Health Effects: Known human carcinogen - lung (HE2); Cumulative lung damage - pulmonary fibrosis (HE10).
Affected Organs: Lungs
Although the gas radon is an OSHA Select carcinogen, its effects may be mediated by particulate progeny (decay products) which also are radioactive.
There is an increasing risk of lung cancer with increasing exposure to radon. A study of uranium miners indicated that the latency for the development of lung cancer was shorter in smokers (~19 years) than in nonsmokers (25 years).
Diffuse interstitial fibrosis in lungs of uranium miners often leading to cor pulmonale and death by pneumonia or cardiac arrhythmias also has been attributed primarily to inhalation of radon (and its progeny).
The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (42 U.S.C. §2210 note) as amended by P.L. 107-273 provides for a payment of $100,000 to eligible workers with primary lung cancer and certain nonmalignant respiratory diseases who were employed in uranium mines, in uranium mills, or in the transport of uranium ore between 1942 and 1971.
International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Radon.
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