Human lung cancer risks from radon - part III - evidence of influence of combined bystander and Adaptive Response effects on radon case-control studies - a microdose analysis

Bobby E. Leonard, Richard E. Thompson, Georgia C. Beecher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Since the publication of the BEIR VI (1999) report on health risks from radon, a significant amount of new data has been published showing various mechanisms that may affect the ultimate assessment of radon as a carcinogen, in particular the potentially deleterious Bystander Effect (BE) and the potentially beneficial Adaptive Response radio-protection (AR). The case-control radon lung cancer risk data of the pooled 13 European countries radon study (Darby et al 2005, 2006) and the 8 North American pooled study (Krewski et al 2005, 2006) have been evaluated. The large variation in the odds ratios of lung cancer from radon risk is reconciled, based on the large variation in geological and ecological conditions and variation in the degree of adaptive response radio-protection against the bystander effect induced lung damage. The analysis clearly shows Bystander Effect radon lung cancer induction and Adaptive Response reduction in lung cancer in some geographical regions. It is estimated that for radon levels up to about 400 Bq m -3 there is about a 30% probability that no human lung cancer risk from radon will be experienced and a 20% probability that the risk is below the zero-radon, endogenic spontaneous or perhaps even genetically inheritable lung cancer risk rate. The BEIR VI (1999) and EPA (2003) estimates of human lung cancer deaths from radon are most likely significantly excessive. The assumption of linearity of risk, by the Linear No-Threshold Model, with increasing radon exposure is invalid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-461
Number of pages47
JournalDose-Response
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 5 2012

Keywords

  • Non-Linearity Adaptive Response Bystander Effects
  • Radon Case-Control Studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Chemical Health and Safety

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