Introduction to Radon

Activity Details
  • Credit Amounts:
    • CME: 3.00
    • Other: 3.00
    • CHES: 3.00
  • Cost: Free
  • Release: May 1, 2020
  • Expires: Dec 31, 2020
  • Estimated Time to Complete:
    3 Hour(s)
  • System Requirements:
  • Average User Rating:
    ( Ratings)
This activity is a relaunch of activity code XES14164. If you have already taken that activity please do not take this one.


Ellen Hahn Ellen Hahn, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor and Marcia A. Dake Endowed Professor
University of Kentucky College of Nursing

Director, BREATHE
Facilitator, UK Markey Cancer Center, Lung Cancer Translational Research Group

Timothy W.  Mullett Timothy W. Mullett, MD
Chief, General Thoracic Surgery
Professor, Surgery
University of Kentucky College of Medicine
Lexington, Kentucky

Needs Statement

Lung cancer is almost totally preventable by eliminating firsthand and secondhand smoking and radon exposure. Exposure to radon, a colorless, odorless gas from the decomposition of uranium in the ground, is associated with an estimated 15,400 to 21,800 cases, or approximately 10% of lung cancer cases in the United States each year. The U.S. Guide to Clinical Preventive Services addresses both lung cancer screening and tobacco cessation counseling approaches, but it makes no mention of measures to avoid radon or SHS, despite the fact that radon and SHS exposure are completely preventable and the second and third leading causes of lung cancer.

Although radon is a risk for both smokers and nonsmokers, more radon-related lung cancers occur in individuals with a history of smoking or exposure to tobacco smoke. There is evidence of synergism between the effects of radon exposure and tobacco smoke exposure on the development of lung cancer. The combination of first and secondhand smoke and radon exposure increases the risk of lung cancer nearly tenfold. If exposed to 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of radon over a lifetime, 7 per 1,000 of those who never smoked would develop lung cancer versus 62 of 1,000 smokers who would develop lung cancer. Among never-smokers, radon exposure may be more harmful for those exposed to secondhand smoke, although there is conflicting evidence on the link between radon and lung cancer in non-smokers. A recent case-only study revealed a gene-environment interaction between low-dose secondhand smoke and residential radon exposure in never-smokers, the GSTM1 null genotype, and risk of lung cancer.

Radon can be detected with a simple test and easily controlled through well-established venting techniques; however, inequities exist in awareness and affordability and access to radon mitigation. As a consequence, the effectiveness of risk-based testing for high levels of radon exposure has proven inadequate and led to a recommendation by the U.S. Surgeon General that all homes be tested for radon. Radon levels greater than 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) are at the action level requiring mitigation as designated by the Environmental Protection Agency. However, households with smokers may be less likely to test for radon than those without smokers, despite the fact that smokers are at greater risk for developing lung cancer from radon exposure than never-smokers.

Target Audience

Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Lung Cancer Screening Providers, Counselors, Social Workers, Certified Health Educators, Students, Radon Awareness Advocates and Educators


Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:
1. Describe how exposure to radon gas progeny increases the risk of developing lung cancer, especially in combination with tobacoo smoke.
2. Discuss the basics of radon exposure, testing procedures, and mitigation.
3. Discuss the laws and policies designed to reduce radon risk.
4. Communicate with patients and families that radon's radioactive decay products may initiate and propogate carcinogesis in the lung.
5. Provide answers for frequently asked questions from patients and the community.
6. Discuss how strategies and knowledge of resources can prompt patient and families to test their homes for radon and mitigate as indicated.


The University of Kentucky College of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 3.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine presents this activity for educational purposes only. Participants are expected to utilize their own expertise and judgment while engaged in the practice of medicine. The content of the presentations is provided solely by presenters who have been selected for presentations because of recognized expertise in their field.

ACGME Competencies

  • Patient care
  • Medical knowledge
  • Practice-based learning and improvement

UK Healthcare CECentral certifies this activity for 3.00 hours of participation.

Sponsored by Department of Public Health, Western Kentucky University, a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. This program is designated for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) and/or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES) to receive up to 3.00 total Category I continuing education contact hours. Maximum advanced-level continuing education contact hours available are 0. 3.00 Continuing Competency credits are available. Provider ID# Provider ID# 105862. Event ID# 61024-E

Faculty Disclosure

No speakers or planners have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

The material presented in this course represents information obtained from the scientific literature as well as the clinical experiences of the speakers. In some cases, the presentations might include discussion of investigational agents and/or off-label indications for various agents used in clinical practice. Speakers will inform the audience when they are discussing investigational and/or off-label uses.

Nurses Only

KBN Credit
This activity is provided by the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, which is approved by the Kentucky State Nurses Association, which is accredited as an approver of continuing education in nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing on Accreditation and the Alabama Board of Nursing. This course is approved for 3.0 KBN hours.

Proceed to Activity

Review Date

This content was reviewed on 4/1/2020

CE Content Concerns


Concerns or complaints related to ACPE or ACCME standards may be submitted in writing to the Director of UK HealthCare CECentral by fax to 859-323-2920, or by mail to 2365 Harrodsburg Road, Ste B475, Lexington, KY 40504


  • The Director or his/her designee will review, investigate, forward and/or respond to complaints and will put forth a best effort to adjudicate the issue(s), along with CECentral staff members, within two (2) weeks of receipt of the grievance or complaint.
  • If needed, concerns, complaints, or grievances will be brought before the UK HealthCare CECentral Advisory Board.
  • Issues regarding activity content also will be reviewed and addressed by the Activity Director.
  • A written decision will be issued in a timely manner by the Director of UK HealthCare CECentral or his/herdesignee.
  • Grievances will be considered when planning future activities.

Appeal Procedure

  • Persons who wish to appeal a decision should address the appeal by email, fax or in writing to the Director of UK HealthCare CECentral within two (2) weeks of receipt of the response.
  • The Director will bring the appeal to the UK HealthCare CECentral Advisory Board.
  • The results of the appeal will be sent to the participant no later than two (2) weeks following the meeting of the board.