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Thread: Radon

  1. #1
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    Default Radon

    I did a Radon test this weekend, test ran from Friday morning until Monday morning. Sun Nuclear 1027 monitor. The print out is fairly normal for the first 24 hours ranging from 0.6 pCi/L to 3.0 pCi/L. Then about 8:00 A.M. Sunday the numbers start going crazy from 6.6 pCi/L to 20.6 pCi/L. I was thinking this is about the time a front and wind came through here and I know this can affect the numbers. I called my friend to ask him when that front came through and he said that we have been having a lot of Solar Flares lately also. Could Solar Flares affect the reading? Any input would be appreciated.

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    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

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    Default Re: Radon

    DID THE TEMPERTURE AND HUMIDITY READING CHANGE ON REPORT --sorry had cap key on--i will talk to my radon guy

    cvf


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    Default Re: Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    DID THE TEMPERTURE AND HUMIDITY READING CHANGE ON REPORT --sorry had cap key on--i will talk to my radon guy

    cvf
    The 1027 does not record temp or humidity.

    I NASA radiologist I did radon testing for mentioned something about solar activity and how it can affect the 1027. I have not seen anything in writing on it.

    If it was a weird test, run it again.


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    Default Re: Radon

    oh

    my femtco 510 does--never mind

    cvf


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    Default Re: Radon

    Tom,

    what was the final result?


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    Default Re: Radon

    Joseph, I did a little snooping on the web and found some information but nothing definitive. The solar flares do increase the radiation levels but wether that would affect the results of a radon test have not been studied. My question is could the difference in pressure or high winds and stack effect make that large a jump in radon levels (from normal up to 20pCi/L)?

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

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    Default Re: Radon

    A random spike (not affecting the end result) can be discounted.


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    Default Re: Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    I did a Radon test this weekend, test ran from Friday morning until Monday morning. Sun Nuclear 1027 monitor. The print out is fairly normal for the first 24 hours ranging from 0.6 pCi/L to 3.0 pCi/L. Then about 8:00 A.M. Sunday the numbers start going crazy from 6.6 pCi/L to 20.6 pCi/L. I was thinking this is about the time a front and wind came through here and I know this can affect the numbers. I called my friend to ask him when that front came through and he said that we have been having a lot of Solar Flares lately also. Could Solar Flares affect the reading? Any input would be appreciated.
    Thought about asking Sun Nuclear?
    Are you in a Karst area?
    Was the house on top of a hill?

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

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    Default Re: Radon

    Sun Nuclear- Solar Flares Nuff said.


    In reality, it's the wind and air pressures. The earth breathes. How much it breathes changes from minute to minute.

    Erby Crofutt, Georgetown, KY - Read my Blog here: Erby the Central Kentucky Home Inspector B4 U Close Home Inspections www.b4uclose.com www.kentuckyradon.com
    Find on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/B4UCloseInspections

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Radon

    Sun Nuclear monitors measure alpha particle radiation from the radon decay products, Polonium-218 and Polonium-214. Solar flares might increase readings for devices measuring gamma radiation that have not been properly shielded, but not likely to impact devices measuring alphas unless the electronics are really poorly designed/shielded. Our charcoal analysis (gamma spectroscopy) equipment, which has each detector surrounded by several hundred lbs of solid lead, showed no effect from the recent solar activity.

    Also, please understand that EPA protocols do not allow for random spikes to be removed from a CRM test average. The only scenario for removing data is the first 4 hours for ramp-up and there are cases where the first 12 hours are excluded because closed house conditions were not maintained prior to the test. But even after excluding the 4 or 12 hours, it is expected that there are still at least 44 contiguous hourly data points. Here is the wording from the EPA protocol for radon measurement in homes:

    "The minimum measurement period is 48 hours. The first four hours of data from a
    continuous monitor may be discarded or incorporated into the result using system correction factors (EPA 520-402-R-92-004; EPA 1992c). There must be at least 44 contiguous hours of usable data to produce a valid average. (The "backing out" of data [i.e., removal of portions imbedded in the two days] to account for weather or other phenomena will invalidate the measurement.) The periodic results should be averaged to produce a result that is reported to the client."

