Radon Testing for Low-Income Montana Families

In this study, survey data from rural, low-income families were analyzed for the demographic and cognitive predictors of indoor radon testing. Participants (n = 224) lived in Zone 1 designated Montana counties. Logistic regression analyses were used to test a theoretically supported model in predicting radon testing. Half of the participants had never heard of the health effects of radon. The overall radon testing rate was 13.8% (n = 31) with rate of testing higher among home-owners (χ2 (1, 224) = 8.4, p = .004, OR = 3.2; 95% CI 1.4 – 7.4). A model of five demographic and three cognitive variables were significant in predicting whether participants who had not tested their homes had ever heard of the health effects of radon (χ2 (8, 193) = 20.6, p < .01) and home-radon testing in the full sample (χ2 (8, 224) = 22.4, p < .01). Members of the scientific and medical community should not assume that low-income families understand radon risks. Interventions are needed to include this important group in ethical and comprehensive radon risk reduction efforts.