Laboratories can measure the amount of radon in a home over time by looking at glass. When radon decays, the molecules shoot off with enough force to pit glass, leaving an indelible mark of their otherwise invisible presence. This video shows what this reaction looks like in a cloud chamber.
Imagine that happening in your lungs.
In older homes, the glass from Grandma’s wedding photo frame or curio cabinet can provide evidence of radon exposure for many years. Unfortunately, this data can be compared to rates of lung cancer in non-smokers to find that many women who spent much of their lives working in their homes had disproportionate exposure to radon.