Researchers in a new Harvard study found that relatively low radon levels (~2pCi/L) appear to increase cardiovascular and respiratory deaths. While, radon is well-known for causing lung cancer, it may also contribute to other serious health problems and deaths, according to the report.
Below is an abstract of the study. Read the full study here.
Recent Study: Effect Modification of Ambient Particle Mortality by Radon: A Time Series Analysis in 108 U.S. Cities
[A] new study indicates radon enhances PM mortality. Research have long established a significant association between ambient particulate matter (PM) and increased risk of death; however, the properties, mechanisms, and environmental factors that contribute to particle toxicity are not fully understood. In a new study, the Harvard ACE Center Science to Achieve Results (STAR) research team assessed potential modification of radon on PM2.5-associated daily mortality in 108 U.S. cities. Their analysis shows that higher mean city-level radon concentrations increased PM2.5-associated mortality in the spring and fall. For example, a 10 µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 in the spring at the 10th percentile of city-averaged short-term radon concentration was associated with a 1.92% increase in total mortality (95% CI: 1.29, 2.55), whereas the same PM2.5 exposure at the 90th percentile of radon concentration was associated with a 3.73% increase in total mortality (95% CI: 2.87, 4.59). While additional research is necessary, this study suggests that radon enhances PM2.5 total, cardiovascular, and respiratory mortality. In addition, local radon concentrations partially explain the significant variability in PM2.5 effect estimates across U.S. cities noted in this and previous studies.”