1. No matter where you live in NC, it is important to test your home for radon.  Radon levels can vary widely from house to house, so it is best not to rely on the test results of your neighbors to determine if you have a radon problem in your home. 

  2. Testing your home for radon is as simple as opening a package, placing a radon detector in a designated area, and after the prescribed number of days, sealing the detector back in the package and mailing it to a lab for evaluation. Radon is measured in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L), a measurement of radioactivity. The US EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that homes with radon levels at or above 4 pCi/L be repaired to reduce the amount of radon entering the indoor air.

  3. You may also have a trained and certified radon service professional conduct the measurement in your home. It is highly recommended that anyone having their home measured or mitigated for radon have it done by someone that is certified by either the National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) or the National Radon Safety Board (NRSB). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes these two agencies for certification purposes. While North Carolina has no laws concerning radon other than a radon disclosure law in real estate transactions, other states may. Be sure and check with your State's Radon Contact for this information.

  4. There are two types of tests that can be used to test the air in your home for radon: a long-term test and a short-term test.

  1. Purchase A Short-term Test

  2. A short-term test runs for at least 48 hours and as long as one week, depending on the specific test kit instructions.  The advantages of a short-term test are that you can get an idea of what the radon levels are in your home very quickly.  However, the decision to mitigate your home should not be based on the results of one short-term test.  A follow up test should be performed using either another short-term test or a long-term test, depending upon the initial test results. At least two short-term tests should be conducted in the same location in your home.  If the average of the two short term tests is 4 pCi/L or greater or, the results of your long-term test is 4 pCi/L or greater, you should hire a mitigator to fix the radon problem in your home.

  3. Long-Term Tests

  4. Radon levels vary in daily and seasonal cycles and in response to weather conditions and ventilation patterns.   A long-term test is more likely than a short-term test to give you an indication of your year-round average radon concentration in your home. Therefore, the longer your test period the more closely your result will represent the yearly average radon level. Unlike short-term tests, there is no special requirements for exterior doors and windows being closed. You should operate your home as you normally would.  If your house tests 4 pCi/L or more on a long-term test, you should hire a radon mitigator to fix your home. One long-term test is considered sufficient evidence to make the decision about whether to fix your home.  You may purchase a long-term test kit at your local hardware store or online.

  5. Purchase A Water Test

  6. Radon in water is not a concern for most public water supplies.  Radon in water tests should be considered for those on private or community well water.  The health concern from radon in water is that the radon will gas out of the water and into the air where it can be inhaled.  Ingestion of radon through drinking water is less of a health concern than inhalation of radon.  Therefore it is recommended that you test the air in your home with one of the tests above in addition to testing the water. For additional information read NC RPS Recommendation to Citizens with Private Wells.pdfYou may purchase a water test kit online through a variety of vendors.

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Disclaimer        Updated 02/20/13     Contact Us

NCDHHS .  NC Radiation Protection .  1645 Mail Service Center . 

Raleigh, NC 27699-1645   Office (919)571-4141 .  Fax (919)571-4148 .