Introduction to Radon & Health Risk
The Fundamentals of Radon & Radioactivity
Radon Occurrence & Behavior
Radon Measurement & Devices
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The Purpose of Radon Measurements and Protocols

The multi-faceted role of a residential radon measurement service provider directly impacts test results and the customer’s decision making process regarding mitigation.  These ethical and financial implications require diligent adherence to measurement and quality control protocols. 

According to the ANSI-AARST standards, the purpose of radon measurement is to “determine if radon mitigation is necessary in order to protect current and future occupants” of a home and the purpose of test protocols is to “consistently produce, to the extent possible, reliable and repeatable radon measurements.”

The Primary Responsibilities of a Radon Measurement Service Provider

  1. Ensure compliance and mandatory test conditions prior to testing (Realtor®, homeowner, builder, etc.)
  2. Deploy and retrieve measurement devices according to state and/or national protocols
  3. Observe key areas of possible radon entry
  4. Report measurement results
  5. Recommend appropriate course(s) of action
  6. Inspect mitigation systems, where present, and report on health, safety, and compliance issues
    • Required in some regulated states such as Illlinois
    • Not required according to national radon standards
      • A statement indicating that the test company offers no findings as to the proper operation of the mitigation system is permissible.

Ethical Considerations

It is important to consider the health and financial implications of radon measurements.  Unreliable and inaccurate results can cost a homeowner valuable dollars and more importantly, valuable health. It is for these reasons that many states have implemented rigorous licensing and state-specific testing protocol to ensure the highest possible level of accuracy and reliability in test results.

Ethical professionals will ensure the highest degree of compliance with test protocols and consider the unique conditions of every home to prevent the dissemenation of false high or false low radon results. Differences in occupant lifestyles, structures, and mechanical appliances bring inherent unpredictability in measurement results commanding the measurement professional to have a thorough understanding of devices, protocols, and procedures in order to achieve quality results. Professionals with a comprehensive approach to the measurement process will scrutinize test results against weather conditions, compliance with protocols, and other variables unique to each home. Doing so will prevent unnecessary mitigation expenses or a false sense of health safety.

Another integral role of the measurement professional is effective communication. Radon measurement professionals must concisely communicate the process and compliance issues to all parties in order to prevent interference, tampering, or abnormal results as well as communicate the test results in a way that effectively minimizes health risk.  This type of communication is most notably complex in real estate transactions where tests are conducted for the client while the home is in the custody of the party with a financial interest in a low radon result.