Health risks in children

While radon presents the aforementioned risks in adults, exposure in children leads to a unique set of health hazards that are still being researched. The physical composition of children leads to faster rates of exposure through inhalation given that their respiratory rate is higher than that of adults, resulting in more gas exchange and more potential opportunities for radon to be inhaled.

The resulting health effects in children are similar to those of adults, predominantly including lung cancer and respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia While there have been numerous studies assessing the link between radon exposure and childhood leukemia, the results are largely varied. Many ecological studies show a positive association between radon exposure and childhood leukemia; however, most case control studies have produced a weak correlation. Genotoxicity has been noted in children exposed to high levels of radon, specifically a significant increase of frequency of aberrant cells was noted, as well as an “increase in the frequencies of single and double fragments, chromosome interchanges, [and] number of aberrations chromatid and chromosome type.

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