Radon is a naturally occurring gas that seeps out of rocks and soil. Radon comes from uranium that has been in the ground since the time the earth was formed, and the rate of radon seepage is very variable, partly because the amounts of uranium in the soil vary considerably. Radon flows from the soil into outdoor air and also into the air in homes from the movement of gases in the soil beneath homes. Outside air typically contains very low levels of radon, but it builds up to higher concentrations indoors when it is unable to disperse. Some underground mines, especially uranium mines, contain much higher levels of radon
Radon is known to be a radioactive gas that originates as a result of the decay of uranium under the ground. It has been pointed out that extended exposure to this gas can pose a serious threat to a person’s health.
Exposure to radon gas can often occur at home as well as in public buildings. This gas can enter the home as a result of the soil that is present beneath the home, the construction materials as well as water. Listed below are some of the health hazards of the exposure to radon gas.
Lung Scarring Effect Of Radon Gas Exposure
Exposure to Radon gas can result in the scarring of the lungs that often results in disorders such as pulmonary fibrosis and silicosis. When the lungs get damaged, the lung tissue hardens which results in the inability of the lungs to expand properly. The lung tissue, when healthy can easily expand, and is compared to a sea sponge.
However, if the tissue is damaged, the inhaling of oxygen becomes difficult. It has been stated that shortness of breath and dry cough are the most common symptoms of this condition. The diseases which cause the hardening of the lung tissue cannot be reversed but progress continually with time. It can be treated to an extent by administering corticosteroids as well as other immune suppression therapies. However, if the person remains unresponsive to all these treatments, a lung transplant is the last option for the patient.
Emphysema Effect Of Radon Gas Exposure
Continuous exposure to the radon gas can result in the thickening of the lung tissue and emphysema as well. Emphysema is actually associated with the destruction of the air sacs of the lungs. There are several symptoms of this condition which may include shortness of breath, wheezing as well as coughing, which is known to worsen with time.
This condition can be treated with inhaled steroids as well as supplemental oxygen. Special care must be taken for a person suffering from this condition in conjunction with other conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, as it can result in the symptoms getting worse, if they have not been treated for this condition properly.
Lung Cancer Effect Of Radon Gas Exposure
According to several studies, it has been pointed out that radon is known to be the second leading cause oflung cancer. It has also been stated that an increase in the levels of radon in the home can increase a risk of a person developing lung cancer. If smoking is combined with the exposure to radon, the risk of developing this disease increases further.
Lung cancer, which is caused due to radon exposure, is known to kill 20,000 people each year. When the radon gas enters the lungs, the radon decay particles get deposited on the lungs before the gas is exhaled out again. The radioactive decay which takes place because of the deposited particles is known to cause lung cancer. This cancer is known to be one of the most serious kinds of cancer, which is associated with the lowest survival rates.