reproductive outcomes. This chapter updates the BEIR IV report's coverage of outcomes other than lung-cancer.

DOSES TO ORGANS OTHER THAN LUNG

Interpretation of the epidemiologic findings on effects of radon other than in the lungs needs to be based on an understanding of the dosimetry of radon and its progeny. Dosimetric models used for this purpose have extended beyond deposition of progeny in the lung to distribution to and absorption in other organs. Although there has been little work on this aspect of radon dosimetry, the models suggest potentially important doses to skin and lymphocytes.

Table 4-1 shows estimated annual absorbed doses to various adult tissues from Rn-222 and its short-lived daughters, for a domestic concentration of 20 Bqm-3 (0.54 pCiL-1). The estimated dose for the basal cells in exposed skin depends heavily on assumed deposition velocity. The upper estimates are comparable with lung doses and might be responsible for a substantial number of skin cancers, most of which would be nonfatal. With assumptions of 125 µGy y-1 to exposed skin of the face and neck, 7.5 µGy y-1 to skin of all other regions, an RBE of 5 for alpha-

TABLE 4-1 Estimated annual absorbed doses to adult tissues from Rn-222 and its short-lived progeny for domestic radon concentration of 20 Bqm-3 (0.54 pCiL-1)

Tissue

Annual dose (µGy y-1)

Reference

Lung

500

ICRP65 1993; Simmonds and others 1995

Bronchial basal cell nuclei

740

James, personal communication

Bronchial secretory cell nuclei

1,680

James, personal communication

Skin (basal cells at 50 µm

in exposed skin)

50–1,000

85–850

Harley and Robbins 1992

Eatough and Henshaw 1992

Red marrow

0.5–1.3

Harley and Robbins 1992

 

4–6

Richardson and others 1991

 

4.5

Simmonds and others 1995

 

2.2–2.6

James 1992

Bone surface

0.4–1

Harley and Robbins 1992

 

1.2

ICRP65 1993; Simmonds and others 1995

 

4.4

James 1992

Breast

~ 1.5

Harley and Robbins 1992

 

1.2

ICRP65 1993; Simmonds and others 1995

T-lymphocytes:

circulating

1

Harley and Robbins 1992

in bronchial epithelium

1,000

Harley and Robbins 1992

Blood

1.1

Harley and Robbins 1992

Liver

2.5

James 1992

Kidney

14.4

James 1992



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement