Householder Status and Residence Type as Correlates of Radon Awareness and Testing Behaviors


Laura S. Larsson, Sherrick Hall, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717. E-mail:


ABSTRACT Objectives: The primary aim of this research was to assess radon awareness and testing across 2 housing types.

Design and Sample: Cross-sectional prevalence study with time trends. National, probabilistic sample of 18,138 and 29,632 respondents from the 1994 and 1998 National Health Interview Surveys, respectively.

Results: Odds ratio (OR) estimates confirmed that occupants of single family homes/townhomes were twice as likely to have ever heard of radon (1994: OR=2.18; confidence intervals [CI]=2.01–2.36) (1998: OR=2.26; CI=2.09–2.44) and also more likely to know if their household air had been tested for radon (1994: OR=2.04; CI=1.57–2.65) (1998: OR=1.38; CI=1.19–1.59) as occupants of apartments/condominiums. Time trend analyses revealed that radon awareness improved from 69.4% to 70.7% and home testing among those with knowledge of radon increased from 9.7% to 15.5% over the 4-year period.

Conclusions: Housing type provided fairly stable estimates of radon awareness and testing. Findings demonstrate that housing status may be a useful variable to differentiate risk for radon awareness and testing. Public health nurses should consider their client's housing type when assessing families for environmental risks.