    I hope this is helpful,

    Shawn Price


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    Default Re: Radon

    Shawn, Thanks for the clarification. I ran the test for 74 hours because the second day was a Sunday. Is it possible for weather to have this kind of impact on readings. I am including the results in attachment.

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    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

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    Default Re: Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    Shawn, Thanks for the clarification. I ran the test for 74 hours because the second day was a Sunday. Is it possible for weather to have this kind of impact on readings. I am including the results in attachment.
    Something impacted those last 24-30 hours of that test. What did it could be a few things: Change in the homes envelope (windows doors, open/closed); change in atmospheric conditions by a front, high winds, snow/water on the ground or the CRM went haywire.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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    Default Re: Radon

    "Radon Levels are affected by:

    Home design and construction
    Structural cracks and pores in basement walls and floors
    Sub-soil composition
    Sub-soil moisture level
    Soil adsorptivity and permeability
    The amount, condition, and location of nearby vegetation
    The radon content of the home's potable water supply
    The radon content of natural gas supply (ordinarily this is insignificant)
    The season (open- vs closed-house conditions)
    Indoor / outdoor temperature differences
    Barometric pressure
    Wind velocity
    Rainfall amounts and intervals "


    (Radon)



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    Default Re: Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Something impacted those last 24-30 hours of that test. What did it could be a few things: Change in the homes envelope (windows doors, open/closed); change in atmospheric conditions by a front, high winds, snow/water on the ground or the CRM went haywire.
    Exactly,

    You report the average and provide the recommendations.
    Why a Long Term Test is generally recommended.

    The 48 Hour is just a snapshot for Real Estate Transfer purposes...


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    Default Re: Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    Shawn, Thanks for the clarification. I ran the test for 74 hours because the second day was a Sunday. Is it possible for weather to have this kind of impact on readings. I am including the results in attachment.
    Weather can have that type of impact.
    Here in this area of PA,
    30 - 40 + % percent of homes consistently test over 4.0 pCi/liter.
    Of that number, 10 % have a mitigation system that is ON at time of testing..

    So on average,
    1/3 Satisfactory
    1/3 Active Mitigation
    1/3 Average above 4 pCi/liter (need long term testing / mitigation)


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    Default Re: Radon

    I had the same thing happen in 2009. I retested because there was a very strong front move in the last few hours and I did not trust the results. The front did not bring strong winds, but did bring a big change in barometric pressure. I also wanted to know if they were erroneous or not. Turned out that the next test ( a few days later) showed the higher reading throughout the 48 hour period. Reported the results and the reasons for both tests.


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    Post Re: Radon

    Test and report. Test and report. Again, test and report.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
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    www.housesmithe.com

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    Default Re: Radon

    The weather can greatly effect Radon Results.
    You should always be aware of the weather conditions prior to the test period and try to test only during stable weather conditions.

    Living near the ocean, I see problems all the time from unexpected storms or weather fronts.

    When the weather is unstable my Sun Nuclear 1029 show it. (SEE ATTACHED).

    You should advise your client that the test was invalid and retest under more stable conditions.

    Attached Files Attached Files
    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Radon

    As others have discussed, yes, weather changes can have a significant impact on the test and can sometimes be confused with occupant influences. I have reviewed CRM tests that looked just like someone opening a window or door, only to check the weather history and see that a wind direction shift pressurized the house and stopped the radon entry. In mountainous terrain, the wind can really make the radon change and throw in karst cavities in the ground underneath homes, and you can really see things change drastically over just a couple hours.

    The key though is "Unusual" or "Unusually Severe". How many times has your Realtor said, "You need to retest the house because it rained, and you need to do it for free!"? I've been called many times by my customers saying it had just happened to them. My reply, was it just rain or was it unusual rain? Rain happens, wind happens, fronts move through. People live in houses when these things happen, so they are quite normal. 30 mph winds are very common in parts of the US, people breath radon when it gets breezy too. So what do you do?

