Purity of RNA isolated with RNeasy Kits can be evaluated by determining the ratio of absorbance readings at 260 nm and 280 nm (A260/A280). This ratio provides an estimate of the purity of RNA with respect to contaminants that absorb in the UV range, such as protein.
Note that the A260/A280 ratio is influenced considerably by pH. As water is unbuffered, the pH and the resulting 260/280 ratio can vary greatly. For an accurate determination of purity, we recommend measuring the 260/280 absorbance in 10 mM Tris-Cl, pH 7.5. Be sure to calibrate the spectrophotometer with the same solution. Pure RNA has an A260/A280 ratio of 1.9-2.1. However, values up to 2.3 are routinely obtained for pure RNA (in 10 mM Tris, pH 7.5) with some spectrophotometers.
For details on how the pH influences nucleic acid purity measurements, please review the reference 'Effect of pH and ionic strength on the spectrophotometric assessment of nucleic acid purity', by Wilfinger WW, Mackey K, Chomczynski P, Biotechniques. 1997 Mar;22(3):474-6, 478-81.