What is Radon?
Health problems can be caused by several factors, including environmental factors such as the use of specific building materials. Various building materials such as asbestos, granite, and Italian tuff contain high concentrations of radium-226 that can be a source of radon migration indoors and potentially cause lung cancer.
Among many sources of natural radiation, Radon gets attention to adverse effects on human health. Nature issues natural substances that are carcinogenic. Radon (Rn) is one of them. Those who are exposed to radon will increase the risk of developing lung cancer.
According to The U.S, Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA ) sources Radon radiation causes 20,000 deaths from lung cancer in the USA. The cause of lung cancer number 2 after smoking is Radon. If the level of radon four pCi / L or more EPA recommends the house or building repaired. Because there is no known about safe levels of exposure to radon, So the EPA also suggests that the home or building be restored if the radon content is 2-4 pCi / L.
Currently, Average indoor radon levels at home in the USA are 1.3 pCi / L. There are no known safe levels of exposure to radon, the EPA also recommends that the house or building be repaired if the radon content is 2-4 pCi / L.
Average indoor radon levels at home in the USA are 1.3 pCi / L, and Average outdoor radon levels in the USA are 0.4 pCi / L. Radon formed ionizing radiation and proven causing health problems such as lung cancer.
A radon level of 4 pCi / L in a family house is exposed to radiation as much as 35 times more than would allow by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission if the family stands beside the fence where radioactive waste is. (25 mrem limit, 800 mrem exposure). Most of the US EPA lifetime safety standards for carcinogens are set on 1 in 100,000 death risks. The risk of death for radon at four pCi / L is about 1 in 100, and the Most scientists agree about that. Radon carries about 1000 times the risk of death like other EPA carcinogens, At the level of the four pCi / L EPA guidelines. Let ‘s learn more about radon.
A. Definition of Radon
1. A layman’s Description
What is Radon? Maybe most of us rarely hear it, or this is the first time you hear the word. Therefore, let us discuss together, so that our knowledge of all elements of chemistry especially Radon, becomes increasing. Radon is a substantial component in the periodic table that has the image Rn and nuclear number 86. You can not see, smell or taste radon. Radon exists in almost all environments. One of the impacts of Radon gas is the cause of the emergence of lung cancer. In people who inhale radon with high levels of increased risk of lung cancer.
The effects of cigarettes and radon are synergistic, so smokers exposed to high concentrations of radon will have a higher risk of lung cancer and even more astonishing is that cigarettes have radon gas. In fact, smokers do not realize that as long as they smoke, they have been exposed to the radiation of one of the natural radioactive gases, the radon gas found in the tobacco leaf. This natural dangerous comes from phosphate (P) fertilizer which is fertilized on tobacco leaves so that the radon gas accumulates in tobacco. So smokers will be susceptible to lung cancer because radiation from the radon gas can enter the lungs.
2. A scientific description
Ernest Rutherford, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson Born on August 30, 1871, in Spring Grove, Brightwater, New Zealand. Radon is a highly radioactive gas element discovered by Ernest Rutherford in 1899. This discovery was also credited to the German physicist Friedrich Ernst Dorn in 1900. Friedrich Ernst Dorn (July 27, 1848 – December 16, 1916) was the first German physicist the last time radioactive was given the name Radon, radiated from radium. More specifically, Rutherford discovers alpha radon radiation and Dorn discovers that radium releases gas.
Radon is an inert gas but not chemical and colorless. The radius of the atom is 1.34 angstrom, and it is the heaviest-known radon gas, and it is nine times denser than air. Radon is also quite soluble in water and organic solvents. Radon is not sufficiently inert and forms a stable molecule with a highly electronegative material. Although the reaction with other compounds is relatively rare.
