Question

The most significant source of natural radiation is radon-222. 222Rn, a decay product of 238U, is continuously generated in the earth’s crust allowing gaseous Rn to seep into the basements of buildings. Because 222Rn is an a-particle producer with a relatively short half-life of 3.82 days, it can cause biological damage w’hen inhaled.
a. How many a particles and particles are produced when 238U decays to 222Rn? What nuclei is produced when 222Rn decays?
b. Radon is a noble gas so one wrould expect it to pass through the body quickly. Why is there a concern over inhaling 222Rn?
c. Another problem associated with 222Rn is that the decay of 222Rn produces a more potent α-particle producer that is a solid. What is the identity of the solid? Give the balanced equation of this species decaying by α-particle production. Why is the solid a more potent a-particle producer?
d. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that 222Rn levels not exceed 4 pCi per liter of air. Convert 4.0 pCi per liter of air into concentration units of 222Rn atoms per liter of air and mole of 222Rn per liter of air.


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  • CreatedMay 05, 2015
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