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Air Science

Radon gas is a natural gas that derives from the second most abundant element in the earth Uranium. When Uranium degrades, it creates radium, and degrades to radon gas.

Radon is a chemical element with the symbol Rn and atomic number 86. It is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas. It occurs naturally in minute quantities as an intermediate step in the normal radioactive decay chains through which thorium and uranium slowly decay into various short-lived radioactive elements and lead. Radon itself is the immediate decay product of radium.

Radon gas has a half life of 3.8 days, meaning it will decay into other isotopes/elements like lead, polonium, and bismuth. Radon gas being radioactive has three components-alpha, beta, gamma particles. The largest being the alpha particles, such as lead 210, polonium 214, and polonium 218, all of which are known carcinogens. These isotopes can be breathed into the lungs and become attached to lung tissue. Once the particles are attached to lung tissue, they can cause what is known as tracks or small star like scars (damage) in the tissue, which have been discovered to cause lung cancer.

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