    Again, I'll quote the EPA guidance from their Homes Protocol: "Short-term tests lasting just two or three days should not be conducted during unusually severe storms or periods of unusually high winds." (Emphasis added by me.)

    So my position is that one should use experience, training, and other tools (i.e., monitor readings or weather data) to be able to validate the measurement as valid or invalid and being able to explain why the radon levels fluctuate can be important. But just because something changed, doesn't necessarily invalidate a test.

    I hope this is helpful,

    Shawn


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    Default Re: Radon

    I think Shawn has an important point about the natural changes in weather. Testing for 48 hours during stable conditions gives you just a snapshot of how the house behaves. I would think a much better assessment would be a longer test (72 or 96 hours) when the weather was expected to go through a normal shift in conditions. With those nifty gadgets you guys have, you can see how the house behaves during that shift.

    Granted, interpreting the data might be a bit tricky, but even an average could be more representative of actual radon entry than a test during a 48 period of calm weather.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
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    Default Re: Radon

    Kristi


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    Default Re: Radon

    Yes, Charlie?

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

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    Default Re: Radon

    kristi

    didn't go thru--nor rewriting

    cvf


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    Default Re: Radon

    The thing we all need to remember here too (as Joseph pointed out) is that most of the testing we perform is a "screening test" for real estate transaction and should not be the sole test to consider mitigation. The EPA recommends a second short term test or (much better) a long term test using an alpha track or electret detector if levels are above 4 pCi/L. Shawn, Your answers are right on the nose. Are you a scientist? You don't have anything listed in your signature, thanks for your feedback (and all).

    Last edited by Tom Rees; 02-08-2012 at 07:53 AM.
    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

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    Default Re: Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees
    The thing we all need to remember here too (as Joseph pointed out) is that most of the testing we perform is a "screening test" for real estate transaction and should not be the sole test to consider mitigation. The EPA recommends a second short term test or (much better) a long term test using an alpha track or electret detector if levels are above 4 pCi/L. Shawn, Your answers are right on the nose. Are you a scientist? You don't have anything listed in your signature, thanks for your feedback (and all).
    The RED highlighted statements are not correct and are misleading. Any person testing for radon should follow EPA standard 402-R-92-003. "Radon Measurement EPA Protocol".

    Para 3.2 "Options for real estate testing" do not recommend a second test if two cannisters are used under a simultaneous test method (3.2.2) and if they both indicate levels greater than 4.0 pCi/l. (3.2.2.1)

    also a second test is not required if a contiuous radon monitor is used (3.2.3)

    Ken Amelin
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    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

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    Default Re: Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    The weather can greatly effect Radon Results.
    You should always be aware of the weather conditions prior to the test period and try to test only during stable weather conditions.

    Living near the ocean, I see problems all the time from unexpected storms or weather fronts.

    When the weather is unstable my Sun Nuclear 1029 show it. (SEE ATTACHED).

    You should advise your client that the test was invalid and retest under more stable conditions.
    Who pays for the retest ? ....
    and if the weather becomes unstable again?
    Who pays for the additional testing....


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    Default Re: Radon

    Weather is always unstable...
    why the 48 hour test is what it is.... a 48 hour test for Real Estate Transfer...

    let the respective parties resolve how they will settle it.

    Here,
    I have the luxury of lows being below 4 pCi/L
    and the highs being above 50 pCi/L

    I do not get many 3.9 or 4.1 readings....



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    Default Re: Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Hagarty
    Who pays for the retest ? ....
    and if the weather becomes unstable again?
    Who pays for the additional testing....
    It's your call, but It is the responsibility of the tester to look at the weather forecast over the next few days. (the test period)

    As you can see in my sample test (earlier post), the weather greatly effected the results.
    I chose to re-do the test at my cost, because I didn't check the forecast that day. -- MY FAULT --.

    That's one of the problems with a continuous radon monitor - THEY ARE TOO ACCURATE. When you use the cannisters you get one result - and you will never know if and how the result was effected by weather or by the seller tampering or other.

    I only use the continuous radon monitor and that's how I sell the service to my clients.

