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Radon Symptoms

Health issues that can signal problems resulting from radon exposure.

Radon Symptoms

What are the symptoms of radon poisoning?
Since radon is the #2 cause of lung cancer in the U.S., respiratory ailments are the most likely signs of radon-related distress. A persistent cough, hoarseness, breathing difficulties, and recurring respiratory infections are all possible indications of radon poisoning.

Recognizing Radon Poisoning

Radon poisoning can occur where there are high concentrations of radon gas. This typically occurs in areas with poor ventilation, such as underground mines, crawl spaces, or basements in homes or buildings. Scientists first identified that underground uranium miners were being exposed to radon and dying of lung cancer at very high rates. Since radon originates in the soil through its decaying process, it also gives off tiny radioactive particles that can be inhaled into the lungs. These radioactive particles can then cause damage to the lungs, possibly resulting in lung cancer.

Radon poisoning symptoms resemble those of lung cancer: a persistent cough that doesn't get better, difficulty breathing, chest pains, the coughing up of blood, wheezing, hoarseness and recurring respiratory infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis.

In some cases, long-term exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer, the only cancer proven to be associated with inhaling radon — between 15,000 and 22,000 lung cancer deaths occur in the U.S. each year according to the National Cancer Institute. Therefore, it is extremely important that you seek medical help as soon as possible if you begin to experience these warning symptoms.

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