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Interpreting your test results

Linn County Healthy Homes has prepared a short PowerPoint presentation on interpreting your radon test kit results. To download and view it, click here.

Your test results are presented in pCi/L – “picocuries per liter”. It's a measure of how many radioactive particles come out of a certain amount of air in a minute.

FIRST, did you do the test right?

Did you test in the lowest level of your home that you use on a regular basis? 
 
Testing in a basement (or crawl space) that is used infrequently is more likely to give a high result, but it may not reflect your actual exposure accurately. 

Were the doors and windows of your house closed (except for normal coming-and-going) during the test? 
 
"Open house" conditions invalidate a low short-term radon test result. It is acceptable to run air conditioning during a short-term test. After you've answered the questions above, click on your result below to get our recommendation (based on the US EPA's recommendations) of what to do next.
 
If your recommendations call for you to pursue remediation visit our page on radon remediation HERE. If you still have questions about how to proceed, please call Linn County Healthy Homes at (319) 892-6000.

Should I take a long-term or a short-term test?

Short-term test kits are a good tool to give you an idea what your exposure to radon may be.  Most people start with a short-term test kit, if your results are more than twice the recommended intervention level, then use a second short-term test kit for confirmation and proceed to mitigation. 

Long term test kits provide you a better idea of what your long-term exposure to radon is.  Since the relationship with radon and lung cancer is linear, the long term testing (usually 6 months to 12 months) can provide you with a more realistic picture of your exposure.  

Where should I place my radon test kit? 

We recommend testing in the lowest level of your home that you use regularly. During a real estate transaction testing usually occurs in the lowest level of the home like your basement.
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Healthy Homes,
Jun 30, 2011, 11:03 AM