“radon” is a colorless, odorless and tasteless element that belongs to the class of noble gases. Its discrete characteristics make it nearly impossible to detect the presence of radon and one must take help by utilizing radon detection tests. It is also termed as a deadly carcinogen and is also known as the silent killer. The lack of information and knowledge about radon and its characteristics and properties is listed as one of the major causes of carelessness and ignorance that can cause deadly, irreversible consequences that might even lead to death.
- Characteristics of Radon:
Radon is a colorless, odorless as well tasteless. It has the atomic number of 86 and an atomic mass of 222 atomic mass units. It is highly radioactive in nature and commonly exists in a gaseous state. It occurs naturally and belongs to the class of noble gases in the periodic table.
- Reactivity and Stability of Radon:
Radon is an inert gas which means that it is highly stable. The reason for its stability is the complete outermost shell and subshells of radon. Its outermost shell satisfies the octet or the duplet rule. Due to this stability radon does not readily make bonds with other elements. The reason behind the formation of bonds between the elements is to complete the outermost shell by losing the extra electron, gaining an electron or sharing the electron pair or a single electron depending upon the nature of bonds. Since radon already has a complete shell it does not react with other elements. Hence radon is always found in its purest form.
- Sources of Radon:
The most common source of “Radon” that is also responsible for contributing to its abundance and stability in its amount in the atmosphere is the radioactive decay of other elements that themselves are highly radioactive in nature such as Uranium, Thorium, Radium and Polonium.
These elements undergo decomposition that produces a part of daughter elements that lead to the production of radon and the other part is radiations. Although radon occurs naturally and cannot be produced artificially or by commercial means yet there is a source of radon that is not natural. This source of radon is the mishandling and carelessness when it comes to the processing and handling of radioactive material and waste. The processing of radioactive waste is basically done to deactivate it and hinder its capability to decay or react so that it is no longer active. When not done properly the elements are not deactivated and keep on producing radon.
- Sites for the Presence of Radon:
Radon is present in the atmosphere as well as in the water bodies. However, the significant concentration and amount of “Radon” is present in the water bodies present underneath the surface of the earth. The reason behind this is that the radioactive elements that produce radon are present deep underneath the surface of the earth. The radon produced as a result penetrates and dissolves in the water level.