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

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    Default Re: Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    It's your call, but It is the responsibility of the tester to look at the weather forecast over the next few days. (the test period)

    As you can see in my sample test (earlier post), the weather greatly effected the results.
    I chose to re-do the test at my cost, because I didn't check the forecast that day. -- MY FAULT --.

    That's one of the problems with a continuous radon monitor - THEY ARE TOO ACCURATE. When you use the cannisters you get one result - and you will never know if and how the result was effected by weather or by the seller tampering or other.

    I only use the continuous radon monitor and that's how I sell the service to my clients.
    ???
    So you can predict weather better than the news forecaster?
    How many times will you retest for FREE?
    How many tests will you defer because you lack continuous monitors?
    If you used Charcoal, you would have reported the test result?
    HHHhmmmmmm......


  30. #30
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    Red face Re: Radon

    I've been using the same 1027 monitors and conducting radon tests for 8 years. I would call Sun Nuclear's tech dept., like another here suggested, and get their thoughts as to the spike in the third day of the test. They've been responsive & helpful to me in the past. My guess is that some change in the weather took place, weather being the greatest factor during a test in which the property maintained closed conditions.

    What you do about this unusual test is up to you and how you want to run your business. You could report the avg after the 1st 48 hrs, or report the overall avg, or decide to re-test.


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    Default Re: Radon

    Ken, This is a Home Inspection forum. Most of the radon tests we perform are a screening test for real estate transactions. There is nothing incorrect or misleading about that statement. I never said anything about simultaneous testing. Nowhere in section 3.2.3 does it say that if you use a CRM to not do further testing. Scroll up in that same document to Exhibit 2-1 and it will say the exact opposite of what you said. I was referring to futher testing for MITIGATION. I would never tell a seller that they need to mitigate there home based on one short term test. All others thank you for your constructive advice.

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    Shawn, Your answers are right on the nose. Are you a scientist? You don't have anything listed in your signature, thanks for your feedback (and all).
    Tom, I am a radon scientist (geologist by education) and I stop by when radon testing and other radon protocol questions are being tossed around.

    I used to work with EPA's radon proficiency program back in the day and was lucky enough to learn about almost all of the radon measurement devices and technologies and have seen them all operate on their best days as well as on their worst days. I've been working at a radon laboratory for 13 years now and have discussed all types of situations with my customers involving both our charcoal devices and our continuous monitor program and I only drop by to help out instead of turning the discussions into a marketing forum. So any time you all have any unusual radon situations, especially on the testing side, feel free to fire an email over to me at shawn@radon.com.

    Have a great day,

    Shawn


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    Default Re: Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees
    Ken, This is a Home Inspection forum.
    Yes it is. Most of the home inspectors in our area offer radon testing as an additional service. That is why we are discussing the topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees
    Most of the radon tests we perform are a screening test for real estate transactions. There is nothing incorrect or misleading about that statement.
    I don't know who "we" is, but I perform a certified short term radon test that is done in accordance with EPA standards. The results of the tests I perform are to determine if radon is present and if remediation is required. It is NOT a screening test. It is for real.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees
    I never said anything about simultaneous testing.
    When conducting a test for a real estate transaction you have only three options - Sequential, Simultaneous, or CRM. The first two use "two" devices for testing. In conducting a test for a real estate transactions ALL home inspectors that are certified radon testers use "Simultaneous" testing technique.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees
    Nowhere in section 3.2.3 does it say that if you use a CRM to not do further testing.
    Section 3.2.3 is titled "Single Test Option" . Also, I never said
    "to not do further testing" if you use a CRM monitor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees
    Scroll up in that same document to Exhibit 2-1 and it will say the exact opposite of what you said. Ifurthereferring to futher testing for MITIGATION. I would never tell a seller that they need to mitigate there home based on one short term test. All others thank you for your constructive advice.
    Exhibit 2-1 is not applicable. It should not be used in determining a mitigation strategy for real estate transactions.

