Radon is one of 92 naturally-occurring chemical elements. It is constantly produced by the radioactive decay of Uranium, which is found in geological formations in every state.
Radon is one of a small group of elements that is chemically inert. This group includes Helium and Neon, for instance. Radon is odorless and colorless. When Radon or its radioactive decay products is inhaled, the radioactive decay particles produce severe damage to the surface of the lungs. Because Radon is chemically inactive, it is difficult to trap or eliminate from the air in a house.
Radon can be measured by a number of methods. The most widely used measuring device is a small canister containing one ounce or more of activated charcoal. The canister is opened in the room being tested and left for from two to seven days. The charcoal accumulates Radon from the air by a process called adsorption. At the end of the exposure period, the charcoal canister is sent to a Radon processing lab for analysis.
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