General Public's and Physicians' Perception of Health Risk Associated with Radon Exposure in the State of Azad Jammu and Kashmir


Muhammad Rafique, Department of Physics, University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Muzaffarbad 13100, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. E-mail:


ABSTRACT Objective: To conduct a radon awareness survey to examine the level of awareness and risk perception of indoor radon exposure among the general public, medical students, and physicians of the state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, given that long-term exposure to indoor radon increases lifetime risk of lung cancer and may pose a substantial threat to public health.

Design: Cross-sectional survey. Sample: households by telephone (500), interviews with menial laborers (200), questionnaires to shopkeepers and government employees (1,000), undergraduates (200), social science graduates (1,500), science graduates (1,500), medical students (325), and physicians (100). Measures: familiarity with radioactivity and the nature and health hazards of radiation and radon. Analysis: Significance of data trends was measured using the Kruskal-Wallis test.

Results: About 30% people (excluding medical students and physicians) were aware of radon, and about 6% had knowledgeable awareness of radon. About 80% of the medical students and physicians had heard about radon and about 30.5% of them had knowledgeable awareness about radon and its hazards.

Conclusion: The study suggested a positive relationship of awareness of radon and its hazards with the educational level of people.