CAS ID #: 14859-67-7, 10043-92-2
Affected Organ Systems: Respiratory (From the Nose to the Lungs)
Cancer Classification: NTP: Known to be a Human Carcinogen
Chemical Classification: Inorganic substances, Radionuclides (radioactive materials)
Summary: Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is odorless and tasteless. It is formed from the radioactive decay of uranium. Uranium is found in small amounts in most rocks and soil. It slowly breaks down to other products such as radium, which breaks down to radon. Radon also undergoes radioactive decay. It divides into two parts-one part is called radiation, and the other part is called a daughter. The daughter, like radon, is not stable, and it also divides into radiation and another daughter. The dividing of daughters continues until a stable, nonradioactive daughter is formed. During the decay process, alpha, beta, and gamma radiation are released. Alpha particles can travel only a short distance and cannot travel through your skin. Beta particles can penetrate through your skin, but they cannot go all the way through your body. Gamma radiation can go all the way through your body. Radon is no longer used in the treatment of various diseases including cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and ulcers. Radon is used to predict earthquakes, in the study of atmospheric transport, and in exploration for petroleum and uranium.
Toxicological and Health Professionals
Succinctly characterizes the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for a hazardous substance.
Quick reference guide providing information such as chemical and physical properties, sources of exposure, routes of exposure, minimal risk levels, children's health, and health effects for a substance.
Prioritization of substances based on a combination of their frequency, toxicity, and potential for human exposure at National Priorities List (NPL) sites.
Medical Education and Training
Self-instructional publication designed to increase primary care provider's knowledge of a hazardous substance in the environment and to aid in the evaluation of potentially exposed patients.
- Page last reviewed: March 3, 2011
- Page last updated: March 3, 2011
- Content source: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry