Radon is a radioactive gas that arises from the natural radioactive decay of radium, which is a natural decay product of uranium. Scientifically, “radon” is known to be radon-222, the most abundant isotope of the element radon. The terms radon and radon-222 are often used interchangeably when referring to the indoor radon issue. As a noble gas, radon is colorless, odorless and chemically inert and cannot be detected by human senses. Also, since radon is not chemically reactive with most materials, it will move freely as a gas. Radon has a radiological half-life of 3.8 days, and can move substantial distances from its point of origin.
Radon’s primary hazard arises from inhalation of the gas and its highly radioactive heavy metallic decay products (Polonium, Lead, and Bismuth) which tend to collect on dust in the air. The problem arises when these elements stick to the delicate cells lining the passageways leading into the lungs.