Radon exposure has been linked to lung cancer and respiratory diseases. Because granite, which contains uranium which breaks down over millions of years in radon, forms the bedrock in many areas of Maine, Drs JM Hock and C Farah at MIHGH and Dr TC Hess at UMaine teamed up with State of Maine scientists to produce fine mapping of air and water radon spatial exposures across the state of Maine (see Figure on right). This work will provide the foundation for subsequent studies on health risks.
2. Geographic disparities in respiratory diseases in Maine
Maine has among the highest rates of respiratory diseases in the US. Drs JM Hock and C Farah at MIHGH and Dr HD Hosgood at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) collaborated to determine whether there is a non-random spatial pattern in the rates of non communicable diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (including emphysema and chronic bronchitis) and communicable diseases (including upper respiratory infections and pneumonia) across Maine, using Maine Hospitals Data Organization data. Data have been presented at national meetings and are being written up for publication.
3. Geographic disparities in lung cancer in Maine
Maine has among the highest rates of lung cancer in men and women in the US. Drs JM Hock and C Farah at MIHGH formed a team with Dr HD Hosgood at NCI, Dr C Black at Dartmouth Medical Center and Maine Cancer Registry Director, Dr M Schwenn to investigate whether there were geographic patterns to different forms of lung cancer across Maine that might explain the high risk for lung cancer in Maine. Data have been presented at national meetings and are being written up for publication.