Susan Martino & Patty Dooley-Strappelli, Environmental Health Specialists, Boulder County Public Health

You’ve likely seen the EPA Radon Zone Map and recall the concentration of red Zone 1 areas in the Northern and Central USA. Based on comprehensive radon testing, all 64 Colorado counties have been designated as Zone 1 by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Due to many years of outreach and education, we find that real estate professionals are more radon aware and ARE discussing radon and testing during the real estate transaction with their clients. Unfortunately, in Colorado, there is no requirement for radon contractors to have any qualifications or to be NRPP (or NRSB) certified. Very few Realtors know there is a voluntary certification program that certifies radon contractors who have completed program-approved training.

What can you do to help yourself stand out as a certified measurement contractor in Colorado or one of the 30 other non-regulatory states? Radon test results can be contested and rejected by buyers if they are not conducted by a certified contractor. Explain the testing protocol to prospective clients. Let clients know you regularly calibrate your CRM monitor used for testing. If a CRM is not used, explain what tamper controls can be used to guarantee the test results. Let them know that the practice of ‘airing the house out’ can cause false test results and potentially harm the new family living in the house for years to come.

Speaking of reducing harm, thanks to our dedicated Rocky Mountain AARST Chapter, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) published a Sunrise Review to determine if there is a need for radon contractor accountability. Due to the DORA report, the harms of non-regulation to the public have been officially identified. They include fraudulent radon measurement, false advertising related to radon measurement, improperly installed radon mitigation systems, and fraudulent mitigation systems.

We are fortunate to have funding from the Colorado Cancer, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Disease Grants program that supports our partnership with other local public health agencies on the Public Health Radon Reduction Roadmap project. The project goal is to provide communication materials and education to health agencies and other key influencers such as elected officials, building officials, real estate professionals, and building professionals.

It’s simple; radon exposure increases the risk for lung cancer, and lung cancer continues to have the highest cancer mortality in the United States. Radon can be easily tested for and controlled (unlike other known carcinogens). Get involved with your local AARST Chapter and collaborate with your public health agencies to educate key influencers. Elected officials and decision-makers want to hear from small business owners. Thank you for your professional commitment to providing quality service to your clients. Please take care of yourselves.