Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon is odorless, colorless and tasteless. It is a naturally occurring radioactive gas resulting from the decay of radium. Radon in turn breaks down into radon decay products and these decay products, either free or attached to airborne particles, are inhaled where they further decay in the lungs.
It is the emission of high-energy alpha particles during the radon decay process that increases the risk of lung cancer. When radon decay products are inhaled and deposited in the lungs, the alpha emissions penetrate the cells of the epithelium lining the lungs.
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