GENERAL KNOWLEDGE

WHICH NOBLE GAS IS RADIOACTIVE AND IS PRODUCED AS A DECAY PRODUCT OF URANIUM AND THORIUM

  • A. Argon
  • B. Krypton
  • C. Radon ✓
  • D. Neon

 

The answer to the question is: C. Radon

The noble gas that is radioactive and is produced as a decay product of uranium and thorium is radon.

Radon is a radioactive noble gas with the atomic number 86 and the symbol Rn.

Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas that occurs naturally as an indirect decay product of uranium or thorium. It is one of the heaviest gases and is considered to be a health hazard due to its radioactivity.

Radon is formed by the radioactive decay of radium-226, which is a decay product of uranium-238. Uranium-238 undergoes a series of radioactive decays, eventually producing radon-222. Similarly, thorium-232 also undergoes a series of decays, leading to the production of radon-220. These isotopes of radon are radioactive and can pose health risks when inhaled.

Radon is known for its ability to seep into buildings from the ground, particularly in areas with high concentrations of uranium or thorium in the soil and rocks. Once indoors, radon can accumulate to levels that pose a risk to human health. Prolonged exposure to elevated levels of radon has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer, particularly among smokers.

In terms of its chemical properties, radon is a noble gas and belongs to Group 18 of the periodic table. It is the heaviest noble gas and is chemically inert under normal conditions. However, its radioactive nature sets it apart from other noble gases.

Radon’s radioactivity makes it an important consideration in environmental and public health studies. Efforts to monitor and mitigate radon exposure in residential and occupational settings are crucial for minimizing the associated health risks.

Radioactivity: Being radioactive means that radon undergoes radioactive decay, emitting alpha, beta, and gamma radiation. This radiation can damage lung tissue when inhaled, increasing the risk of lung cancer. Long-term exposure to elevated levels of radon is considered one of the leading causes of lung cancer, particularly among non-smokers.

Health Risks: The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified radon as a Group 1 carcinogen, indicating that it is known to cause cancer in humans. Prolonged exposure to high levels of radon has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer, making it a significant public health concern.

Detection and Mitigation: Given its potential health risks, detecting and mitigating radon exposure is crucial. Specialized testing kits are available to measure radon levels in homes and other buildings. If elevated levels are detected, mitigation measures such as improved ventilation and sealing cracks can be implemented to reduce radon concentrations.

Regulatory Measures: Many countries have established regulations and guidelines for acceptable radon levels in residential and occupational settings. These measures aim to protect individuals from excessive radon exposure and promote public awareness of the associated health risks.

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