Wednesday, April 8, 2015

RADON - What You Should Know (ONE Radon atom can trigger Lung Cancer!)

I decided to make this post because I recently heard about a man from Meza, Arizona, who passed away from brain cancer and also lung cancer (and his brother also died of brain cancer). I was so sad to hear that he had died, he was an inspiration to many people.

Whenever I hear about someone having lung cancer, my first thought is, does this person live in an area where there are high levels of Radon? I am far from being an expert on all toxins in the water, but one of the few things I do know is that Radon (even in an extremely small amount) is known to cause lung cancer... and I just learned it also causes brain cancer as well.

I looked up Meza's water report in the EWG database, and the levels of Radon in Meza water were so high I gasped (I've gasped about 8 times while looking up toxin levels in various water reports, over the last 2 months, and that was one of those times). They were higher than any level of Radon I had ever seen, since I've been researching this stuff. I'm not saying they couldn't be higher in other places, but that was the highest level I had seen myself. It's true, I wasn't looking for radon in other peoples' water reports, but I had seen it on other reports and it was never that high.

This is what Mesa's level is (below). The amount of Radon in Mesa's water is was detected at 178 times the proposed health limit.  It sounds hard to believe, but this dangerous toxin is legal at any level.  You can see Meza's water full report on EWG's site, here. Please note that this report is for the years 2004-2009.  EWG is a non-profit that does not have the funding to do water reports for every zip code, every year, so I am very grateful that they did this at all.

RADON IS NOT LISTED AT ALL, on Mesa's current public water report, because water companies are not required to test for it.  It is true, I have no idea if the water still has Radon in it. For all I know it could be gone but... it's not an easy thing to remove, so my guess is, it's still in the water.

You can see Mesa's current water report, from Mesa Water, by clicking HERE. To their credit I have to say I am at least impressed that they have a 2014 report available online. Many water reports I've looked up are not only difficult to find, but when I do find them they are 2 or 3 years old. 

Radon81.39 pCi/L
268.8 pCi/L
1.5 pCi/L
Legal at any level

A couple of months ago I had read that just ONE atom of radon can cause Lung Cancer. That's right. One atom. I'm pasting the information I read, below, from this article.

A Single Radon Atom Can Cause Lung Cancer

Carcinogens cause random damage to the chromosomes and DNA molecules contained in the nucleus of the cell. Most of these cells are either killed or sterilized. However, in a very few cases, one of these damaged cells may survive the injury and still be capable of reproducing. Such a cell may begin to proliferate in an undifferentiated or "cancerous" manner. Most cancers are of monoclonal origin, that is, they originate from damage to a single cell.
Even a single alpha particle can cause major genomic changes to the cell's DNA, including mutation and transformation. Since these effects take place in a random manner at the cellular level, there is no such thing as a "harmless" dose. Even allowing for a substantial degree of cell repair, the passage of a single alpha particle has the potential to trigger cancerous growth of cells that it does not kill outright.

Does Radon Cause Other Diseases?

It is generally assumed that inhaled radon gas is quickly exhaled and has little time during its circulation through the body to deposit its radioactive products in human organs, tissues, or bones. However, the story may be more complicated. Some scientists believe that radon dissolved in the blood may cause additional diseases beside lung cancer. In addition to the gas, one-third of the inhaled radon decay particles also pass through the lungs into the blood stream and then, get trapped. 
As we breathe in through the skin, the air also carries radon gas. Some studies suggest that the radiation dose to the basal layers of the skin is high with a consequent risk of skin cancer.
Radon gas is soluble in lipids and accumulates in lipid tissue throughout the body with the highest concentration in the brain, bone marrow, and nervous system. But none of its heavy metal daughters are soluble in the lipids and consequently, remain trapped in the brain and bones, where they continue to emit gamma radiation and alpha particles. Several studies indicate that radon also causesleukemia ("cancer of the blood") and other types of cancers.
Researchers at the University of North Dakota discovered that the presence of radioactive radon daughters in the brains of non-smoking persons with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease was 10 times (!) greater than it was in the brains of persons with no previous evidence of neurological disorders. Interestingly, the geographic distribution of Parkinson’s disease mortality is considerably higher in states with a greater radon potential.
Animals exposed to high concentrations of radon progeny display beside lung carcinoma emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, and a shortened life span.
Nevertheless, the risk of other cancers or diseases is much lower than that of lung cancer. The National Academy of Sciences estimates that radon ingested with water causes about 20 stomach cancerdeaths per year, which is 1,000 times fewer than from lung cancer. Since the radiation dose to other organs is much smaller than from radon decay products deposited in the bronchial epithelium, ICRP estimates the cancer risk to other organs at about 2% of the lung cancer risk.

Possible Genetic Damage

Ionizing radiation causes random damage to the chromosomes and DNA molecules contained in the nucleus of the cell, including genetic mutations that may affect future generations. Substances having a carcinogenic effect also have genetic and teratogenic effects. Damage to the DNA of reproductive cell, e.g. gamma irradiation of sperm, can lead to genetic deficiencies in the offspring, and if an embryonic cell is damaged, the normal development of the fetus can be disrupted.
In areas of high natural background radiation, an increased frequency of chromosome aberrations has been observed. "Any individual dose, however small, is able to produce gross malignancies and deformities if it is administered to a sufficiently large population."
(Source: Dr. Gordon Edwards - Estimating Lung Cancers)

Here's another article on Radon, which was taken from this page.

Can Radon Put You at Risk for Brain cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease?

