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Open AccessArticle

Indoor Radon Gas (222Rn) Levels in Homes in Aldama, Chihuahua, Mexico and the Risk of Lung Cancer

1
College of Animal Science and Ecology of the Autonomous University of Chihuahua, Periferico. R. Almada, km. 1. Chihuahua, Chihuahua C.P. 31453, Mexico
2
Technological Institute of Chihuahua II, Ave. de las Industrias 11101, Complejo Industrial Chihuahua, Chihuahua C.P. 31130, Mexico
3
College of Engineering of the Autonomous University of Chihuahua-Campus II, Circuito Universitario, Chihuahua, Chihuahua C.P. 31125, Mexico
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La Campana Experimental Center of the National Research Institute on Forestry, Agriculture and Animal Production (INIFAP), Km. 33.3 Carretera Chihuahua-Ojinaga, Aldama, Chihuahua C.P. 32910, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1337; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071337
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 9 June 2018 / Accepted: 10 June 2018 / Published: 26 June 2018
Radon (222Rn) is an odorless and tasteless gas that is known to cause lung cancer. The objective of this research was to quantify the levels of exposure to radon among people living in an environment rich in uranium (U). Radon concentrations were measured for 3 days in 12 homes in Aldama, Mexico. Homeowners agreed to participate in the study; hence, the sample was non-probabilistic. Radon was measured with a portable AlphaGuard Radon Monitor (Genicron Instruments GmbH), which was placed in a bedroom of each home at a height of 0.74 m. Gas levels were registered in Becquerels (Bq m−3), with readings taken every 10 min along with readings of ambient temperature (AT), air pressure (AP), and relative humidity (RH). We found that radon gas levels in Aldama exceed the maximum permissible limits (USA: 148 Bq m−3). Levels were higher at night, and were above the maximum permissible level recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency of the United Nations (<200 Bq m−3). Most residents in the area have family histories of lung problems, but it was difficult to establish a strong correlation between 222Rn and lung cancer. Federal, state, and municipal governments should take stronger action to reduce the effects of radon gas on communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: mining-related disease; natural uranium; Chihuahua; Mexico mining-related disease; natural uranium; Chihuahua; Mexico
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Lerma-Treviño, C.; Rubio-Arias, H.; Colmenero-Sujo, L.H.; De Lourdes Villalba, M.; Ochoa-Rivero, J.M. Indoor Radon Gas (222Rn) Levels in Homes in Aldama, Chihuahua, Mexico and the Risk of Lung Cancer. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1337.

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