The Occurrence of High Levels of Radon
As mentioned earlier, radon is a by-product of uranium through another atom known as radium. Since its emission depends on the alpha recoil of the radium atom, this gas most often occurs in controlled and low levels of concentration.
It is at this point that information about radon becomes baffling, since its geologic formation and release on the Earth's surface is mainly dependent on the radium isotopes and its alpha recoil.
What could have caused the widespread occurrence of radon, if not all rocks and soil in the U.S. have high levels or high-grade uranium content ?
The Disturbing Revelations at Port Hope, Ontario
It is said that quite a number of homes and schools in Port Hope, Ontario, were built with construction filling-materials derived from sand-like uranium tailings. These tailings are the massive quantities of pulverized rock produced from milling the ores, in order to extract uranium. In fact, it takes about a ton of ore in order to extract two pounds of uranium mineral.
Rather than let the pulverized rocks go to waste, the sand-like material became useful as construction fills for homes and schools, and this of course, had equated to great savings. Similar treatment for phosphate and other mine tailings were applied to construction work in Florida, Newfoundland and in some areas outside of Montreal. This was during the 1970s.
However, the radon element was overlooked, as the milling or pulverization process allowed the release of radon gas. Ordinarily, it should have been deeply embedded in the grains of the mineral due to the alpha recoil. Yet, all the milling processes that produced massive amounts of tailings had allowed the release of radon gas by at least 10,000 times the rate of the naturally formed radon.
In all the ores milled and pulverized, uranium was present in all deposits, both high and low levels--- therefore releasing radon gas in high amounts. St. Mary’s School in Port Hope was found to have extremely high radon levels, which subsequently led to the discovery that more than a hundred homes and gardens in the area had radon gas emissions, beyond the tolerable levels.