Radon is a colourless, odourless and tasteless noble gas. It is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. Radon gas is produced as a result of the decay of radioactive elements such as uranium and radium. Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer outside of smoking.This article will talk about the common myths and facts related to Radon gas. It will help you clear your doubts regarding the noble gas. Read on it to know more.
Myths About Radon Gas
1. Myth – Radon Is Not Dangerous
Most of the people believe that Radon is not dangerous. It poses no harm and hazard to the health of humans.
Fact: Radon Is Hazardous To Health
Talking about the reality and tests and researches, Radon poses a great danger to your health. It is a radioactive gas which is emitted from the decay of radioactive elements such as uranium, radium etc. Long-term exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer as well.
2. Myth: Radon Is Not Found In Every Home
It is believed that Radon is found only in certain homes. Radon does not exist everywhere but only in certain places.
Fact: Radon is found everywhere
Radon is gas which is found everywhere. Due to its colourless and odourless nature, it is difficult to be identified. Every house has Radon and it only differs by the level of Radon present in the houses. Some houses have high levels of Radon whereas some have low Radon levels.
3. Myth: Radon Problems Cannot Be Solved By You At Home
It is widely believed by people that Radon problems cannot be solved without taking the bits of help of professionals.
Fact: Certain Radon problems can be solved at home
The easiest way to reduce the Radon level at home is to open the windows and allow fresh air to come in. This will reduce the Radon level of your house. It is not necessary every time those professionals are needed for every small problem related to radon.
4. Myth: Radon Tests Are Expensive And Time Taking
People think that taking radon tests can be expensive and time taking on their side. It will waste a lot of their time and money.
Fact: Radon test can be performed quickly and are not expensive
Radon tests can be performed very quickly and you also need not spend a fortune. If you choose a simple preliminary test, it would not cost you more than $15. There is a wide range of radon test kits available from which you can choose as per your need. Cheaper test kits might be less accurate but will give you a rough idea of radon levels. The time which is taken ranges between 2 days to one week which is not that time-consuming.
5. Myth: Radon Levels In My Neighbour’s House Reflect My Home’s Radon Levels
It is the most common among all the myths. If my neighbour has high radon levels in his house that means my house also has a high radon level.
Fact: Radon level is different in each house
It is not necessary that the Radon level of your neighbour’s house reflects the radon level in your house. The level of radon in a particular house depends on the soil structure on which it is built. Your neighbour’s house which is built on the same soil only cannot indicate the radon level in your house. It can happen that radon enters your home through basements which are cracked or unsealed which might not be the case in the house next to your house. The Radon level in your house can be higher or lower than that in your neighbour’s house.
6. Myth: Water Radon Tests Should Be Conducted By Everyone
People believe that they should conduct water Radon tests at their homes. These tests should be carried on by everyone.
Fact: It is not necessary for everyone to conduct Radon tests for water
The need for the test arises due to the source through which you are receiving water. If your house has a public water supply then authorities might have already taken the tests for Radon in water which is being supplied into your house. Radon tests are advisable in case you have a personal water supply system such as well. Water radon tests are recommended to be taken after air Radon tests. This is because the Radon present in the air poses more danger to your health than ingesting it from water.
7. Myth: Radon Is Present Only In The Basement Of Houses
A large part of the general population believes that Radon is present only in the basement of houses. It is not present anywhere else in the house.
Fact: Radon is present everywhere
Radon is a gas which has the ability to seep through anywhere. Radon is 9 times heavier than air due to which its abundance is more in the basement of the houses. This does not mean that Radon is not present anywhere else.
8. Myth: It Has Been More Than 10 years Of Us Living Here, No Need For Radon Tests Now
Many people do not give importance to Radon tests if they have been living at a particular place for a long time. If nothing has happened to them in this duration they feel that there is no such need of it.
Fact: Radon tests are required no matter how long you have been living in your house
Radon does not affect a person immediately. Long-term radon exposure can lead to lung cancer or other health hazards. Therefore, taking radon tests are required in order to prevent the levels of Radon from rising if there are any.
9. Myth: Radon Is Found Only In Houses
It is widely believed that Radon is found only in houses and not in buildings, schools, malls or other places.
Fact: Radon is present in every building and structure
Radon is a gas and by the virtue of it, it is present everywhere. The only difference is the level of Radon present at a particular place. Radon is present in every home, building, schools, malls or public infrastructures, only its level varies.
10. Myth: Radon Is Found Only In Some Parts Of The Country
Most people think that Radon is present only in some parts of the land. So if they do not live in that area of the land, they need not worry about radon presence.
Fact: Radon is found in all parts of the country, only the level varies.
Radon is found in every part of the country. It can be an exception that some places have a high level of Radon while others have a low level of Radon. This does not mean that the low-level Radon areas are not dangerous.
Facts About Radon Gas
Before we begin with the myths, we want you to be aware of some basic details and facts about radon.
1. In the table of elements
You should be aware of the basic details of Radon. Talking of the periodic table, it states the following characteristics of radon.
Element name: Radon
Atomic Number: 86
Atomic Weight: 222
Element group: Noble gas (Group 18)
2. It’s Abundance
Radon is present everywhere in the air, only the quantity varies. Radon is present in the earth’s crust as well. Radon is present with a density of 4 x10-13 milligrams per kilometres. Radon is also nine times heavier than the air.
The Unit used for measuring the level of radon is picocuries per litre – pCi/L. The acceptable level of radon in your house is less than 4 pCi/L. If the level is higher than this, it poses a danger to your health.
4. Into Its Chemistry
One of the densest gases, it is 9 times heavier than air. Being a noble gas, it has a stable electronic outer shell. Due to this, it does not readily form, chemical compounds. It is considered chemical inert and monatomic.
5. About Freezing It
The freezing temperature of radon gas is −96 °F or −71 °C. When the gas is cooled below this point, it emits a bright light that changes from yellow to orange or red as the temperature is lowered.
6. The Figures
Among non-smokers, radon has emerged as the leading causes of lung cancer. About 21000 deaths are caused due to Radon exposure. One among every 15 houses has been recorded to have the presence of radon in more than the acceptable level.
7. Discovering The Gas
The German Chemist Friedrich Ernst Dorn is credited with the discovery of Radon gas. He discovered the gas in 1900. The new gas was discovered by him while he was studying the radium’s decay chain.
Clearing myths and knowing the facts is essential not only for Radon but for everything which affects you. If you continue to follow any myth and rely on it, it can be harmful to you as well as your family. Hope this article made all the myths clear related to radon gas. Radon exposure can be hazardous for you and your family. In opposition to the common myths, radon can be very harmful.