    Tom and others,

    Please forgive me, I'm not trying to bust-em but this is a perfect example of improper testing proceedures. RADON is a serious matter and testing results can varfollowatly if we not not follw EPA protocol.

    I urge all home inspectors that test for radon to get certified by NEHA-NRPP or NRSB and follow EPA 402-R-92-003 standard for testing.

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

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    Default Re: Radon

    Thanks Shawn.

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

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    Default Re: Radon

    Ken, am I understanding correctly that you determine whether a house needs radon mitigation based on one short term test done during stable weather? And what does "stable" mean? Calm? Unchanging through the period measured?

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
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    Default Re: Radon


    also a second test is not required if a contiuous radon monitor is used (3.2.3)

    Section 3.2.3 is titled "Single Test Option" . Also, I never said
    "to not do further testing" if you use a CRM monitor.

    Nuff said?

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

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    Default Re: Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    When conducting a test for a real estate transaction you have only three options - Sequential, Simultaneous, or CRM. The first two use "two" devices for testing. In conducting a test for a real estate transactions ALL home inspectors that are certified radon testers use "Simultaneous" testing technique.

    Exhibit 2-1 is not applicable. It should not be used in determining a mitigation strategy for real estate transactions.
    Ken, When you do simultaneous testing do you use two CRM's? EPA Publication 402-R-92-003 3.2.3 "allows the use of one CRM if it has the capability to integrate and record a new test result hourly" which the Sun Nuclear 1027 does.

    The Title of Exhibit 2-1 in EPA Publication 402-R-92-003 is:
    "Recommended Testing Strategy for Determining the Need for Mitigation in Homes"

    Why do you say it should not be used?

    Last edited by Tom Rees; 02-10-2012 at 08:07 AM.
    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

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    Default Re: Radon

    Tom,

    It's different for real estate transactions. Use exhibit 3-2 in determining whether to re-test in a realestate transaction.

    It's confusing because real estate transactions are done using one of three options:
    1. Sequential
    2. Simultaneous
    3. CRM

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

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    Default Re: Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees
    Ken, When you do simultaneous testing do you use two CRM's?
    Two cannisters "side by side" are needed.

    Only one CRM is required and only one single test is required using a CRM.
    (provided it meets the requirements detailed in 3.2.3 "Option 3"

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
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    Default Re: Radon

    Ken, Exhibit 3-2 is Titled:
    Deciding on a Retest when Measurements Vary Significantly.

    You seem to contradict yourself. You state that you use CRM's exclusively and "sell your service that way". Then you state that "all" HI's that are certified use simultaneous testing and two canisters "side by side" are needed for that technique. Then you state that there are three options for testing.
    I will ask you once again. You stated that "all HI's that are certified use simultaneous testing technique. If you exclusively use CRM's how do you use two canisters side by side for simultaneous testing?

    Last edited by Tom Rees; 02-10-2012 at 08:48 AM.
    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

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    Default Re: Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    Ken, Exhibit 3-2 is Titled:
    Deciding on a Retest when Measurements Vary Significantly.

    You seem to contradict yourself. You state that you use CRM's exclusively and "sell your service that way". Then you state that "all" HI's that are certified use simultaneous testing and two canisters "side by side" are needed for that technique. Then you state that there are three options for testing.
    I will ask you once again. You stated that "all HI's that are certified use simultaneous testing technique. If you exclusively use CRM's how do you use two canisters side by side for simultaneous testing?
    Tom, just curious, are you certified through NEHA or NRSB?

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

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    Cool Re: Radon

    Stuart, No I am not certified through NEHA or NSRB. In Utah I am not required to be. I have taken classroom and online courses on radon testing but I am not certified. I have thoroughly read and studied EPA publications: Protocols for Radon and Radon Decay Product Measurement in Homes, Indoor Radon and Radon Decay Product Measurement Device Protocols and most of the pamphlets including The Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon.

    I am confused by Kens post where he states that "all home inspectors that are certified radon testers use "Simultaneous" testing technique and that two cannisters "side by side" are needed. He also states "I only use the continuous radon monitor and that's how I sell the service to my clients". Well if you use only Continuous Radon Monitors (CRM's) how can you do a siultaneous test with two cannisters. Maybe I'm not getting it. Is this something I should be doing, if it is please clarify.

