Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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?

share|improve this question
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
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.

share|improve this answer
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

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.