Radon-The Real Culprits Identified

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When radon decay products are inhaled they will stick to sensitive lung tissue. Being short-lived, they will break down while they are in the lungs, thereby exposing the lung tissue to radiation.

When radon decay products decay, they release alpha, beta and gamma radiation. It is actually the alpha radiation (in the form of particles) from the two radon decay products – polonium 218 and polonium 214 – that are the most hazardous.

The alpha particles, that come from the decay of radon decay products, will impact the sensitive lung tissue. In most cases they will kill the lung tissue cell, which can be replaced by the body. However, the alpha particles can impact the DNA, or create a chemical reaction that will affect the DNA. When this occurs the cell can become mutated.

This is the mechanism by which prolonged exposure to radon and radon decay products can increase the potential of lung cancer.

Please see this chart with the complete Radon decay chain.

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