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  43. #43
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    Default Re: Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    Stuart, No I am not certified through NEHA or NSRB. In Utah I am not required to be. I have taken classroom and online courses on radon testing but I am not certified. I have thoroughly read and studied EPA publications: Protocols for Radon and Radon Decay Product Measurement in Homes, Indoor Radon and Radon Decay Product Measurement Device Protocols and most of the pamphlets including The Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon.

    I am confused by Kens post where he states that "all home inspectors that are certified radon testers use "Simultaneous" testing technique and that two cannisters "side by side" are needed. He also states "I only use the continuous radon monitor and that's how I sell the service to my clients". Well if you use only Continuous Radon Monitors (CRM's) how can you do a siultaneous test with two cannisters. Maybe I'm not getting it. Is this something I should be doing, if it is please clarify.
    Tom,
    1. If a CRM is used for a test, it is not required to run a second test - As per EPA guidelines, if the result is 4.0 pCi/l or higher
    2. If a passive device is used for testing and the result is 4.0 pCi/l or higher, a second test is required. The results of the two tests are averaged.
    3. Now, in lieu of having to come back to run a second test with a passive device, you can run the second test simultaneously, side by side. Again the results of the two tests are averaged. That where Ken's comment, "all home inspectors that are certified,..." comes into play.
    Part of the confusion comes from slight difference between the two EPA publications, "A Citizens Guide To Radon" and "The Home Buyer-Seller Guide to Radon". The Citizen's Guide is intended for people living in their home and running their own test. The "Buyer-Seller Guide" is for Real Estate Transactions.

    I applaud you for obtaining some training. But, I feel very confident in saying that whatever you did in an online course and self-study cannot approach the in-the-classroom course and the most horrible proctored test you can imagine. The course materials and tests are the product of government employee nuclear physicist PhDs; At least back in 2007. There was some movement beginning then to improve the materials and tests but I don't know if it ever happened. It's bad enough to ensure the once certified make darn sure their certification doesn't expire. If it does, the entire course and test have to be repeated to be re-certified.

    I hope this helps you understand the difference

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  44. #44
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    Default Re: Radon

    Stuart, Let me get this right. If I use a CRM for testing, which I do, I use a Sun Nuclear 1027, I do not need to do a second test. Am I right so far? So if all that I use is a CRM why would I ever need to do simultaneous tests with cannisters? That's where I am confused about the statement "In conducting a test for a real estate transactions "ALL" home inspectors that are certified radon testers use "Simultaneous" testing technique".

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  45. #45
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    Default Re: Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    Stuart, Let me get this right. If I use a CRM for testing, which I do, I use a Sun Nuclear 1027, I do not need to do a second test. Am I right so far? So if all that I use is a CRM why would I ever need to do simultaneous tests with cannisters? That's where I am confused about the statement "In conducting a test for a real estate transactions "ALL" home inspectors that are certified radon testers use "Simultaneous" testing technique".
    Correct - if you use a CRM, including the 1027, you do not need to run a second test or a simultaneous test. You should have the 1027's calibrated every year as with any CRM.

    The second or "simultaneous" test only applies if you are using passive devices like charcoal canisters, e-perms, etc. for a short term test. Note "short term", 2-90 days. Long term tests are 91-365 days and use an Alpha-track device or special e-perm. You could run one with a CRM as long as it will run 91 days or more.

    I sometimes run tests for homeowners and often let the CRM set 5 days or more depending on the demand for testing at the time. The 1028 and 1029 generate a chart of readings over time. I did it with 1027's with the help of Excel. If you learned about the affects of weather on tests, it's pretty easy to see when a wind came up and died, or when it starts raining or snowing. I've been able to tell when a family left the home for the weekend and then came back.

