Health Desk – 05 Feb, 2021: More countries than ever before are protecting health from radon exposure, but many still need to take action to mitigate the impacts of this carcinogenic radioactive gas, according to a new WHO survey.
So far, a total of 56 countries— over a quarter of all WHO Member States— responded to the WHO radon survey. The vast majority have set national reference levels for homes and workplaces, 44 per cent have developed national radon action plans, and 39 per cent have included it in codes for new buildings.
Globally, in 2019, residential radon exposure alone was estimated to have caused 84,000 deaths by lung cancer; in some countries, it is among the leading causes of lung cancer.
The naturally occurring radioactive gas is an important cause of lung cancer in people who have never smoked. While smokers are 25 times more at risk of developing lung cancer from radon exposure than non-smokers, radon is also a lung cancer risk factor among smokers.