What are Radon Kits?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 01 September 2019
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Radon kits are test kits which are used to detect radon levels inside a structure such as a home. Typically, the radon kit is left in place for a set period of time, and then packaged and sent to a lab for analysis. The lab determines how much radon the kit has been exposed to, and returns results. If radon levels are high, it indicates that radon remediation is necessary, and steps should be taken to reduce radon levels and prevent buildups of this element in the future.

This gas is found naturally in the soil, a byproduct of the breakdown of radium. In normal conditions, the radon drifts to the soil surface and vents. However, if radon rises to the soil surface underneath a structure, it will vent into the structure, where it can become trapped, causing radon levels to rise indoors. This can lead to health problems. Any structure can have dangerous radon levels, unless it has a system in place to prevent radon buildup. Radon kits can be used to determine if radon levels are getting dangerous.


There are two kids of radon kits: short and long-term kits. A short-term kit is left in place for three to seven days, while a long-term radon kit is left in place for three months. Short-term kits are used to get a quick snapshot of radon levels to provide some useful starting information. A more prolonged testing period provides information about exposure levels over time. Levels of radon can fluctuate, so this type of testing is recommended for more detailed and accurate investigations of radon levels.

Radon kits are very easy to use; directions are printed in the kit, and the kit usually includes an envelope for securing it so that it can be mailed back to the lab. It is often possible to get low cost kits from government agencies concerned with environmental health, and in some cases, kits may be handed out for free. People can ask the public or environmental health department in their area for more information about where to get low cost radon kits.

If a radon problem is identified, a number of steps can be taken to vent the radon from the structure and to prevent future buildups. The response can also include the installation of a radon monitor which will track radon levels and issue an alert if they start rising to a dangerous level again. Radon testing and mitigation are highly recommended for people who are about to sell a structure, as a structure with a clean bill of health can fetch a higher sales price.



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