    Okay, even with a CRM, a certified tester are required to run a simultaneous test every 10 tests or so. I usually let the monitors run side by side in the office when "not working". Just to make sure all the devices are running close. I understand there are people out there with multiple CRMs that will have 1 calibrated and then run a check of the others against the calibrated device. It's not meeting requirements but it's better than the ya-hoo who buys one and runs it forever without any check or calibration.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  46. #46
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    Default Re: Radon

    Thanks Stuart. That makes sense. It is for quality control.

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

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    Default Re: Radon


  48. #48
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    Default Re: Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees
    Stuart, Let me get this right. If I use a CRM for testing, which I do, I use a Sun Nuclear 1027, I do not need to do a second test. Am I right so far? So if all that I use is a CRM why would I ever need to do simultaneous tests with cannisters? That's where I am confused about the statement "In conducting a test for a real estate transactions "ALL" home inspectors that are certified radon testers use "Simultaneous" testing technique".
    Tom,

    The answer to the confusion is in EPA's radon measurement protocal
    EPA 402-R-92-003 section 3.2 pages 15-19. It's not worth the time to repeat the entire chapter. I recommend you read the document and also to take a certification course.

    Home inspectors that provide radon testing for a fee owe it to their clients to conduct the service in a professional manner and in accordance with current industry standards.

    I believe that after you pass the examine and with information fresh on your mind, you will be back on this message board providing additional insite to radon gas and helping us all sort through this confusing issue of testing protocol.

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  49. #49
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    Default Re: Radon

    COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
    Dept. of Environmental Protection

    Commonwealth News Bureau
    Room 308, Main Capitol Building
    Harrisburg PA., 17120


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    02/1/2012


    CONTACT:

    Deborah Fries, Department of Environmental Protection Southeast Regional Office

    484-250-5808

    DEP Seeks Information about Antique Medical Kit Containing Radium-226

    NORRISTOWN -- The Department of Environmental Protection is asking anyone who knows the history of an antique medical kit found in a Chester County trash bin to contact the agency’s Bureau of Radiation Protection.

    “The radioactive material may have been contained in the kit for more than 80 years,” Bureau Director David Allard said. “The metal box likely came from a basement, an attic or a collector’s stash. Anyone who tampered with it or stored it for a long time may have been exposed to high levels of radiation.”

    The material was found Jan. 19, when a load of construction debris set off radiation alarms at Waste Management Inc.’s Norristown transfer station. The company deployed a health physicist to recover the radioactive material, identified as approximately one curie of radium-226. Exposure to one curie of radium-226 is equivalent to having more than 100 CT scans at once, and it has the potential to create skin burns within a few hours of contact.

    DEP health physicists worked with Waste Management to properly evaluate and store the radium, and traced its source to a roll-off container that had come from the Hershey’s Mill retirement community in West Chester.

    The radium-226 was contained in four capsules inside a small lead safe marked “Radium Chemical Co., Inc.” The safe and some antique surgical equipment were stored inside a larger, locking metal box, which had been pried open.

    “Although the capsules do not appear to be leaking, we believe that someone could have had direct contact with these sources of radium-226,” Allard said. “The radioactive radium they contain is about five times the amount found in modern medical sources, and we are concerned about the health of anyone who may have handled them.”

    Anyone with information about the kit is asked to contact Allard at 717-787-2480. All calls are confidential. To view photos of the lead safe and other contents of the box, visit www.dep.state.pa.us and click on “Bureau of Radiation Protection.”


  50. #50
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    Default Re: Radon

    Joseph, I was following link to look at pictures of safe and ran across this link: Newsroom

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

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    Default Re: Radon

    This paper has some interesting graphs of radon levels varying with weather in unmitigated and mitigated houses. Graphs are at the bottom. Small sample size, but interesting anyway.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  52. #52
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    Default Re: Radon

    Wow,lots of conversation about radon,if my tests were that out of whack,I would offer to do them over again,only one time.


  53. #53
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    Default Re: Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    Joseph, I was following link to look at pictures of safe and ran across this link: Newsroom
    That one is interesting as well...
    PA DEP does not take violations lightly...


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    Default Re: Radon

    I was reading an online NOAA course about weather and came across this. I don't know how pertinent it is, but we were talking about weather and pressure, so I thought, what the heck...

