inert gas

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Syn: noble gas. Helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon, all of which occur in trace amounts in the atmosphere, and all of which share the quality of being difficult to combine chemically with other elements or chemical compounds, thus the name “inert,” although this name is discouraged in favor of “noble” because most do form compounds and also have important industrial uses or are biologically important, e.g., radon as a marker for radioactivity.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology — Meteorology and Climatology.

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