Radon and Your Health: Test Your Home
Testing your home is the only effective way to determine whether you and your family are exposed to high levels of radon.
Where Do I Get a Test Kit?
There are several ways to get a radon test:
- You can get “do it yourself” radon test kits through online retail outlets or in some hardware stores and other home improvement stores. Radon test kits come in different forms with instructions on how to use them.
- If you prefer, or if you are buying or selling a home, you can hire a qualified tester to do the testing for you. You should first contact your state radon officeexternal icon about obtaining a list of qualified testers.
- You can also contact a private radon proficiency program for lists of privately certified radon professionals serving your area. For links and more information, visit https://www.epa.gov/radon/find-radon-test-kit-or-measurement-and-mitigation-professionalexternal icon.
How Do I Use The Test Kit If I Do It Myself?
Testing is easy — it should only take a few minutes of your time.
- Open the package and follow the directions, which will instruct you to place the small measuring device in the lowest finished level of your home.
- Leave it there for the recommended period– Short-term testing can take from a few days to 90 days. Long-term testing takes more than 90 days. The longer the test, the better the results will reflect your home and lifestyle.
- Once the test is completed, follow the directions on the test kit packaging to find out where to send the device to get the results.
What Do The Test Results Mean?
Radon is measured in units of picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air. EPA recommends taking action to reduce radon in homes that have a radon level at or above 4 pCi/L of air. The lower the average pCi/L level in the air you breathe, the lower your risk of getting lung cancer.
The chart below provides more information.
|Radon Level||What You Should Do|
|Higher than 4 pCi/L||Take a second test to make sure the first test results were accurate. You can use another short-term test, or you can use a long-term test.
Contact a licensed professional to install a radon reduction system if:
–The average of both short-term tests is higher than 4 pCi/L, or
–Results from a long-term test are also higher than 4 pCi/LMake sure you retest if you have a radon reduction system installed
|Between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L||Consider installing a radon reduction system.
If you do this, test for radon again in a few months to see how effective the system is for reducing radon levels.
|Lower than 2 pCi/L||No action needed. Test your home again if you start living on a lower level (for example, if you turn your basement into a home office or extra bedroom).|
If you are planning any major structural renovation, such as converting an unfinished basement area into living space, it is especially important to test the area for radon before you begin the renovation. If your test results indicate a radon problem, radon-resistant techniques can be inexpensively included as part of the renovation. Because major renovations can change the level of radon in any home, always test again after work is completed.
For more information about testing your home, please visit: