Variation of Radon Levels in U.S. Homes Correlated With House Characteristics, Location, and Socioeconomic Factors

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Abstract

Data are analyzed on measurements of Rn levels in numerous U.S. homes, accompanied by responses to questionnaires. Substantial (but far from complete) bias reduction was accomplished using questionnaire responses, leaving 37,000 measurements in living areas and 33,000 in basements for the analysis. Variables studied included: level with respect to ground where measurement was made, room type, age of house, recent weatherization actions, draftiness, location (urban, suburban, rural), air pollution, market value of house, annual household income, educational attainment of head of household, cigarette smoking, whether the house is rented or owner occupied, and geographic section of U.S. Geometric mean Rn levels were determined for each response to questionnaire items (correlations) and for each pair of responses (cross correlations). Many interesting correlations and cross correlations were found, and their explanation and consequences are discussed.

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