National Radon Action Month

Jan 1, 2020
Every chemical is made of some combination of elements of the Periodic Table.

While not all chemicals are hazardous, proper care should be taken to learn the benefits and risks of each one you interact with.

What is Radon?

Appearance

Radon is a colourless and odourless gas. It is chemically inert, but radioactive.

Uses

Radon decays into radioactive polonium and alpha particles. This emitted radiation made radon useful in cancer therapy. Radon was used in some hospitals to treat tumours by sealing the gas in minute tubes, and implanting these into the tumour, treating the disease in situ. Other, safer treatments are now more commonly used.

In some places, high concentrations of radon can build up indoors, escaping from the ground or from granite buildings. Home testing kits are available which can be sent away for analysis.

Biological role

Radon has no known biological role. It is, however, thought that it may have had a significant role in evolution. This is because it is responsible for much of the Earth’s background radiation that can lead to genetic modifications.

Natural abundance

Radon is produced naturally from the decay of the isotope radium-226, which is found in rocks. It was first discovered as a radioactive gas produced from radium as it decayed. There is a detectable amount in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Living Healthy & Green

The EPA wants Americans to know that a big part of “living green” is breathing clean, healthy indoor air. One of the best ways to protect our families’ health is to get radon gas out of our homes. It is the environmentally responsible choice that can help reduce lung cancer.

Since radon enters homes from under the ground, living healthy and green starts from the ground up. By kicking radon out of homes every family can have safer, healthier air to breathe.

EPA developed Living Healthy & Green to educate the public about how easy it can be to kick radon out. The following campaign features former NFL kicker Fuad Reveiz, now a home builder who uses radon-resistant construction and encourages others to do the same.

Retired NFL Player Chester Pitts tells homeowners about the dangers of radon

Learn more about the National Radon Action Month of January with the EPA.