Why is Radon a Risk for Lung Cancer?
Radon is inhaled and can be exhaled before it starts the decay process. Radon has a half-life of 3.8 days. Radon decay products inhaled can get lodged in the lungs by sticking to the lungs mucous and mucous membranes. It is these decay products that emit alpha particles which give off gamma and beta radiation. These alpha particles pummel lung cells which can cause both physical and chemical DNA damage which may result in lung cancer.
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Image courtesy of EPA’s A Citizens Guide to Radon