Radon Test Kits

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Environmental Health
Public Health
 
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What you need to know

Did you know a lot of homes in Nebraska contain radon gas? Conducting a radon test is the only way to know if you and your family have been exposed. Testing is easy and inexpensive, and homes with high radon levels can be easily fixed. If a home or building has an annual average radon level of 4 pCi/L or higher, it should be mitigated to lower the radon level. New homes can also be built with radon resistant features during construction, called radon resistant new construction.

Get your kit

Some local programs distribute radon kits for free or a reduced cost. Find a program in your area. 

Some manufacturers offer Nebraska residents special pricing on radon test kits. Our program doesn't endorse one manufacturer or laboratory over another. Radon kits can also be found at local hardware stores and home centers.

 

About testing

If you want to know the radon level in your own home and use short-term radon kit, make sure all windows are closed and limit your entry and exit. Follow all instructions included with your kit. Place the kit in the lowest level of your home where you spend time like a bedroom or living room. Don't place the kit in your kitchen, laundry room, or utility room.

Schools and workplaces

If radon testing is done in schools, offices, or other places of work, it must be done by a licensed radon measurement business. The American Lung Association and EPA recommend all schools should be tested for radon. Did you know our radon program tests a small number of schools each year free of charge? Contact us if you'd like more information on getting your school tested.


About test kits

Short-term radon tests run in the home for 2 to 7 days. They are useful as initial screening tests because they're inexpensive, and results are received faster than long-term tests. Long-term tests run from 3 months to 1 year, and give a better average of your radon exposure since they account for seasonal variations of radon. Nebraska allows individuals to test the home they live in without having a license. If another property is to be tested, it has to be done by someone who is licensed by DHHS. Owning the property doesn't exempt an owner from licensure requirements.

Monitor t​ypes

  • Activated Charcoal Detectors are manufactured in various forms and use activated carbon (has a strong affinity for gases/vapors) to absorb radon gas. Depending on the manufacturer, these short-term tests have exposure times between 2 and 7 days. After exposure, they are resealed and returned to a laboratory for analysis. Prices range from $10 to $25.
  • Alpha Track Detectors are manufactured in various forms and use a thin section of plastic called a "foil" mounted inside the container. Filter fabric covers the opening that allows the room air to diffuse into the container but denies entrance to particulate matter. Alpha particles emitted by radon and radon progeny inside the container near the foil strike the plastic and leave an indentation or "track". At the laboratory, an etching process makes damaged regions more visible. The tracks are then counted to determine the radon level in the room where the detector was exposed. It's recommended these detectors be exposed in your home for 100 to 120 days. Prices range from $20 to $30.
  • Electret Ion Chambers consist of a small plastic container that has a charged electret attached to the bottom, and a filtered inlet at the top. Inside the chamber, alpha particles collide with atoms. Negative ions that form as a result from those collisions cause the electret to issue a discharge of electrical voltage. The change in the electrical voltage, measured at the laboratory by a voltmeter, is used to determine the radon concentration where the detector was deployed. Results are available within a few hours after the measurement has been completed. Depending on the electret type, this monitor can be used for short-term or long-term measurements. Prices range from $75 to $150.
  • Continuous Radon and Continuous Working Level Monitors use electronic detectors to accumulate and store information about the average concentrations of radon gas or radon progeny. These short-term instruments can track variations in radon concentration over time. Most models are very precise and results may be available on-site or within a few hours after the measurement has been completed. Only skilled technicians may operate these devices. Prices range from $85 to $150.

 Office of Environmental Health Hazards & Indoor Air
Division of Public Health/Department of Health & Human Services
Phone Number
(402) 471-1005
Toll Free Number
(888) 242-1100
Fax Number
(402) 471-8833
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 95026, Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-5026