq / m3. In the United States, the value drops to 150 Bq / m3.