Radon Testing

I’m wondering how everybody performs their radon sampling. I’ve always used the sampling canisters from Pro Lab, and have not had an issue in the year and a half that I’ve been involved with radon sampling. Two weeks ago however, I had a sampling come back with measurements of 10.6 & 9.1pCi/L, producing a 9.9pCi/L average. This of course is not a favorable reading.

The sellers challenged the reading and ordered their own, which came back at 2.5pCi/L. The buyers agent, now facing opposing readings, orders her own sampling, which comes back the same as the sellers (2.5 pCi/L). So, the buyers agent calls me a gives me all of this information and states her case for a full refund of the radon sampling that I performed for her client. Of course, I’m fairly embarrassed and quickly agree to refund the money and make a alot of apologies. Come to find out, both of the other inspectors are using continuous electronic devices, verses the canisters that I use from Pro Lab.

My question to everyone is this;are the sampling canisters like the ones I use from Pro Lab anywhere near as reliable as the electronic devices such as Sun Nuclear’s 1027?, should I stop using the canisters and pony up for an electronic device?, how possible is it that Pro Lab screwed up the testing?

Hmmmmm. Lots of questions I know, but getting a false reading like this has left me kind of rattled w/r/t radon sampling. If anyone can offer their opinions as far as which method is more prefferable or how reliable they think the canisters are, I would really appreciate it.



The radon result should be reported as received.

Reliance on the result by the Seller / Buyer / Agent is based upon their review of all data collected.

They can choose to accept the Lower reported value as that is their decision to make.

If the test was conducted using the prescribed EPA protocols, why would you consider a refund with regard to the reported value?

From the Pro-Lab website…

PRO-LAB™ Qualifications

PRO-LAB™ Laboratories are inspected, licensed, recognized, accredited, certified, affiliated with, endorsed by and/or proficiency tested by a number of governmental agencies and independent associations, including but not limited to the following :

NACHI National Association of Certified Home Inspectors
ASHI American Society of Home Inspectors
*NAHI National Association of Home Inspectors *
AAB American Association of Bioanalysts
AARST American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists
AIA Americas Inspector Alliance
AIAQC American Indoor Air Quality Council
AIHA American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA EMPAT # 163230)
ASHRAE American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers
CREIA California Real Estate Inspectors Association
FABI Florida Association of Home Inspectors
GAHI Georgia Association of Home Inspectors
IAQA Indoor Air Quality Association
IDOPH Iowa Department of Public Health
IESO Indoor Environmental Standards Organization
ISDOH Indiana State Department of Health
KREIA Kentucky Real Estate Inspectors Association
LEHA The Lead and Environmental Hazards Association
MDOHC State of Maine Department of Human Services
NADCA National Air Duct Cleaners Association
NEHA National Environmental Health Association
NFPA National Fire Protection Association
NJDEP New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
NLAAC National Lead Abatement and Assessment Council
NRSB National Radon Safety Board
NYSDOH New York State Department of Health
ODOH State of Ohio Department of Health
PDEP Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
WQA Water Quality Association

I would recommend obtaining copies of Pro-Lab’s NRSB certification documents to forward along to the Client with a denial of refund letter.

Hmmm, something to consider for sure.

But what are your feelings about sampling canisters vs. continuous electronic measuring devices?


**Para 19: **Fluctuations in readings
All short-term radon tests are subject to fluctuations on account of varying weather conditions.
Low barometric pressure increases the “driving force” thereby increasing the radon concentration in
the basement. Conversely, high pressure leads to lower radon levels.
Protracted rain or freezing can obstruct the flow of radon into the outdoors and increase the indoor
levels. Such conditions can lead to anomalies in the concentrations, both high and low readings.

The sampling was performed during a period of significant thawing and relatively higher temps for the area/time of year. The thing that bothers me, is that the reading were so far apart. This leads me to consider the possibility that Pro Lab somehow screwed up.

Pro-Lab’s website suggests that their Lab is NRSB certified.

Obtaining copies of their current certification should dispel any question with regard to reporting anomalies.