What is the atomic mass and molar mass of Radon?

The below article talks about radon, the atomic mass of radon, the molar mass of radon, along with some frequently asked questions about radon and its effects on the world around us. 

What is the difference between atomic mass and molar mass?

Molar mass refers to the total mass of atoms in grams, that could be present in a mole of a certain molecule. Therefore, the mass of one mole of any compound is Avagadro’s number of particles of the compound in grams. I.e.,  6.022×1023 particles expressed in grams. The standard unit of measurement for molar mass is Kg/mol. Atomic mass is the mass of an atom of the particle. In other words, it refers to the number of protons and neutrons in a compound. The unit of measurement for atomic mass is a.m.u. 

About Radon 

Discovered by a German chemist, Friedrich Ernst Dorn in 1900; Radon has an atomic number of 86, which means there are 86 protons in its nucleus. It is chemically denoted as ‘Rn’, average atomic mass is 222, in-room temperatures, it remains at gaseous state, melting point is -71 ℃, and boiling point is -61.7 ℃. There are 3 naturally occurring isotopes: Radon-219, Radon-220, and Radon-222; 33 isotopes that are unstable. The most common isotope is Rn-222 (Pedersen T., 2018). 

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas, that could have severe impacts on physical health, including the onset of lung cancer. Usually, radon is found in high concentrations in homes and workplaces, and since its tasteless, odorless, and colorless, it is usually not identified until there is a diagnosis of radon poisoning for someone exposed to high levels of radon. Radon is one of the leading causes in the world for lung cancer and has been found to contribute anywhere between 3% to 14% to all lung cancer cases in a country, depending on the national average of radon levels, and national radon emissions or strategies set in place. 

Radon is produced during the natural radioactive decay of uranium, which can be found in rocks or soils. It can also be found in different water bodies occasionally. Radon has the capability to escape from the ground and latch onto air molecules, where it would decay further and cause the emission of radioactive particles. Radon is capable of entering our bodies via breathing and is deposited in our nasal pathways and lung tissue, where prolonged exposure and deposit formation could cause the initiation of cancer in the person. 

Outdoor, radon can be diluted quickly and is only present in smaller concentrations that do not pose a threat to health, however, indoors, with limited ventilation, there is a possibility of increasing radon concentration and exposure, which could lead to severe health effects. Especially in places such as mines, caves, water treatment facilities, older buildings, etc. can have increased radon concentrations. Given the physical and chemical properties of radon, inhabitants and employees of such places could be potentially exposed to high levels of radon, which could cause them long-term distress and chronic health conditions.

Molar Mass and Atomic mass of Radon 

The atomic mass of Radon is 222 amu and molar mass is 222 g/mol.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What are the atomic mass and molar mass of radon?

What color light does radon give? 

Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and chemically non-reactive noble gas unless it is put under extreme conditions. Radon is the ONLY noble gas that does not produce light on reaction with electricity. However, it is theorized that solid radon would glow in a soft yellow light, which would turn orange-red as its temperature changes. 

Will my air purifier with HEPA filter remove the radon from my house?

A true HEPA filter can remove up to 99.99% of airborne contaminants in the air including various allergens such as pollen, pet dander, dust, dust mites, bacteria, disease-causing viruses, etc. However, they never were intended to trap or capture gas particles, due to to which they are ineffective in terms of reducing radon concentrations in your home, living space, or any other space that may have high radon concentrations. Capturing radon in indoor spaces requires that your air purifier is fitted with an activated carbon filter, these filters have been designed specifically to trap gases such as radon, amongst other offending airborne contaminants including offensive odors, volatile organic compounds, etc. 

References 

Pedersen T. (2018, August 01). Facts about Radon. Live Science. Viewed on 02-12-2022. https://www.livescience.com/39546-radon.html 

Vedantu. (n.d.). What is the difference between molar mass and atomic mass? Questions & Answers. Mole Concept. Grade 11. Viewed on 02-12-2022. https://www.vedantu.com/question-answer/difference-between-molar-mass-and-atomic-class-11-chemistry-cbse-6114a04808451b424bef30f4 

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