Question: Has anyone used a radon test kit?

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stevie asked on January 04, 2017 21:09
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What I want to do or know

I'd like to know more about the low cost radon testing kits the EPA is promoting here.

I'd like to know more about people's experience with them:

  • How much are they?
  • What is it like to use the kit?
    • Is it easy?
    • How long does it take?
    • Does it come with clear directions?
  • What do you do after you've run the test?
    • Does it have to be sent to a lab? If so, who does the analysis?
    • What do the results looking like? (visual, or just a number?)

Also, if it goes to a lab: Does anyone know how they do the analysis on it?



4 Comments

My neighbor is a certified radon tester. Would you like her to contact you?

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That's neat! Thanks for the offer. I think I got most of my questions answered on that website. But I have another questions for her if you happen to see her -- Could new ground activity in an area increase the chances of radon in local homes. For example, if a neighborhood has a new mine come in, could that affect the local radon levels?

I just posted that as a new question here: https://publiclab.org/questions/stevie/05-03-2019/could-local-mining-affect-local-radon-levels

There's one other that didn't get answered as well about radon outside here: https://publiclab.org/questions/stevie/01-04-2017/how-does-radon-react-outside

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I ordered a couple of these, they seem pretty intuitive. This website has a good bit of information on it in terms of the kits, and radon in general: https://sosradon.org/test-kits. Basically, there are two options, the short term testing kit ($15 and tests for 2-4 days) and the long term one ($25 and tests for 3-12 months). Both are good, but they mention the long term one as being more effective in catching radon over time (makes sense!). However, if you need some fast answers, that's why they have the short term ones (for example when you're about to buy a home). Both would need to be sent back to the lab for analysis, but that cost is included in the purchase. One thing I didn't find on the website that I was interested in was the shelf life of these kits. I called, and they said these ones last for 10 years. Pretty good since it sounds like some of the others on the market only last for 3.

One other note on the short term ones is that they need to get back to the lab within 10 days of testing for them to run results.

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Consumer reports did an evaluation of radon test kits a few years ago. Might be a good place to start.

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