Radon is a noble and radioactive gas produced naturally by decaying of radium present in the ores of uranium and rocks. As it is an inert gas, it does not produce any hazardous effects, but on radioactive disintegration alpha, beta and gamma particles are produced. Gamma particles are dangerous and can travel through the human body. It is an odourless, tasteless, highly toxic, invisible gas which is fairly soluble in water and organic solvents, seeps into the ground and from the ground it spread into the surrounding atmosphere. The Radon gas when released through the ground, diffuses into the atmosphere in the diluted form therefore, causes no harm. But in homes, it is found in more concentrated form and can be highly toxic to the health of the family members as, most of the houses and apartments have been constructed over the top of the radon producing rocks. On breaking down on radon gas it is converted into radioactive substances and releases energy which on absorbed by tissues, can destroy the DNA and thus elevated the risk of cellular damage and lung cancer. There is not a safe level for radon gas so, it’s long term effects on indoor air and increases the chances of cancer. By switching to healthy diet one can reduce the risks of several health related problems caused by the exposure of radon gas. Examples of such foods are- Broccoli, cabbage, green leafy vegetables, beet-root, kale, Brussels sprouts, green tea, dry fruits, seafoods, fruits, vitamin C and supplements of zinc and selenium. Now the question is how this toxic gas enters into the houses and changed the quality of indoor air? The air pressure in the soil is higher than that of indoor air pressure and this difference in concentration of air pressure is the easiest way for radon gas to enter into the house if there is any crack in the floor, walls, window casements, construction joints, gaps around the pipes, floor drains. The difference in air pressure varies from a house to house, the level can be analyzed by go through radon test because testing is the only best way to analyze the radon level in the indoor air, as there are no such signs to give an indication about the exposure. There are two methods for analyzing the percentage of a radon are- a radon test kit method, and by hiring a certified professional from a testing lab for conducting a radon test for at least 3 months. Radon gas testing was conducted in different industrial polluted cities of Haryana like Faridabad, Rewari, Gurugram (Gurgaon), Yamuna Nagar, Ambala, Panipat and Jagadhari. It was done because of the climatic conditions; it is very hot during summers and markedly cold in the winter season. The radon concentration is lower during rainy season and greater in winter than in summer because the ventilation and the exchange of air become very poor in winters. Limestone, slate stone, dolomite, building stone, china clay and marble are found in Haryana and at some places graphite and quartzite are also found. Further, Mountain and Shivalik hills are present in the north and southwest Haryana respectively, which can be a great source of radon gas.
If a high percentage of radon is evaluated in indoor air then these precautions should be taken
- A regular maintenance of the house is required by sealing all the cracks and holes in the walls, floors, around pipes and drains to avoid the health issues.
- Proper ventilation is important because the exchange of internal air is beneficial in reducing the radon level.
- By installing a pump that is used to withdraw radon gas from the from below the concrete flooring before it can admitted into the house.
Spectro Analytical Labs have fully accredited facilities for chemical and quality testing of indoor and outdoor air containing toxic pollutants. It also provides training and assistance in this regard.