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Chemistry LibreTexts

Chemistry of Radon (Z=86)

  • Page ID
    35426
  • Radon is a colorless, odorless gas, the primary source of indoor air pollution. It sinks in air because it has a high density as is therefore often found in the basements of homes, particularly in areas where with a lot of shale and boulders in the soil. Radon results from the radioactive decay of radium in the soil, and it further decays to produce radioactive daughters including polonium and lead. Radon gas, along with decay products that can attach to dust and airborne particles, enters the lungs and decays, producing alpha and beta radiation that damages DNA and causes lung cancer.

    Contributors and Attributions

    • Boundless
    • Stephen R. Marsden