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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Random question - does radon gas have any impact on frogs? Most home have radon fan systems to bring it to safe levels for humans but is this something that could affect frogs more acutely?
 

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Dendrobates tinctorus "Patricia"
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I'm confused. Your profile shows you in the USA, and, um, we don't normally have radon fans in houses here, as radon gas is not a concern. Are you using a VPN for international site access (which is fine)?

If your area is safe for humans, it's probably safe for your pets too.
 

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Radon gas is definitely a concern in the US.

 

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I'm confused. Your profile shows you in the USA, and, um, we don't normally have radon fans
New houses in some areas of the US have radon fans. It's a thing in the North East, where I grew up. It is not so much an issue the the South East, where I live now.

But, like you wrote if it is safe for people I assume it is safe for frogs.
 

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Radon fans seem to be an effective mitigation strategy, but if you’re seeing unexplained tumors in your frogs, or are concerned about your own health, you can buy a mail-in test (which I have recently done while purchasing a new house). I would be much more concerned about the levels affecting the humans in the house rather than the frogs, personally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Lol at thinking im not in the US because of a radon question. More than half of the US is in the 2-4 range in which EPA recommends a radon system. 6million+ homes over 4. If you havent yet it is recommended for everyone to at least look at a heat map of affected areas and if your location is in the moderate or higher areas doing a cheap radon test to see if it is a concern or not.
 

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My best friend (in the US) has a newborn in the house which requires a Radon system... I would think if it's safe for babies it's safe for frogs

I just closed on a house last week in NY and we had to have a radon test completed before closing as part of the home inspection. Which was required to take out the mortgage.

My friends house actually didn't have the system before he bought it. As a result of the inspection, the Radon test popped positive and the seller had to install the system pre-sale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Not concerned for my health have really low levels <1 more just wondering how radon affects frogs in general as they seem to be more sensitive to pollution with huge increase in risk of abnormalities (mostly water pollution but air pollution as well). There are many things perfectly safe for humans that can negatively impact frogs.

So just more of a general question about if there is anything out there about radon gas and frogs. I assume if it did impact them negatively it would just be small decrease in life or something similar to air pollution affects. But maybe radon is not really considered a pollution for them.
 

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Dendrobates tinctorus "Patricia"
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Lol at thinking im not in the US because of a radon question. More than half of the US is in the 2-4 range in which EPA recommends a radon system. 6million+ homes over 4. If you havent yet it is recommended for everyone to at least look at a heat map of affected areas and if your location is in the moderate or higher areas doing a cheap radon test to see if it is a concern or not.
I don't live in the Eastern US, so I've literally never even heard of this. Where I live, we have to build not for radon, but for earthquakes and soil liquefaction concerns. And for the possibility of 100° temps 8 months out of the year. 🤷‍♀️

Different regions, different hazards I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not just eastern US, take a look at the map. Everything orange and red is considered potentially dangerous. Though every house is different so would have to do a test to verify.
I was reading an old thread about people smoking in their houses (i dont smoke just bored and reading random posts here) and it made me think about radon as it is one of the main causes of lung cancer. How many of you smoke near your frogs?

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Typically people will develop cancers from radon many years post exposure.
It's my understanding that high radon levels are primarily related to lung cancer and not much else. So not cancers, but really just lung cancer.

but if you’re seeing unexplained tumors in your frogs
I don't think radon exposure would necessarily result in unexplained tumors.

But, like you wrote if it is safe for people I assume it is safe for frogs.
This is an interesting thought, but I think it is usually not good to assume. Different biological makeup and vastly different sizes often mean different reactions - the question would be whether the differences are significant enough? I would think that a much smaller animal would be more affected by such things. But due to the need for prolonged exposure to see cancer develop in humans and the shorter lifespan of the frogs, who knows?

