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Tuesday, December 21, 2004

What a surprise

I am often flabbergasted by the reporting of studies that prove something patently obvious to those with a modicum of mental processing power. From the BBC in this article that RADON GAS LINKED TO CANCER DEATHS as the headline pronounces.

Now really? So let's think about this. Radon - which is a naturally occuring radioactive gas (also one of the 'noble' gasses iirc), which particularly occurs in granite areas, is linked to an increased risk of cancer. Well gee, I think we might have figured that out.

In fact, when we read below the headline we find out that this is particularly concerning lung cancer. Now, I really have to question the article here, because it starts comparing non-smokers to smokers, but we already know that smokers have an increased risk of lung cancer. A far more accurate comparison would be smokers not living in higher radon areas, and smokers that are. That may in fact be what the study did, but the article does not seem to make that clear.

Now, although the end result of the study is patently obvious I realise it is important to be able to quantitify these things as much as we can - but the reporting! Sheesh.

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