Did you know that next to cigarette smoking, radon is the second major cause of lung cancer? This is very concerning, because there are thousands, if not millions, of people in American living with this toxic chemical in their homes right now. It can be found in any infrastructure, including homes, schools and offices. This is cause for concern in the naturopathic medicine community throughout the country.
The Environmental Protection Agency stated that one in every 15 homes have hazardous levels of radon. This is even higher in Utah, with a ratio of one in every three homes being tested with hazardous levels of radon. How bad is it to live under these conditions? According to Dr. Wallace Akerley from Huntsman Cancer Institute, it would be like smoking one or two packs of cigarettes daily.
What’s strange is that homes can vary greatly in radon levels, even if they are right next door to each other.
Other areas of concern include Iowa and the Appalachian Mountains in Pennsylvania. These have high concentrations of environmental radon levels. Globally, a town called Mallow in Ireland is known for having the highest natural levels of radon.
This is a silent killer, causing seven times more deaths than house fires. Sadly, many people are unaware of this hidden threat and end up never having their homes tested for this pervasive carcinogen. With that said, integrative medicine practitioners strongly urge citizens to have their properties tested – both business and residential. You don’t want to wait until you have a cancerous incident emerge before you do something about it.
Radon is Radioactive
What exactly is radon? It’s a natural gas that is radioactive. It is produced when uranium rocks are breaking down. This includes granite, phosphate rock, limestone and shale. You can find radon in most soils, air and water.
Another reason naturopathic medicine doctors recommend having radon testing done is because it is difficult to detect. It has no odor or taste and is invisible. The only way to identify it is using a special testing kit.
It’s been estimated that 21,000 lung cancer deaths are due to exposure to radon. Between 10 and 25 percent of them don’t smoke. In most cases, cancer forms between five and 25 years after being exposed to radon.
Smokers at Increased Risk
If you smoke cigarettes and have high levels of radon in your home, your chances of lung cancer increase tremendously. The EPA states that if 1,000 smokers were exposed to level 4 pCi/L of radon in their lifetime, around 62 of them would end up with cancer due to radon exposure. Only about 7 in 1,000 non-smokers would likely get cancer from that level of radon exposure.
Some have suggested that radioactive phosphate fertilizer could contribute to the reason why cigarettes are carcinogenic. Theoretically, the tobacco being grown in this fertilizer is absorbing the radon from the soil.
There’s little evidence to suggest that radon can also develop other types of cancers. There was one study performed in Denmark between 1968 and 1994 that suggests there being a significant connection between acute childhood lymphoblastic leukemia and exposure to radon.
Alternative Cancer Treatment
Thankfully, there are natural ways most patients and people in general can treat and prevent cancer using naturopathic medicine which is the best radon test kit. Chelation and ozone therapy are just some of the treatments you can obtain to cleanse your body of harmful toxins.