How Serious Is the Radon Problem

Radon gas, science
Radon gas

We might ask what serious problems Radon can cause. Radon is a constant chemical element, formed through the thorium (a natural occurring radioactive chemical element) and uranium (a heavy silvery white radioactive metallic element) that will degenerate into lead. The two most common radioactive elements on earth are thorium and uranium

Radon is not produced as a commercial product. It is a natural radioactive gas, discharged from the breakdown of uranium in rock, soil and in some instances well water. Radon referred to as the decay product from the chemical elements of thorium and uranium can continue to decay and generate new daughters for tens of millions of years. It is the new formed decay that are solid and stick to surfaces, like dust particles in the air, on paper, plastic bags, paints, building materials and other low set insulations.

Radon is soluble in water and other organic solvents. Radon is considered as a noble gas and does not cause dangerous reactions with other compounds.

Radon escapes into the air and is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas. When the dust particles contaminated with radon are inhaled, they can bond to the airways of the lung and can be responsible for the advance of lung cancer. Radon unlike other intermediate elements of the decay chains is gaseous and easily inhaled. In this age of nuclear reactors, radon a natural occurring element is responsible for the majority of public exposure to ionizing radiation. Radon is the single largest contribution to an individual’s radiation exposure and this can vary from different locations and countries.

Studies have concluded that radon gas can accumulate to a higher concentration in low areas, such as basements and crawl spaces and is now found in some spring water and hot springs.

A dense substance that remains as a gas with radioactive isotopes. A health hazard due to the radioactivity component.

Underground Mine
Underground Mine

Narrow spaces and in particular underground work such as mines, tunnels, and caves are more susceptible to higher levels of radon. Average homes have a overall lower than average radon concentration than any underground site. Uranium and ore mines have higher than average exposure amounts of radon and can be classified as hazardous.

Radon trickles into the atmosphere and can build up to an unhealthy exposure.

Radon is a radioactive gas and has now been declared as the second largest source of lung cancer. As radon travels through the air, and when high levels of exposure to radon are experienced the radioactive gas can lead to serious health issues. Studies have shown a link between breathing in high levels of radon and lung cancer. It is now established as the second largest source of lung cancer, after cigarette smoking. It is a fact that Radon does affect non-smoking people.

Radon is generally used to initiate and influence chemical reactions from surface reactions. It is obtained from pumping gases off a solution of a radium salt, which will prompt a gas mixture fusion of hydrogen and oxygen. Water and carbon dioxide are removed by absorbing and freezing the radon.

Inhalation is the primary exposure of radon and ingestion of radon is not ruled out. Ingestion of radon from water is considered more serious than inhalation of the gas.

Several tests have been done to alert homeowners to radon levels. Apparently, there are no symptoms that alert a person to the existence of radon. It is a fact that it can take years of exposure to radon before any problems will arise.

Radon is a national environmental health problem. Radon has been discovered in every state of the USA and it is estimated that millions of homes have elevated radon levels. There are no known safe levels of radon, and there will always be some element of risk.

Several natural home maintenance actions can ensure your home is slightly more protected from radon gases and the sealing of cracks in floors and walls can reduce the risk. Home testing kits are available in most hardware and retail stores.

It is the incredible ongoing studies of cancer that have made a difference to understanding the dangers of radon and alerted this realization to the public. Over the past years, the tests done on underground miners have made a significant contribution to the knowledge of radon.

By Laura Oneale

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