Radon is a natural gas, without any odor and completely colorless. It is formed during the decay of uranium, which for natural reasons can be found in rocks, soil and water. It is proved to be extremely dangerous if ingested by living organisms and in addition, it is impossible to detect without special equipment because neither people nor animals are able to somehow feel it on their own. That’s why it is very important to detect, measure and mitigate radon timely to avoid negative consequences. Various radon certification programs provided online can help you get necessary knowledge and skills on how to do it.
The danger of radon on people health
The invisible gas radon, which produces alpha particles, is a tangible threat to human health and is by no means harmless. Physicians have calculated that the biological effect of alpha particles on the cellular tissues of the body has a 20 times greater destructive effect than beta particles or gamma radiation. According to researchers from the United States, the ingestion of radon isotopes and their decay products into the human lungs leads to lung cancer. According to scientists, radon inhaled by a person initiates local burns in the lung tissue and is the sixth on the list of causes of cancer that causes death. The researchers note that the effects of radon on the body are especially dangerous in combination with the habit of smoking. It is noted that smoking and radon are the two most significant factors in the occurrence of lung cancer, and when they act together, the danger increases dramatically. The results of observations were recently published, and it was concluded that due to the effects of internal alpha radiation on the human body in the United States, about 20 thousand people die of lung cancer every year. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified radon as a Class I carcinogen. Understanding the level of danger, many companies are running radon certification courses to prepare the specialists who are able to deal with this problem.
Methods for analyzing and monitoring the radon environment, considered in radon certification courses.
There are a great many methods for analyzing the activity of radon and thoron, and each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. Those that meet the following requirements have found practical application: simplicity of the technique, short measurement time with acceptable analysis accuracy, minimum cost of equipment and consumables, and the lowest costs for personnel training. To date, the following methods of monitoring of radon and its decay products are used by radon measurement technicians who have passed radon certification exam:
- Sorption (absorption) of radon from the environment by activated carbon. It is carried out by pumping the test air at a certain speed through a column of coal. At the end of the measurement process, the initial properties of activated carbon can be restored by calcination.
- Instead of an activated carbon column, special disposable filters can be used as consumables. The isotopes of radon and its decay products settle on the filters in the same way that a household vacuum cleaner traps dust and small debris in a fabric bag filtering the air.
- There is also a method of electrostatic deposition of radon daughter products on a detector that is sensitive to alpha radiation. In this case, the effect of electrostatic force is used, which attracts dust particles and microdroplets of air aerosols, concentrating them on the detector.
After collecting the samples, they are examined by means of dosimetric control, using, for example, spectrometric analysis, a plastic scintillation detector, a Geiger counter, and the like. In some devices, the operation of air intake with radon and the evaluation of radioactive radiation occur simultaneously.