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I ask because when I purchased my home the level was 19 pCi/L, and on a recent retest it is 27.8 pCi/L. I plan on for sure getting this fixed within a month, but I'm wondering if there's any reason to make it priority to get it done sooner. Most of the statistics, etc. on the danger talk about the effects over a lifetime, how much radon would it take for there to be an immediate danger to be living in the house?

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I have never done test like this.. is it just generally in you home or what are you testing..and with what? this is a very interesting question. –  ppumkin Aug 16 '11 at 9:45
    
You can pay a radon inspector to do a test, which is what I did the first time, or you can buy a radon test kit at a hardware store or online, which is what I did the second time. You leave the kit in your house for a couple days, then mail it to a testing lab. The kits are much cheaper than an inspector but probably less accurate. –  Kevin K Aug 16 '11 at 15:34
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up vote 7 down vote accepted

According to this Radon Dose Calculator, if you are exposed to 30 pCi/L the dose rate is 6.275 µSv/h. Multiply by 30 days and 24 hrs/day to get 4500 µSv, or 4.5 mSv dose over 30 days.

Wikipedia suggests that is similar a CT scan (which is a significant dose). You are probably not in the house 24 hours a day so you could adjust the numbers downward.

Here's another nice visualization of different doses.

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That's a nice calculator. I had seen that chart before but forgotten about it, thanks. Calculating for 27 pCi/L and figuring 20 hours / day in the house, I get 3.0 mSv over 30 days, or 36.1 mSv / year. Definitely concerning, but at least it is less than the "Maximum yearly dose permitted for US radiation workers"... –  Kevin K Aug 16 '11 at 15:47
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