    Interesting that the observations are from 160 years ago, but what really surprised me was the following commentary saying pressures didn't generally change in the tropics. Also means those Canadians among us might see especially drastic changes in radon levels due to weather.

    How are changes in weather related to changes in pressure?
    From his vantage point in England in 1848, Rev. Dr. Brewer wrote in his A Guide to the Scientific Knowledge of Things Familiar the following about the relation of pressure to weather:
    The FALL of the barometer (decreasing pressure)
    • In very hot weather, the fall of the barometer denotes thunder. Otherwise, the sudden falling of the barometer denotes high wind.
    • In frosty weather, the fall of the barometer denotes thaw.
    • If wet weather happens soon after the fall of the barometer, expect but little of it.
    • In wet weather if the barometer falls expect much wet.
    • In fair weather, if the barometer falls much and remains low, expect much wet in a few days, and probably wind.
    • The barometer sinks lowest of all for wind and rain together; next to that wind, (except it be an east or north-east wind).
    The RISE of the barometer (increasing pressure)
    • In winter, the rise of the barometer presages frost.
    • In frosty weather, the rise of the barometer presages snow.
    • If fair weather happens soon after the rise of the barometer, expect but little of it.
    • In wet weather, if the mercury rises high and remains so, expect continued fine weather in a day or two.
    • In wet weather, if the mercury rises suddenly very high, fine weather will not last long.
    • The barometer rises highest of all for north and east winds; for all other winds it sinks.
    The barometer UNSETTLED (unsteady pressure)
    • If the motion of the mercury be unsettled, expect unsettled weather.
    • If it stands at "MUCH RAIN" and rises to "CHANGEABLE" expect fair weather of short continuance.
    • If it stands at "FAIR" and falls to "CHANGEABLE", expect foul weather.
    • Its motion upwards, indicates the approach of fine weather; its motion downwards, indicates the approach of foul weather.
    These pressure observations hold true for many other locations as well but not all of them. Storms that occur in England, located near the end of the Gulf Stream, bring large pressure changes. In the United States, the largest pressure changes associated with storms will generally occur in Alaska and northern half of the continental U.S. In the tropics, except for tropical cyclones, there is very little day-to-day pressure change and none of the rules apply.


    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  55. #55
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    Default Re: Radon

    Kristi, thanks for posting that. It was very interesting.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  56. #56
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    Default Re: Radon

    The US EPA protocol states that Radon test should be redone if there is severe weather with winds in excess of 30 MPH. This includes both CRM tests and Charcoal tests.
    You can and should be aware of the weather conditions. If you're doing the testing it is your responsibility.
    I have had to redo several tests because of summer storms. I do not charge to retest because of these inconveniences.

    http://www.epa.gov/radon/pdfs/homes_protocols.pdf

    Short-term tests lasting just two or three days should not be conducted during unusually severe storms
    or periods of unusually high winds. Severe weather will affect the measurement results in several ways.
    First, a high wind will increase the variability of radon concentration because of wind-induced
    differences in air pressure between the building interior and exterior. Second, rapid changes in
    barometric pressure increase the chance of a large difference in the interior and exterior air pressures,
    consequently changing the rate of radon influx. Weather predictions available on local news stations
    can provide sufficient information to determine if these conditions are likely. While unusual variations
    between radon measurements may be due to weather or other effects, the measurement system
    should be checked for possible problems.


  57. #57
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    Default Re: Radon

    A lot of posts here...maybe I missed something, but is this property occupied.
    I have used a 1027 for years and have seen some odd patterns occasionally. Because, I am a curious kind of guy, I have done follow up tests on my own nickel to see what a subsequent test might show. You have an unusual pattern there and you are correct to look for an explanation.
    If the home is occupied, then inquiring about what the occupants were doing might explain the pattern. People do funny things. Is there a subfloor ventilation system in the basement? If so, the fan might have been operating during the first part of the test and then shut down for rest of the test. Since those fans are normally on a humidistat, it could explain the pattern.


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