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What The Radon Test Means

Kentucky Radon Program
275 East Main Street
Frankfort, KY  40621
(502) 564-4856
Clay Hardwick

What The Radon Test Results Mean
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The average indoor radon level is estimated to be about 1.3 pCi/L, and about 4 pCi/L of radon is normally found in the outside air. The U.S. Congress has set a long-term goal that indoor radon levels be no more than outdoor levels. While this goal is not yet technologically achievable in all cases, most homes today can be reduced to 2 pCi/L or below.

Year-long testing is the best way to determine what radon levels are in your home. EPA believes that any radon exposure poses some risk—no level of radon is safe. Even radon levels below 4 pCi/L pose some risk, and you can reduce your risk of lung cancer by lowering your radon level.

If your living patterns change and you begin occupying a lower level of your home (such as a basement) you should retest your home on that level.  Even if your test result is below 4 pCi/L, you may want to test again sometime in future.

 More and more, home buyers and renters are asking about radon levels before they buy or rent a home. Because real estate sales happen quickly, there is often little time to deal with radon and other issues. The best thing to do is to test for radon now and save the results in case the buyer is interested in them. Fix a problem if it exists so it won’t complicate your home sale. If you are planning to move, call your state radon office for EPA pamphlet Home Buyer’s and Seller’s Guide to Radon, which addresses some common questions. 

During home sales buyers often ask if a home has been tested, and if elevated levels were reduced. Buyers might want to know the radon levels in areas of the home (like a basement they plan to finish) that the seller might not otherwise test. Contact the Kentucky Radon Program for a list of certified radon testers.

Today many homes are built to prevent radon from coming in. If you are buying or renting a new home, ask the owner or builder if it has radon-resistant features.  

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Last Updated 11/3/2015