Intended for healthcare professionals


Reducing radon levels

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 21 November 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:1455

Responsibility should be with local authority

  1. Michael Peter Le Geyt, Senior house officer in accident and emergency
  1. Milton Keynes General Hospital, Milton Keynes MK6 5LD
  2. Northampton General Hospital, Northampton NN1 5BD
  3. Nene University College, Northampton NN2 7AL

    EDITOR—We now have direct evidence that residential exposure to radon in the United Kingdom causes lung cancer.1 This removes one large hurdle on the route to effective preventive action.

    Radon remediation is based on good epidemiology, is cost effective, and, because the problem is small, is affordable. The target population (houses) is well defined and immobile. It does not suffer the pragmatic obstacles of smoking or water fluoridation—no civil liberties issue is at stake, the remedy is not addictive, nobody is advertising the remedy. But it lacks strong advocacy and coordination of the efforts of society, and remediation has been delayed and incomplete. 2 3 Because of high costs to individual householders the results of tests are confidential, and monitoring remedial action is difficult.

    Achieving change will mean using the new study that Wise reports to influence decision making …

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