Radon gas is a chemical element with symbol Rn and atomic number 86. It is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas. It is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that could cause lungs cancer; it is a health hazard.
It is a naturally occurring radioactive gas released from the normal decay of the elements uranium, thorium, and radium in rocks and soil which could cause cancer; making it a health hazard.
Radon gas is often the single largest contributor to an individual’s background radiation dose, but the level of exposure is dependent on local differences in geology; the level of the radon-gas hazard differs from location to location.
Prevalence of radon gas in the atmosphere
Radon occurs naturally as an intermediate step in the normal radioactive decay chains through which thorium and uranium slowly decay into lead; radon itself, is a decay product of radium.
Thorium and Uranium are two of the most common radioactive elements on Earth, and their isotopes have very long half-lives, on the order of billions of years; radon being a product of the decay chain will be present in nature long into the future in spite of its short half-life as it is continually being regenerated.
Radon in homes
Radon can enter homes through cracks in floors, walls, foundations, and accumulate indoors. It can also be released from building materials, or from water obtained from wells that contain radon. Levels of radon can be higher in homes that are well insulated, tightly sealed or built on soil rich in the elements uranium, thorium, and radium. Basement and first floors typically have the highest radon levels because of their closeness to the ground.
Indoor air radon gas testing
Testing is the only way to know if your home has elevated radon levels. It is inexpensive and easy. You can buy a test kit at most hardware stores or hire someone to do a test. Radon reduction systems can bring the amount of radon down to a safe level. The cost depends on the size and design of your home.
Radon gas testing methods:
Radon gas can be tested using either the passive or active test device.
- Passive testing device
- Do not need power to function
- Include charcoal canisters, alpha-track detectors, and charcoal liquid scintillation devices that are exposed to the air in your home for a specific amount of time and are then sent to a laboratory for analysis.
- Active testing devices
- Require power to function.
- Continuously measure and record radon in the air, making radon spikes and dips more apparent.
- Include continuous working level monitors and continuous radon monitors.
- May include anti-interference features that reveal if the unit is moved during testing.
- Generally considered to be more reliable than passive radon devices.
- Normally used only by home inspectors and air quality professionals.
Arterial blood test for radon gas
- Complete blood count (CBC):
A CBC measures the number and quality of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. A CBC is done to get some basic information about your overall health before any treatments start.
- Blood gas analyzer:
Blood gas analyzers can be used to detect the level of radon gas in the blood. See Sample records for blood gas analyzers through this link.
Radon mitigation cost
A radon mitigation is a necessary step designed to reduce radon concentrations in the indoor air of a building, thereby reducing the risk of developing lungs cancer.
The cost of making repairs to reduce radon is influenced by the size and design of your home with other factors. Most homes can be fixed for about the same cost as other common home repairs, like painting or having a new hot water heater installed. The average cost for a contractor to lower radon levels in a home is about $1,200, although this can range from $800 to about $2,000. Your costs may vary depending on the size and design of your home and which radon reduction methods are needed. (National Radon Program Services)
See more facts about Radon gas here