The Danger of Randon

1564 Words Feb 21st, 2018 6 Pages
Radon gas can be found deep within the earth’s crust all the way up to your home’s basement. It lurks in closed off spaces and can be detrimental when inhaled. Devices to detect and measure radon levels can be used to help monitor its presence, and methods to help alleviate abundant amounts can be put into effect to ensure the safety of your home and workplace.1
It all began back in the year 1900. German Physicist Friedrich Ernst Dorn discovered radon.2 It was thanks to the works of Madame Curie and her husband, Pierre, that Dorn was able to stumble upon such a significant finding. The Curie’s, who had discovered polonium and radium, had observed that when radium is exposed to air, the surrounding air becomes radioactive. This phenomenon was further investigated by Friedrich Dorn who subsequently discovered that radium, in fact, produces a gas when it breaks apart and escapes into the atmosphere.1,3 Originally Dorn had coined the term “radium emanation” for this newly founded gas. Among other names that were tossed around were “niton”, meaning “shining” in the Latin vocabulary, but by 1923, the official name was changed to radon. 1,2 Radon, a result of natural radioactive decay of radium, originates from the decay of uranium and thorium. 4 It has an atomic number of 86 and is listed in the noble gas family on the periodic table. Sir William Ramsay, a Scottish chemist, determined the correct placement for radon in the periodic table. Its chemical…

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