How do I definitively spot radon test tampering?

I can’t disagree with you that “Radon does kill”, but only if exposed to it for a long period of time, which 3rd party testing may never prove without long term, historical testing.

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Agreed. I was referring that the second test be used to rule out tampering if the OP was so inclined to do so. With a report like that, I would make my recommendations to the client and move on. Of course I would also tell the client to call after any mitigation was done for a follow up test to see if the install is working. They usually do, and $$… Simple as that…

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Here’s the weather history. Not much happened;

Fortunately in some ways, I do have to re-do this test. It’s in process. I arrived on Friday with one device, and unknown to me this house has two foundation types; basement and crawl space. I set the one device for curosity and as a verbal pre-warning to my client. I’m using the same device in the basement, running a concurrent test with another device on the first floor above the CS. The new test will be done Tuesday evening. Camparison results will be interesting to see.

Fortunately, this home is no more than a mile from my home.

I performed a Crosscheck on this device 10 days ago, and it’s “In control”.

I’m interested in how the State supervisor will respond to this, around 8 August, when he returns from vacation. Looks like we all don’t have a definitive way to decide if this result is from opening the basement window.

Based on their scrutiny during my last audit, they will probably focus on the fact the temp was outside of normal occupied range (65-80 degrees) for almost all of the test, lol. After that I am sure they will say to run a duplicate on that monitor at your next test.

I agree with you Tom, for the reasons you listed. I no longer even offer it. If the client/agent insists I sub it out.

You questioned “TAMPERING” by opening windows. Contact RTCA Radon Testing Corporation of America) in Elmsford, NY, order and use tamper proof tape on all windows. Use it also on doors, including the entry door you close behind you when you leave. Easy to do when the house, as you described, is vacant. Also, photograph the placement and position of test equipment noting measurements from fixed points when the equipment is deployed so you can compare it to when you retrieve the equipment. Other equipment suppliers likely offer a similar tamper tape.

Nice to know that you are more knowledgeable than the folks at NRPP! There are guidelines for Radon Testing in conjunction with a Real Estate transaction, if you are NRPP Certified I suggest that you should read (and understand) them.

Regulations in this segment are changing rapidly, best to keep up and stay informed or you might miss the bus.

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Great post, Thomas.

So if your 48 hour test is 100 pCi/L, you still recommend a long term test prior to mitigation? Surely, I hope not. At that level, one’s exposure exceeds the monthly Working Level for uranium miners!

What if it is 50 pCi/L? Or what if it is 20 pCi/L? Or if it is 10 pCi/L? At what level do you recommend mitigation based on a 48 hour test?

As a licensed radon testing professional, I’m not allowed to make those judgements. Here are the State Dept of Health mandated recommendations at 4.0 pCi/L or more:

Test result is 4.0 pCi/L or greater:

:black_small_square:Fix the building if test results indicate occupants may be exposed to radon concentrations that meet or exceed the EPA action level of 4.0 pCi/L.
:black_small_square:Efforts to reduce radon concentrations are not complete until a retest provides evidence of effectiveness.
:black_small_square:Complete a short term radon test between 24 hours and 30 days after the installation of amitigation system.
:black_small_square:Retest every 2 years to ensure the system remains effective.

I stick with the EPA and Dept of Health recommendations. I don’t like client lawyers calling me.

Along these lines, I have been thinking about having clients sign a waiver if they decline radon testing. I can envision a day when someone gets cancer and blames it on the home inspector for failing to warn about radon, even though you offered to test and they declined.

Of course I would, but not if it is 2-4 or slightly higher than 4 based on a 48 hour test. And I guess when I used the word “recommend” it should have been better stated. I give/gave my clients all the information from what the EPA suggest and the link to their website. I let them make their own decision of what they want to do. I also suggest that they read articles that compare the difference between short term vs. long term testing so they can self educate themselves.

I never told a client that they should not consider mitigation, but to base their opinion off the information I provided them.

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That is a slippery slope. How about sewer scopes, mold testing, lead testing etc. I would think your PIA would exclude environmental hazards. Do we have a duty to warn them?

I am not sure if it is a money ploy or not but I agree with your assessment. I believe the 48 test is nothing more than an arbitrary time line meant to satisfy the real estate transaction period.

In GA, we have two choices, go “by the book” or insert our professional opinion (or a bit of both).

Therefore, my radon agreement states I will follow EPA recommendations, in effect deferring the authority to another entity. By signing, the client agrees to this.

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I agree, that being in an unregulated state only allows us to direct them to what the highest government entity (EPA) recommends as opposed to requires. The EPA does not require a mitigation system be installed. That is up to regulated states and their recommendations or requirements, especially the states that require testing on all RE transactions. That is where I see a money “ploy” based on one 48 hour test that a 4.0 was registered and a mitigation system is required to be installed.

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Our state lists the response to 2.0 to 3.9 pCi/L and also equal to and greater than 4.0 pCi/L as “recommendations”. In addition, we do not have manditory testing at the time of real estate transfer, but it is “recommended”. I haven’t researched this, but I doubt any state has “mandated” radon testing or responses to high radon.

There is a “radon warning statement” available from the EPA web site that is prudent to include in every inspection. That eliminates the need for a disclaimer statement that may be difficult to defend in court. Real estate agents include the radon warning statement in their documents in MN.

A large sample size is no gaurantee of avoiding statistical bias (inaccuracy). Because of the environment in which radon measurements are made, a large sample size (time) may even increase bias.

In order to truly prevent tampering or bias you need to have total control over the environment in which sampling occurs. You could always just park yourself next to the equipment for the entirety of the testing period.