Radon Timeline

Timeline created by Darrow
  • Mar 2, 1530

    Scientists advise on strange disease for miners.

    Scientists advise on strange disease for miners.
    Miners in what is now Austria died relatively young as a result of exposure to it. The Swiss physician Paracelsus identified their cause of death as a "wasting disease," and German scientist Georg Agricola suggested that mines be ventilated to protect miners.
  • Lung Disease caused by unknown gas

    Lung Disease caused by unknown gas
    A study of miners in the Ore Mountains shows that the lung disease killing miners is cancer, and in some mines it kills 75% of the miners. The "gas" is later though to have been radon emanation.
  • Radon is observed

    Radon is observed
    A gas that radiated from Radium remained radioactive for over a month. This "gas" was discovered to be Radon years later.
  • Discovery of Radon

    Discovery of Radon
    Friedrich Ernst Dorn discovers "radium emanation", later known as Radon-222.
  • Thorium and its relation to Radon

    Thorium and its relation to Radon
    Dorn publishes a paper that had been inspired by previous work that Ernest Rutherford had done on the radioactive element thorium, verifying that just like thorium, radium emitted a gas.
  • Radon's Physical Properties

    Radon's Physical Properties
    Chemists Sir William Ramsay and Robert Whytlaw-Gray were able to isolate radon and study its physical properties such as density and weight. They concluded that radon was the heaviest known gas.
  • Radon's first use in medicine.

    Radon's first use in medicine.
    Inhalation of radon is introduced as treatment for rheumatism and gout.
  • Radon given its respect.

    Radon given its respect.
    The element is formally named radon and identifies with argon and xenon as a noble gas.
  • Radon recognized as a cause for affliction.

    Radon recognized as a cause for affliction.
    Rajewski suggests that radon is the cause of high lung cancer rates in some German mines, including one known as the ‘death mine’.
  • Radon Decay is the real problem.

    Radon Decay is the real problem.
    Bale recognises that it is radon decay products, not radon gas, that give high radiation doses to the lungs.
  • Swedish homes investigated

    Swedish homes investigated
    High radon levels are found in some Swedish homes, but are thought to be a local problem caused by particular building materials.
  • Radon levels found in United Kingdom

    Radon levels found in United Kingdom
    High radon levels are found in some UK homes - large scale surveys are started.
  • Radon source discovered

    Radon source discovered
    Research shows that the main source of indoor radon is air in the ground, drawn into buildings by underpressure indoors.
  • Widespread Health Initiative recommended for Radon

    Widespread Health Initiative recommended for Radon
    World Health Organisation recommends action to reduce high radon concentrations in homes.
  • Imperial Cancer Research Fund gives credence to earlier mine theories.

    Imperial Cancer Research Fund gives credence to earlier mine theories.
    ICRF study of lung cancer in Cornwall and Devon gives radon risk estimates similar to those from the miner studies.
  • European Union makes further steps towards regulating Radon levels.

    European Union makes further steps towards regulating Radon levels.
    EU regulations on targets levels likely to be further revised downwards to 100 Bq/m3 for the home and 300 Bq/m3 for workplaces.
  • Period:
    Jan 1, 1530
    to

    History of Radon