All you need to know about the deadly carcinogen Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is very deadly. Unfortunately, there is lack of awareness when it comes to the risks and threats posed by radon as not many people have the required knowledge and information. This article aims to provide a thorough and comprehensive knowledge about the origin, sources, mechanism as well as the hazards of radon.

  • Origin:

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive element which means that it occurs in nature and cannot be produced artificially or by using commercial; means. It is chemically inert in nature and belongs to the class of noble gases It exists in the form of a gas. Being inert by nature means that radon does not readily make bonds with other elements which explain its extraordinary stability. Actually, the basic reason for the formation of bonds between elements is to attain stability by completing either the duplet rule or the octet rule. These rules refer to the completion of the outermost shell in the atom of an element. As radon is already a member of the natural gases its outermost shell is already complete, and it has no tendency to bond naturally.

  • Health Hazards Related to Radon:

radon gas is extremely difficult to detect because of its discrete characteristics, therefore, it is termed as a silent carcinogen. It claims around 40,000 lives in America each year in the category of lung cancer amongst non-smokers.

  • Sources:

The most common sources of radon are the disintegration of radioactive elements such as Radium, Polonium, Thorium and Uranium. When these elements undergo radioactive decay they produce a part of radiation as well as quantities of radon. Another significant source of radon production is the breakdown of radon itself. When radon breaks down it produces radiation that releases energy and a part of elements that are called the radon daughter elements.

Although it has been discussed earlier that radon cannot be produced commercially or by any artificial means yet the careless handling and the improper handling of radioactive waste also contributes to the production of radon. When radioactive matter or waste is not handled properly and the standard protocol is not followed, it continues to disintegrate and releases radon. This source may contaminate the air if the waste is left uncovered and will poison the water body as well as most of the times commercial waste is dumped into oceans and seas.

  • Mechanism Of Radon Poisoning:

There are two ways that radon gas makes its way into the human body. Either it enters through the nose when a person breathes in radon poisoned air over an extended time or it makes its way into the human body through the mouth when water that has radon gas dissolved in it is utilized for drinking purposes.

Once it enters the human body it starts to collect there and is accumulated in the human body. Here is disintegrates releasing small packets of energy that damage the organs and make them prone to developing cancer.