A recent scientific study (see http://www.newsmax.com/health/Radon_reduces_cancer/2008/03/26/83137.html) of the effects of exposure to low levels of Radon gas has found that far from causing up to 50% of lung cancer cases as previously thought it actually reduces the probability of contracting it by a staggering 60%.
This hasn’t surprised some people who have long been sceptical of the radon scare industry. The justification for declaring low level radon exposure as a significant risk was based mainly on studies of US uranium miners who can be exposed to very high levels (which are still thought to be hazardous ) smoke a lot and breath in dust (not to mention being exposed to gamma radition) and on the back extrapolation of radiation damage to Japanese bomb victims, other anecdotal evidence such as the fact that Cornwall which has the highest radon levels also has the lowest lung cancer levels didn’t really support the purported risk level.
This is good example of how obvious high end risks should not be extrapolated backwards to just above zero and then projected forward to justify vast expenditures on the grounds of `saving’ millions of people!
Presumably we will now see show caves running radon health tours (not that anyone will soon be able to visit them as the government’s 2050 CO2 reduction, as far as we can see, can only be achieved by cutting private cars and presumably the number of people by 80%!) There will no doubt be great gnashings of teeth from the radon lobby! Watch this space.