Poison is a substance which produces adverse effects on living organism. It can be in the form of solid, liquid or gas. Radon is radioactive gas which is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. It is a byproduct of decayed radium, a radioactive substance.
Radon is a naturally occurring gas in earth’s atmosphere. Due to its radioactive nature, studies have revealed that inhaling radon is a leading cause of lung cancer after tobacco smoking. Being an element of earth, radon is found everywhere in the soil. But in some areas it is in high level.Normally in outdoor air, radon gas diffuses without causing any trouble to humans.
Presence of radon is high in areas where the concentration of uranium and radium is more in the earth’s crust. In such areas, the gas can percolate in the basement and attics of a poor ventilated house. It is also found in mining shafts and caves.
Symptoms Of Radon Poisoning
There is a simple test to detect the level of radon in homes. This is helpful especially in areas where the gas is in high concentration. If you are living in such area, it is necessary for you to be aware of radon poisoning symptoms.The symptoms of radon poisoning are almost similar to that of lung cancer.
- Cough of long duration, which does not get better with medications.
- Presence of blood in sputum.
- Patient finds difficulty in breathing.
- Pain in chest.
- Recurring respiratory tract infection such as pneumonia, bronchitis etc.
- Hoarseness of voice.
These symptoms are indication of some serious respiratory condition such as lung cancer. In some cases radon poisoning can lead to stomach cancer and other gastrointestinal disorders.
How To Prevent Radon Exposure And Poisoning?
Radon poisoning generally occurs when there is excess built up of radon in homes. The gas gets accumulated in houses if the soil underneath it is concentrated with radon.It can enter the house from cracks in the floors and walls of the house. When there is insufficient ventilation, the gas cannot perfuse in the air. Therefore people living in such areas should have good ventilation system.
Cracks and crevices in and around the house should be sealed to prevent the entry of radon gas from the soil. House owners should keep a radon detection devise in their house. It is not an expensive device. People can also use radon suctioning device from the soil. The half life of radon is 3.8 days. Therefore once the source is eliminated, the hazardous health effect is greatly reduced within couple of weeks.
History Of Radon Gas Poisoning
In 1900, radon gas was discovered by German physicist F E Dorn. He found that when radioactive substance radium decays, it releases radon gas. Later on in 1910, the two scientist named Sir Ramsay and Gray were successful in isolating the gas. They also realized that the gas is heaviest of the all known gases.
It was much later in 1950’s; people came to know about radon poisoning and the bad effects of radon. This was possible when the health authorities found that people suffered from lung cancer in large numbers who worked in uranium mines.