The Indoor Radon Problem

Douglas G. Brookins, Author Columbia University Press $90 (229p) ISBN 978-0-231-06748-5
After cigarette smoking, naturally occurring indoor radon seems to be the nation's second leading cause of death from lung cancer--some 20,000 victims per year, according to estimates. Brookins's primer sounds a clarion call to action on a widespread health problem of which the public is largely unaware. Radon, an inert, radioactive gas, is released by trace uranium and thorium present in soils and rocks. It decays into isotopes of lead, bismuth and polonium--silent killers. Some well waters are also high in radon. Seeping into homes through cracks, joints, pipe fittings and building materials, radon and its isotopes slowly kill people who may not realize the buildup in their dwellings. Geology professor Brookins of the University of New Mexico covers detection and elimination methods, health effects and guidelines for home buyers, sellers and builders. Regrettably, his extremely dry, textbookish approach may keep this important manual from reaching an audience. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/17/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
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