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Article
August 4, 1989

Indoor Radon and Its Hazards

Author Affiliations

Tucson, Ariz

Tucson, Ariz

JAMA. 1989;262(5):702. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430050120045

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Abstract

Untold thousands of Americans are daily exposed, in their own homes, to levels of radiation that would cause regulatory agencies to shut down a uranium mine or a nuclear power plant. The average annual dose due to indoor radon is about 300 mrem, compared with 200 mrem from all other sources combined. The level proposed as a target for remedial action is 800 to 4000 mrem/y. In contrast, the total individual (nonoccupational) exposure limit for Department of Energy facilities is 100 mrem/y.

This book explains the mechanism for generation and accumulation of radon, describes methods for measuring and reducing its concentration, and examines critically the basis for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) estimate that as many as 20 000 lung cancers per year can be attributed to this naturally occurring substance. Given the uncertainties involved in extrapolating from studies of uranium miners who experienced very high doses, as well as

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