Fumes: "Radon gas (radon 222) flows quickly in and out of the lungs, almost never lingering long enough to cause damage. But the radon progeny, which are solids, tend to lodge in the bronchial tree, where they emit heavy alpha particles, smaller and lighter beta particles, and short-wavelength gamma rays." (Cole,1990)

animal bladders: "Recognition of the need to protect the respiratory system is very old. Pliny (ca A.D. 23-79) mentioned use of a loose fitting animal bladder in the Roman mines to protect against inhalation of red oxide of lead." (Prichard,1977)

cell nuclei: Because of their relatively large size, the most dangerous of radon's progeny are the alpha particles, which "can damage the DNA in cell nuclei, and that damage can lead to uncontrollable cell reproduction and the growth of a cancerous tumor." (Cole,1990)

sulphurous: Refers to an alchemical theory of two 'exhalations,' or principles, which form the difference between metals and minerals. Some alchemists believed these to be an 'ideal' form of sulphur and mercury, "'secret sulphur,' sometimes green in color, a 'male and universal seed,' the Holy Ghost, the life-spirit itself. Celestial sulphur is the first and most potent cause of generation." (Grinnell,1973)

classroom: "Consider a (classroom) informed by the spirit of Venus or Aphrodite...There would be no dry lectures or dry books coming from this moist (green) goddess. Growth in new ideas, new forms, new styles would be prominent. Relationship, sensuality, concern for beauty and comfort, gracefulness, care for the body and for emotions--these would be both the benefits and the problems of this kind of dominance." (Moore,1990)

desks: "In 7th grade the teacher blasted/her whistle and we dove/under our desks. Our hands/made frail bony helmets/to cut the risk of brain damage." (D. Hilton. From, "1952.")

primitive lives: "When the ego function is all worn out, a person's convictions and ideas get used up, desiccated, so his psychology capsizes; then up comes the other side, not desiccated at all but full of primitive life." (Jung,1976). Radon gas has a half-life of 3.8 days; its progeny have half-lives ranging from less than a millisecond to 22 years.

soiled conditions: "since radon travels the path of least resistance through soil, it enters a house in localized spots; concentrations can vary from one side of a room to another, and from day to day, depending on soil conditions." (Cole,1990)

apple: "The unexpected relationship between the Demon of Death to the most ecstatic moments of life is...illuminated by the fact that the apple (was) particularly holy to Aphrodite--the apple appears as a symbol embodying both death and renewal." (Herzog,1983)

face sealed: "If (anyone wants to) know how a gas mask feels, let him seize his nose with a pair of fire tongs, bury his face in a hot feather pillow, then seize a gas pipe with his teeth and breathe through it for a few hours while he performs routine duties. It is safe, but like the deadly poison which forced its invention, it is not sane." (Anonymous,1968)

butterfly: A symbol of the psyche or soul.