Publication Abstract

Authors: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Title: Radon testing in households with a residential smoker--United States, 1993-1994.

Journal: MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 48(31):683-6

Date: 1999 Aug 13

Abstract: Epidemiologic investigations of underground miners and studies of alpha particle carcinogenesis among laboratory animals suggest that exposure to the radioactive decay products (progeny) of radon is an important risk factor for lung cancer. Persons who smoke cigarettes and are exposed to these radon progeny have a substantially greater risk for developing malignancy than nonsmokers. Residential radon concentrations above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) action level of 4 pCi/L are the primary sources of exposure among the general population. EPA and the Public Health Service promote home testing for radon, especially in households with a person who smokes. However, it is unknown whether households that contain smokers are more likely than those without smokers to test for radon. To characterize radon testing practices of households that contain a person who smokes within the dwelling (i.e., residential smoker), CDC analyzed survey data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). This report summarizes the results of this analysis, which indicates that households with a residential smoker are significantly less likely to test for radon than those without smokers.