RADON IN THE WATER
Man and his environment are constantly exposed to the effects of ionizing radiation. Most of this radiation comes from natural and artificial radionuclides and the biggest radioecological problem is the 222Rn radioactive gas. Natural radioactivity comes from unstable radioisotopes that were present during the formation of the Earth, and are present today. According to the research by UNSCEAR(United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation) it is estimated that the radiation dose, which comes from natural radionuclides and to which man is exposed, is 2.4 mSv per year. Natural sources of radioactivity are cosmic radiation and Earth’s crust that contains primordial radioactive elements including those that are sources of radon (uranium). Radon is a natural inert radioactive gas without smell and taste. It is soluble in water and can easily diffuse with the gaseous and aqueous phase and in this way forms significant concentrations. The techniques and methods most commonly used to detect and determine the activities of radon in water are alpha spectrometry, gamma spectrometry and measurement techniques on a liquid scintillation detector. Throughout epidemiological studies, the World Health Organization has provided convincing evidence of the correlation of exposure to indoor radon and the development of lung cancer. Radon and its decomposition products are considered to be the second cause of lung cancer after consuming tobacco.
Keywords: radiation, radon, water, detection, cancer.