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What does it look, feel, taste, or smell like?
Radon is an invisible, odorless gas. You can't see, smell, or taste it.
How was it discovered?
Radon was discovered in 1900 by Friedrich Ernst Dorn. Dorn originally called the gas "radium emanation". The gas was later called "niton", and, in 1923, it became "radon". It was named after the element radium.
Where did its name come from?
Radon was named for radium, another element, which decays (breaks down) into it.
Where is it found?
Radon makes up a small part of the air. It naturally comes up from the ground. It is released from the decay of uranium in rocks and soil. Radon is created when radium in the earth's crust decays.
What are its uses?
It is used to treat some forms of cancer, and is also used in earthquake prediction.
Is it dangerous?
Radon is highly radioactive. Based on studies carried out by the National Academy of Sciences in the United States, radon is the second most common cause of lung cancer, after tobacco smoking. Homes need to be regularly tested for it.