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PA’s lung/bronchus cancer and radon maps

By: Julia Wiegand


Pennsylvania has one of the most serious radon problems in the country. Our state’s geology puts us at risk to higher exposure. The map shown below shows the significant difference between observed and expected cases of lung and bronchus cancers by County Pennsylvania Resident Data and SEER Data from 2009-2013.

cancer-mapsCounties color-coated in red represent significantly higher than expected results, yellow representing not significantly higher, and blue representing significantly lower.

Pennsylvania hosts five nuclear power plants in the following counties: Beaver, Dauphin, Luzerne, Montgomery, and York.

Four of these five counties show up significantly higher than expected for both male and female. However, it’s not nuclear power that’s increasing Pennsylvania’s lung and bronchus cancer cases.


This map shows the predicted contribution to basement radon concentration from geologic unit, county, and well-water factoring in building type, test type, test duration, season, average temperature, and average rainfall. The hotter the color, the hotter the exposure is in those counties. The same four out of five counties show high levels of radon in those areas.

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