Radon occurs in several forms of isotopes. In the human condition, just two found in noteworthy fixations: radon-222 and radon-220. Radon-222 is an individual from the radioactive rot chain of uranium-238. While Radon-220 is formed in the thorium-232 decay chain. In the process, Radon-222 decays in a radionuclide sequence called radon decay product, radon daughters, or radon progeny. The most easily occur in the environment is radon-222. The radon-222 atmospheric release results in the formation of decay products which are heavy metal radioisotopes (polonium, lead, bismuth) and rapidly attach to other materials in the air such as dust and other elements that facilitate inhalation.
b. Benefits of Radon
Radon has some functions. For example, is used as a source of neutrons and has a role in predicting earthquakes. But the primary use of radon is in the treatment of radiotherapy for cancer. This is ironic, because radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, as well as causing lung tissue damage that can develop into pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema.
In some spas, Radon has been used for alleged medical effects. Radon has a function to initiate and influence chemical reactions and as surface labels in surface reaction studies. It has been obtained by pumping the gas from a radium salt solution, triggering a mixture of gases to combine hydrogen and oxygen, removing water and carbon dioxide by adsorption, and freezing radon.
c. Radon Production
Radon is a natural radioactive gas that can not be seen, smelled, or felt and can only be detected with specialized tools and it is a natural poisonous gas and comes from a physical breakdown (radioactive decay) of uranium. It is not produced as a commercial product.
EXPOSURE: Radon exists in almost all environments. In people who inhale radon have high levels of increased risk of lung cancer. The main routes of human potential exposure to radon are inhalation and ingestion.
Radon in soil, groundwater, or building materials enter the workspace and living space and disintegrate into its decay products. In groundwater, The high concentrations of radon may contribute to exposure to radon through ingestion. Usually, it is more critical the inhalation of radon that released from water.
D. Radon Sources
Where is radon found? Besides in the environment, radon is found indoors or inside the house. The condition and shape of the house/residence or office building is very influential on the presence and concentration of radon. Radon gas levels in closed rooms that have little air ventilation such as houses, apartments, and underground tunnels are rated several times higher than in free air.
Let’s Compared with levels in the open air, humans in the airspace are limited, especially in the underground work area such as mines and buildings, exposed to high radon concentrations and decay products. Average home radon concentrations are generally much lower than average radon concentrations in underground ore mines. In some occupations, Workers are exposed to radon. The level of radon decay products in underground tunnels is now usually less than 1000 Bq / m3 EEC Rn (about 28 pCi / L).
The fact we find in countries with available data. Underground uranium mineworkers are presented to the most significant amounts of radon and decay products and other underground workers, and sure mineral processing workers can also be detected to a considerable degree. Typically, radon will be reduced to homes or rooms with adequate ventilation. Radon can enter the room at home or building through cracks, cracks in construction joints, floor slits, pipe gaps, and well water holes. The incoming radon is then trapped inside the room of the house or building. Usually, the air pressure inside our house is smaller than the soil pressure, causing the radon gas to be pushed to the surface. In normal environmental conditions, of course, we can not see, smell and feel it, but can cause problems in our homes. This is what we need to be aware.
E. Test for Radon
Should you test radon? I think this is the best idea. You can find long term radon test kit in the market. You only know the radon level of your home just with Testing. You will not feel the presence of radon. It usually takes years of exposure before surface problems. The US EPA, the Surgeon General, the American Lung Association, the American Medical Association, and the National Safety Council estimates that as many as 8 million homes across the country have high radon levels. Surveys show that one house in 5 has increased radon levels. So, testing your home for radon is the only way we have.
F. Radon Exposure Prevention
Radon poisoning is a problem for health. There are several steps or preventive efforts that can be done to avoid the risk of lung cancer due to radon radiation in humans. First, need vigilance and thoroughness in selecting and using building materials, especially those derived from mining (asbestos) and gypsum. Second, it is recommended to design a house with thin walls and have a good air ventilation system. Third, reduce the concentration of radon gas in the home or room of a building by putting considerable pressure, among others, by using a fan in every place. Fourth, do not be in a closed room (especially without adequate ventilation) in a long time. Take a moment to get out of the place, to breathe fresh air.