Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sF, November 1996

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this report deals with a toxic gas "radon" witch is a great problem in the world causing thousands of deaths every year do to lung cancer none


Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive element that can be found in soil, underground water, and outdoor air. Some of the properties of this gas include being odorless, tasteless, and colorless. The concentrations vary throughout the country depending on the types of rocks that are found in the soil. Exposure over prolonged periods of time to radon decay products has been associated with an increased risk of lung cancer.(3) The EPA describes an elevated concentration as being at or above their suggested guidelines of 4pCi/l (pico Curies per liter, used as a radiation unit of measure for radon). Exposures below this level may create a risk of lung cancer, farther reductions to lower levels may be too difficult or even impossible to achieve.(4)

Radon enters buildings through: exposed soil in crawl spaces, through cracks, openings in floors, and through below grade walls and floors. This is the primary source of elevated radon levels in buildings.(5) Outdoor air contains radon, but it is in extremely low concentrations therefore it is not a health hazard. Some wells contain water that has radon dissolved in it. This can be a hazard if the water is agitated or heated, allowing the gas to escape and elevate the levels that are in the building.(6)

Health Risk

The Surgeon General's office reports that indoor radon gas is a national health problem. This gas causes thousands of deaths every year.(7) These deaths are a result of lung cancer, which is caused by the radioactive particles that make up the gas.(8) The likelihood of getting lung cancer from radon depends on: the concentration that you are exposed to, the amount...