Radon is a colorless and tasteless radioactive inert gas. After radon gas formed in cement, gravel and brick, it will release to the air. If human breath in radon, it will destruct the cell structure. Alpha-rays of radon can induce cancer. Radon is one of the 19 carcinogens identified by WHO, just behind smoking. Major sources of radon are the fracture of inorganic building materials and underground geological structure.
Indoor radon gas increase the risk of lung cancer, just behind smoking. Radon is one of the common indoor air pollutants listed in the Indoor Air Quality Information Center of Hong Kong. Building materials are the main source of indoor radon, such as granite, brick, cement and plaster etc, especially with radioactive elements of natural stone, the most likely to release radon. Radon gas enters the building’s ground, floor, or higher unit from walls, floors, or through cracks or voids in the ground. Radon climbed to a serious level in some offices and homes in Hong Kong.
Carcinogens in home decoration – Stone
Stone is not only durable. It is also very convenient for construction and maintenance. Thus, many people in Hong Kong are using stone. However, we ignore the problem of radon. Radon is radioactive. It will hide in the ground, stone, building materials. It released particles which polluted air. If human breath in, it will precipitate in the respiratory tract which can cause lung cancer. For some granite materials imported from South Africa and India, its radon spill rate is hundred times higher than general concrete. We must be careful and avoid to use red granite.
“There is no safe dose of radiation, even a small amount can harm,” says Pauling, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962. “The cell membrane is exposed to low levels of radiation for a long time, The total dose, the damage came easier.
As radon is colorless and tasteless, we can only use special equipment or monitor to measure its concentration. In Hong Kong radon is measured in units of Bq / m³ (becquerels per cubic meter). The average outdoor radon concentration in the United States is 15 Bq / m³. The US National Academy of Sciences estimates that about 20,000 fatal cases of lung cancer each year are caused by radon inhalation. The higher the concentration of radon in the environment, the higher the chance of suffering from lung cancer. For every 100 Bq / m³ increase in radon concentration, the chance of developing lung cancer is 16% higher.
If there is inadequate ventilation in indoor environment, radon will stay and accumulate. The concentration is certainly higher than outdoor. There is no safety level for radon, because the safest situation is that there is no radon, but this is not possible because radon will naturally produce. As a result, most health agencies, including the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Agency (EPD), use 150 Bq / m³ as the indoor standard for radon. If the indoor radon concentration is higher than 200 Bq / m³, improvement works will be required to avoid health damage.
Methods to reduce radon impact:
- Increase ventilation and open windows.
- Use of air purifiers. Reduce indoor dust and suspended particles in air.
- Avoid nailing in the walls which constitute cracks and increase radon exudation.
- Not smoking because it will increase the toxicity of radon.
Corentium 224 Digital Radon Monitor
Corentium 224 is the market’s latest and most advanced electronic radon detector. It is battery-powered and allows you to monitor the average radon level in your home, school and office. Compared to traditional laboratory equipment, it is more convenient and easy to use. ± 5% accuracy, Corentium 224 is now the most accurate handheld electronic radon monitor in the market.
The Corentium monitor is guaranteed for one year and in normal home use, it requires no annual calibrations throughout its useful life, estimated at over 10 years.
Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless inert gas. It is also considered as a carcinogen. It is a radioactive byproduct of uranium (Uranium) decay and exists in most geological structures. It is one of 92 self-generated elements, not artificial pollutants.
Radon is the decay of uranium from soil and rock. It is a natural radioactive gas with a half-life of 3.8 days. The carcinogenicity of radon is classified as Group 1 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and classified as Category I carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IRAC).
In other words, radon is a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer, only second to smoking. This radioactive radon is invisible, cannot smell and taste. It can appear in any place. It can be accessed from the ground into any type of building, including homes, offices and schools. Its degeneration products attached to the dust in the air. When you inhale radon and radioactive particles, radon and its decay products continue to decay in your lungs. They emit alpha particles that can cause mutations in cells that cause lung cancer.
Radon is usually found in outdoor areas because it is a gas that can not be seen, smelled, or tasted, and it can enter your living environment without knowing it. Especially in poor ventilated places.
Soil under the house is the main source of indoor radon. As radon is water-soluble, if your home’s drinking water comes from your own well, when you use water, radon dissolved in water may release into the environment. Although this is not common, some building materials may also release radon.
The impact of radon on human health had attended gradually in the 80’s. When the radon decays, it will adsorb by the dust in the air and disseminate high-energy alpha particles. These particles will be trapped in your lungs when you breathe in. They will then damage the lungs, causing lung cancer. In the United States, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about 2 million people in one year suffer from lung cancer death from inhaling too much radon, more than the number of people killed by drunk driving.
They continue to evolve in the lungs and release more particles. These small high-energy particles collide with lung tissue, leading to lung tissue damage, to some extent will lead to lung cancer. Not every person exposed to high concentrations of radon environment will immediately suffer from lung cancer. It may take several years before outbreak. The health risk of smoking as exposure to the radon environment at the same time is absolutely high.
According to the study, children are at greater risk than adults for some radiation-borne cancers, but there is no definite data to show that radon is also present.
About unit of radon concentration
- pCi/L ：Picocuries Per Liter.
- Bq/m³：Becquerel per cubic metre.
They are units of radioactivity. 1 pCi / L = 37 Bq / m³.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that if your home has long-term levels in excess of 4 pCi / L (150 Bq / m³), corrective action needs to be taken to reduce radon levels. The Hong Kong and Canadian radon guidelines recommend that corrective action be taken to reduce radon levels if the long-term level reaches 200 Bq / m³ or higher. China GB GB / T18883-2002 “Indoor Air Quality Standard” stipulates that the indoor radon concentration should be ≤ 400 Bq / m³.