Shawn Price, why does AirChek not ever explain how Ralph Nader tried to extort us?

I think it an important story to re-tell here sometime especially since scumbag Ralph Nader tried to extort me too.

Blackmail? I don’t know anything about blackmail. But I do know of a bogus “study” that he did back ~ 1990 that almost killed off the radon industry. I wasn’t with Air Chek at the time, as I worked with EPA’s Radon Proficiency Program back then, so I wasn’t privy to all of the details.

But I do call it the radon mass extinction. Since I’m a geologist by education, that analogy fits well into my thinking since there are mass extinctions throughout the geologic record. A bogus study and fancy press work put a lot of people on the street, both good and bad. It has taken many years for parts of the industry to rebound from that unfortunate event.

Here’s the Reader’s Digest version. Nader got kits from several sources and hired a radon chamber to test them. The chamber operator screwed up royally, but nobody knew it at the time. Then the results came out and basically everyone failed. Nader went to press and essentially called radon folks a bunch of charlatans and suddenly people stopped testing and many radon folks went belly-up. It was ~ a couple months later that EPA’s technical folks figured out that the chamber exposures were the problem, not the labs, but it was too late. The damage was done and from what I have heard, Nader’s group didn’t care and never issued a retraction or explanation to the public that his press release was bogus.

I guess it is water under the bridge at this point. It was before I was on the industry side of the fence, so it never really had an impact on me. My boss still seethes when he thinks about the story, but it has been so long ago that it doesn’t effect us any longer. Time heals I guess.

I don’t think it is relevant any longer except for the only lab that did good, as I have heard that they still use it for their own gain. Unfortunately for them, it doesn’t gain them anything because the past is the past. Kinda like Ford Explorers and Firestone tires. Ford sold a lot of explorers after the bad press, so at the end of the day, people don’t care that they used to roll over and catch fire. They figure things were fixed or they wouldn’t be around any longer.

Shawn Price

Now Nick lets hear your story.

Here’s the real, true story everyone is afraid to tell.

I had a financial interest in a laboratory at the time and Ralph Nader told me that if I didn’t agree to pay his group $2 per kit, he would see to it that my lab was not recommended, just like AirChek.

I of course didn’t pay.


All the labs that refused to pay Ralph $2/kit were not recommended.
All the labs that agreed to pay Ralph $2/kit were recommended.

There were no labs that paid that were not recommended.
There were no labs that refused to pay that were recommended.

I have emailed Ralph Nader and challenged him to come on this message board and respond to my accusation of extortion.

Normally this would be a non-story, but since this extortionist is asking to be my President…

Ah, isn’t that extortion ?

What a deal! Just think, if everyone jumped on that kind of offer he’d be rich… wait a minute…he is, isn’t he? Sure as heck didn’t come from radon folks.

RTCA paid.

I invite RTCA to come on here and deny.

Shawn, ask B.L.

Michael Larson, thanks for catching that, I meant extortion, my bad.