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  What is radon?

Radon, or radon 222 to be more exact, is a natural, radioactive gas, which is odour-free and colourless. The source of this inert gas is radium, which occurs all over the earth's crust. This metal is in turn created by the disintegration of uranium. The physical period of decay of radon amounts to 3.8 days, the biological just 20 - 30 minutes. This means that half of the radon is eliminated from the human body after this time. No more radon can be detected in the human body a few hours later.
In the discussion about radon-causing risks the issue is not the rare gas himself but about its "daughters":
Radon again decays in series of short-date derivatives (polonium, bismuth and plumb). Partially they can stay in your body, but radon as a rare gas does not coalesce chemical bonds in the organism. The share of derivatives is very low because 1 or 2 percent of radon o­nly decays in the body.
That special biological effect is based o­n extraordinary energy-rich alpha rays developing during decay. Therefore very small doses are enough to take an effect.

  Where does radon occur?

Radon is found everywhere o­n the earth's crust and in the air. Radon levels vary greatly according to the region in question, but are especially high at places where a great deal of rock strata containing uranium occur and where the ground is very gas-permeable. This is the case, for example, in the Erzgebirge Mountains, the Fichtel mountains, the Thuringian Forest, Upper Palatinate and the Bavarian Forest. If spring water is surrounded by a great deal of radon gas in the ground, the water may also contain radon. Radon also occurs in houses and apartments, depending o­n how impervious the subsoil beneath the buildings is.
Every man absorbs natural radioactive substances by breath and food. o­n average everybody in Germany is subjected to a natural radioation of 2,4 mSv (Milli-Sievert) per year. Therefrom the amount of radon is more than the half, that is to say 1,4 mSv. With that dose-unit Sievert (Sv) the biological effect of radiation in the body is measured. That dose depends o­n the type of radiation and frailty of the affected part of the body.
Additionally there is a radioation from civil sources (average 1,6 mSv), that debit is mainly based o­n the medical sector (for example radiographs).

  For which sicknesses is radon therapy advisable?

In the course of experience with radon therapy, which has been documented for almost o­ne hundred years, some types of sickness have emerged, where radon treatment has been specifically effective. These are:

- rheumatic illnesses, primarily ankylosing spondilytis,
but also chronic polyarthritis (rheumatoid arthritis),
arthrosis and particular types of soft tissue
- respiratory tract illnesses, like asthma, bronchial or
chronic bronchitis
- dermatological illnesses like psoriasis and

Radon can not bring help to chronic diseases but contribute essential pain reliefs. To improve durable the quality of life of patients the cure must be repeated every 1 to 3 years.

© 2010 EURADON - European Association radon spas eV