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Health Effects of Exposure to Radon: BEIR VI
estimated numbers of preventable lung-cancers by mitigation of homes with radon concentrations above 148 Bqm-3 (4 pCiL-1).
These AR estimates can be translated into numbers of lung-cancer deaths (Table ES-4). In 1995, there were approximately 157,400 lung-cancer deaths—95,400 in men and 62,000 in women—in the United States. Most occurred in smokers and it is estimated that 95% of cases occurred in men and 90% in women. Table ES-4 shows the estimated lung-cancer deaths in the United States attributable to indoor radon progeny exposure under the BEIR VI models. A review of the data presented in Table ES-4 reveals some differences in the calculated radon-attributable lung-cancer deaths using the exposure-age-concentration model and the exposure-age-duration model. Further variability is evident for both models depending on the approach used to estimate the influence of cigarette-smoking on lung-cancer risk. The use of the two models with two approaches to dealing with smoking yields an array of estimates of lung-cancer risk attributable to radon exposure, and provides an indication of the influence of the model and of incorporating the effects of tobacco-smoking on the projections of population risk. The range of calculated values, however, is not a complete
TABLE ES-4 Estimated number of lung-cancer deaths for the U.S. for 1995 attributable to indoor residential radon progeny exposure
Lung-cancer deaths attributable to Rn progeny exposure (No.)
a Assuming 95% of all lung-cancers among males occurs among ever-smokers; 90% of lung-cancers among females occurs among ever-smokers.
b Estimates based on applying a smoking adjustment to the risk models, multiplying the baseline estimated attributable risk per exposure by 0.9 for ever-smokers and by 2.0 for never-smokers, implying a submultiplicative relationship between radon-progeny exposure and smoking.