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August 7, 1987

How Serious Is the Indoor Radon Health Hazard?

JAMA. 1987;258(5):578-579. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400050012002

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"YOU PAYS YOUR money and you takes your choice"—or chance, as the case may be. Where radon is involved, it is hard to say just what one ought to do. Some persons apparently are convinced that exposure to this radioactive decay product of uranium is good for what ails them. (See photo.)

But substantially more people seem to be concerned that radon is yet another thing to add to the list of modern woes that may do civilization in.

While cure seekers apparently skeptical of legitimate medicine pay up to $4 per hour to partake of the putative benefits of radon gas in played-out uranium mines in the west, many Americans on the eastern seaboard and elsewhere, also with good health in mind, spend thousands of dollars to rid their own homes of the very same effusion.

No medical authority advocates a retreat to the cave. But modern housing is