A University of Iowa study suggests long-term exposure to radon may cause lung cancer. Iowa has the highest concentration of radon in the soil of any state in the U-S. Between 1993 and ’97, researchers tested more than one-thousand Iowa women who had lived in their homes more than 20 years.Dr. Bill Field is the lead research scientist for the study and is a U-of-I cancer epidemiologist. He says nearly 60 percent of the homes had radon levels that exceeded recommended levels. The study found as radon levels rose, so did the incidence of lung cancer in the women.Dr. Field says it’s easy to test a home for radon, although getting rid of it might be more of a challenge.Field says radon is a tasteless, odorless, colorless, radioactive gas with deep roots in Iowa. It comes from the glaciers that traveled across Iowa.He says women were studied because they typically have less occupational exposures to substances that may cause lung cancer and they historically have spent more time in the home. For more information, call 800-SOS-RADON.
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