In a study conducted at the University of North Dakota, researchers discovered that the concentrations of radioactive radon daughters in the brains of non-smoking persons with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease averaged about 10 times greater than in the brains of persons with no previous evidence of neurological disorders.  Professor Glenn Lykken and Dr. Berislav Momcilovic assert their study demonstrates that indoor radon gas has the capacity to irreversibly infest the brain with the poisonous progeny of radioactive heavy metals.

Recently revised EPA risks assessments estimate 21,000 Americans die annually from radon induced lung cancer, 150% higher than their 1994 estimate.  However, scientists are increasingly suspicious that radon may be linked to disease in other parts of the body as well.

When inhaled, radon gas accumulates in lipid tissue throughout the body with the highest concentration in the brain, bone marrow, and nervous system.  Additionally, one-third of the inhaled radon decay products (radioactive particles produced when the gas decays) pass from the lungs into the blood stream indicating that the gas does not flow quickly in and out of the lungs, but lingers in the body.

Previous studies at UND determined that radon is rapidly absorbed into the body through the lungs, it accumulates in the cranium resulting in increased gamma ray emissions from bismuth-214 (one of the radioactive radon decay products) and altered EEG signals.

While radon is a lipid-soluble gas that can move freely in and out of the brain despite the blood-brain barrier, none of the transmuted heavy metal radon daughters are soluble in the lipids, meaning they remain trapped in the brain where they emit gamma radiation and alpha particles resulting in both radiation and chemical injury to the brain cells.

Of keen interest was the unexpected discovery that the radioactivity selectively accrues to the brain proteins in the Alzheimer’s victims and to the brain lipids in the Parkinson’s victims.  This pathognomonic distribution was inferred to reflect the increase of local chlorine availability to which to which the radon daughters bound selectively.

Once present, the most likely candidate for radiation injury appears to be the highly radiosensitive astrocytes rather than the more radio-resistant neurons, which do not divide.  Other studies have indicated the astrocytes may be involved in Alzheimer’s disease and the amyloid deposits and neurofibrillatory tangling observed with Alzheimer’s may well reflect the response to radiation injury of the astrocytes.

An estimated 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, the number having doubled in the last 25 years. An estimated 1.5 million Americans have Parkinson’s disease with 60,000 new cases diagnosed each year.

Radon mitigation not only protects health, it also helps to keep basements dry and air conditioning costs low by greatly reducing entry of water vapor from the soil.

Interestingly enough, the geographic distribution of Parkinson’s disease mortality is considerably higher in states with a greater radon potential, according to research by D.J. Lansak of the University of Kentucky and published in the Journal of Neurological Sciences.

For further information about the study see Visit the Alzheimer’s Association’s Internet site ( ). Visit the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s Internet site ( ). You may contact: Professor Glenn I. Lykken at the University of North Dakota by phone (701) 777-3519 or E-mail: .
Radon is measured in picoCuries

A picoCurie is 0.000,000,000,001 (one-trillionth) of a Curie, an international measurement unit of radioactivity. One picoCurie per liter (pCi/L) means that in one liter of air there will be 2.2 radioactive disintegrations each minute. For example, at 4 pCi/L, EPA’s ‘Action Level’, there are approximately 12,672 radioactive disintegrations in one liter of air, during a 24-hour period.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Research findings published in Archives of Neurology (Aug. 18, 2003) predict that the prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease will increase 70 percent by 2030 affecting more than 7.7 million people. This increase is the result of the rapid growth of the 85+ age group, the vast majority of who are women (63 percent).
Radon is a primary source of harmful radiation exposure for humans; it decays in a cascade of daughters (RAD) by releasing the cell damaging high energy alpha particles. The ubiquitous environmental RAD exposure, and high RAD accumulation in the sensitive brain structures may either induce or hasten or both the irreversible “shut down” process of the ailing human brain in AD.

Ten Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Memory loss: dementia such as forgetting things more often and not remembering them later.

Difficulty performing familiar tasks: May forget the steps for preparing a meal, using a household appliance, or participating in a lifelong hobby.

Problems with language: Forgets simple words or substitutes unusual words, making his or her speech or writing hard to understand.

Disorientation to time and place: May become lost on their own street, forget where they are and how they got there, and not know how to get back home.

Poor or decreased judgment: May dress without regard to the weather, show poor judgment about money, giving away large amounts of money, or paying for unneeded home repairs or products.

Problems with abstract thinking. When balancing a checkbook, they could forget completely what the numbers are and what needs to be done with them.

Misplacing things: Putting things in unusual places: an iron in the freezer or a wristwatch in the sugar bowl.

Changes in mood or behavior: Show rapid mood swings — from calm to tears to anger — for no apparent reason.

Changes in personality: Confusion, suspicion, fearfulness, or over-dependence on a family member.

Loss of initiative: May become very passive, sitting in front of the television for hours, sleeping more than usual, or not wanting to do usual activities.

If you recognize any warning signs in yourself or a loved one, the Alzheimer’s Association recommends consulting a physician. Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other disorders causing dementia is an important step in getting appropriate treatment, care, and support services.

For more information please visit:


If you live in an area with high levels of Radon, please be sure you ALWAYS filter your water, both in your shower and on your faucet.  Use the best filter you can buy!  I am a big fan of Kangen water because it helps to alkalinize the body, which is said to create an environment which is less favorable to cancer. However, I also believe that there is no such thing as a "cure" (or at least, you can't rely on one thing to work for everyone). I think the best you can do is do your best to create a very unfavorable environment for the cancer, supply your body with the right nutrients and lots of oxygen, and also try to remove as many toxins as possible, from your environment.

Laura Ellen