Radon is the second cause of lung cancer in the general population, after smoking. Epidemiological studies have provided convincing evidence of an association between indoor radon exposure and lung cancer, even at the relatively low radon levels commonly found in residential buildings. However, efforts to act on this information and to reduce the number of lung cancers related to radon exposures have so far only been successful in very few countries.
The World Health Organization first drew attention to the health effects from residential radon exposures in 1979, through a European working group on indoor
air quality. Further, radon was classified as a human carcinogen in 1988 by IARC, the WHO specialized cancer research agency. In 1993, a WHO international workshop on indoor radon, organized in Eilat, and involving scientists and radon experts from Europe, North America and Asia, was a first step towards a unified approach to controlling radon exposures and advising on the communication of associated health risks.
In 2005, WHO established the International Radon Project to identify effective strategies for reducing the health impact of radon and to raise public and political
awareness about the consequences of long term exposure to radon. Participants and contributors from more than 30 countries worked together towards a global
understanding of a wide range of issues associated with indoor radon.
A key product of the WHO International Radon Project is this handbook, which focuses on residential radon exposure, emphasizing its impact from a public health point of view. It includes detailed recommendations on radon health risk reduction and sound policy options for prevention and mitigation of radon. The handbook is intended for countries that plan to develop national programmes or extend their activities regarding radon, as well as for stakeholders involved in radon control such as the construction industry and building professionals.
Click HERE to read the flipbook.