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Radon rules are changing – again! It’s no surprise to see a huge spotlight on Radon testing. Regulating bodies are stepping things up to put public safety first and this means they are updating requirements. Everyone working in real estate, home inspection or lending needs to be in the know.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states the concern clearly: “Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. You can’t see or smell radon. Testing is the only way to know your level of exposure.”
Here’s the latest on Radon inspection requirements from our exclusive interview with nationally recognized Radon instructor, Joe Lyons. Joe has decades of experience that includes serving as the Executive Vice President of Environmental Solutions Association for 14 years. He is an EPA approved trainer and QA manager for several EPA Technician courses. Joe also helped develop over 20 environmental courses that are recognized by 27 states, national associations, and governing bodies.
There are a lot of initials floating around when talking about Radon. These are the Radon public safety regulatory bodies and associations:
AARST – American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists
ANSI – American National Standards Institute
EPA – Environmental Protection Agency
IRC – International Residential Code
NRPP – National Radon Proficiency Program
NRSB – National Radon Safety Board
Radon Testing is Growing:
There have been several shifts in testing requirements.
New Construction – The IRC requirement updated on January 1, 2021, means Radon testing must be performed in all New Construction to ensure the Radon Systems are working correctly.
Lenders – New Radon regulations from lenders were put in place effective February 2022. Lenders including Housing & Urban Development (HUD), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac require Radon testing on their buildings as well as any loans and home rehabs. In addition, the inspector MUST be certified with NRPP or NRSB even in a non-licensing State.
Schools – The list of building safety for Radon testing now includes schools, daycares, and public buildings. Some states, like Connecticut, require that schools and daycares be tested every 5 years.
NEW States and Certification:
Radon licensing will be required in Colorado as of July 1, 2022. Colorado home inspectors can stay ahead by getting their Radon certification now. Several other states, like New York, are up next with a Radon bill currently on the table.
The Radon Measurement Professional and Mitigation Professional exams were overhauled May 1, 2021, with an updated certification exam. Inspectors can choose from two designations, a Radon Measurement Field Technician or Radon Measurement Professional (RMP) for the top-level certification with NRPP.
NEW requirement – Those who are placing and retrieving measurement devices need to be certified Radon Measurement Technicians. Everyone that has already been certified in measurement will be moved up from technicians to the Radon “Measurement Professional” level of certification with NRPP.
Radon Measurement Specialist – States vary; those who work in labs only.
Radon Measurement Professional – Field to filing formal reports. May have technician employees working under them. Must complete the new 16-hour course and pass the exam.
Radon Measurement Technician – Field device collecting.
Bottom line, Radon Certification brings improved safety and qualified training for professionals.
New safety requirements for building and lending are increasing the demand for Radon testing. These regulations open opportunities for Radon measurement and mitigation services beyond real estate transactions with home inspections. All 50 states–whether licensed or not–will require a Radon test when using federal funds (HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) and the inspector must be NRPP or NRSB certified. This means more business with the same certification.
According to top experts at AARST and NRPP, there is concern that not enough Certified Radon Measurement Professionals will be in place to meet the demand in 2022.
Look for an accredited Radon course. For example, NRPP, NRSB or IL IEMA approved. Some schools only offer intro courses that do not meet the requirements. The AHIT 16-hour Radon Measurement Professional course is approved by NRPP and prepares inspectors fully to pass the exam.
Radon instructor Joe Lyons has been actively involved in Radon since 1994 and provides updates to AHIT including the impact of changes that may affect home inspectors. Joe shares his perspective on the changes below:
What do you think about the certification change?
It’s what we’ve always wanted. More laws that require Radon testing and standardization is the reason HUD uses it in all 50 states. Illinois is a good example; they have their own state certification program and license but that doesn’t mean they can go out and do Radon testing on HUD properties. Other states have their own ideas of how they want it done, HUD came in and said that it needs to be standard across the board, so that a test in Florida is done in exactly the same way as in North Dakota and this puts everyone in an equal field.
What jobs can be done by a Professional vs. Technician?
The owner/operator will need to be the Radon Measurement Professional (RMP). This means technicians can work under you. Technicians are the retrievers of the Radon devices. For example, if you’re busy on the other end of town, you can send one of your RMT licensed employees to pick up the device. As far as reporting or anything that goes to the state, it must be the RMP.
Why get a Professional certification?
Inspectors will need the professional license to be an owner/operator that involves any type of Radon reporting or sending to the state. With the huge increase in demand, it will be easy to expand a Radon business beyond just home inspections.
The inspector Radon initials that confirm state licensing and certifications can vary. Here are the most common:
RMP – Radon Measurement Professional
RMFT – Radon Measurement Field Technician
RMS – Radon Mitigation Specialist
In my discussions with AARST and NRPP they are genuinely concerned that there will not be enough Certified Radon Measurement Professionals to meet the demand in 2022.
Watch for more updates on the changing Radon industry.