A quick search doesn't show any results specifically for amphibians, but I imagine that it is not very well researched at all - radon is really only a concern in enclosed spaces such as houses. There are lots of other problems - I did find this pilot project hoping for further study in bears - https://aarst.org/proceedings/1991/1991_25_Radon_and_Its_Effect_on_Den_Dwelling_Wildlife.pdf, but there are many difficulties - tracking for the lifetime of the bear, measuring radon levels in the den, determining cause of death, etc.
I did find some stuff suggesting cats and dogs are more susceptible as their lungs are smaller, but couldn't find links to the research behind such statements.

just wondering how radon affects frogs in general
Based on all this, I doubt there is a satisfactory answer.
 

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Not just eastern US, take a look at the map. Everything orange and red is considered potentially dangerous. Though every house is different so would have to do a test to verify.
I was reading an old thread about people smoking in their houses (i dont smoke just bored and reading random posts here) and it made me think about radon as it is one of the main causes of lung cancer. How many of you smoke near your frogs?
My house has a radon mitigation fan in it. We used one of those tests that Harpspiel referred to and it came out just into the moderate zone so we had the seller of the house add the mitigation system before we moved in.

The smoking thread reminds me that my boss at a fish store I worked at (over 30 years ago...sheesh) used to sells homemade smoke filters for fish tanks. They consisted of a 6" length of tubing filled with activated carbon, ends stuffed with filter floss, and run in-line with the air pump. Laughable, looking back on it.

Mark
 

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This is probably a numbers game (or rather volume). The reason radon causes lung cancer is because of the huge amounts of air we breathe (around 10 000 litres per day), which in turn allows many radioactive radon atoms to inflict possible damage. The typical latency period for developing cancer is 5 -15 years.
If you "translate" this to frogs and assume they have the same relative lung size as humans and the same oxygen needs (which I am sure they do not), a frog that weighs 5 grams needs about 0.6 litres of air per day. In a frog- lifetime (10 years) this amounts to about 2200 litres. In 10 years a human has gone through 36 500 000 litres...
For this reason alone, I do not think radon is a problem for dart frogs.
 

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, a frog that weighs 5 grams needs about 0.6 litres of air per day. In a frog- lifetime (10 years) this amounts to about 2200 litres. In 10 years a human has gone through 36 500 000 litres...
For this reason alone, I do not think radon is a problem for dart frogs.
If you are going to use relative size as a point it would be prudent to keep in mind the size of dart frogs’ lungs, as it does seem that relative size of lungs matter in this instance. Even though frogs breathe a smaller volume of air, they would require a much smaller dose of radon to be affected, thus I would think that the amount of air does not matter as much as the concentration of radon.
Of course both are speculation. But usually size does matter (a certain amount of chemical that would harm a baby will likely be less harmful to an adult).
 

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Dendrobates tinctorus "Patricia"
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If you are going to use relative size as a point it would be prudent to keep in mind the size of dart frogs’ lungs, as it does seem that relative size of lungs matter in this instance. Even though frogs breathe a smaller volume of air, they would require a much smaller dose of radon to be affected, thus I would think that the amount of air does not matter as much as the concentration of radon.
Of course both are speculation. But usually size does matter (a certain amount of chemical that would harm a baby will likely be less harmful to an adult).
It's more complicated than that though.

Cancer is is caused by interference with the DNA replication during mitosis that causes a change in a cell's rate of reproduction and/or functionality. The more cells undergoing mitosis at the time of exposure, and the more cancer causing agents present, the greater likelihood of a transcription problem. Larger creatures have more cells, and some fast-growing creatures have faster cell replication, both increase susceptibility to cancer formation, because both have more cells dividing than an organism that has comparatively few cells or slow rates of cellular growth. Lifespan also affects probability of cancer formation, because there are more opportunities for transcription errors over a longer period. Transcription errors can also randomly occur in any division instance, adding a whole extra layer. Immune systems also matter, because most organisms have an immune response designed to destroy imperfect cells since errors during cell division are a natural occurrence, so cancers only actually form if the cells with faulty DNA evade the immune system long enough to replicate.
 

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as much as we love our frogs, I think some posts are out of proportion here. If there is a cancer risk in your environment for whatever reason you should worry about your family and yourself. The frogs, with all respect should be way down the priority list then.
 
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