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Consumer Glossary

Radon Measurement Technician-are people who have been trained and certified in the fundamentals of radon testing. This requires a basic understanding of radon and the health risks associated with it, as well as a thorough knowledge of measurement techniques and testing protocols.

National Radon Safety Board Certification as a Radon Measurement Technician requires:

  • Eight hours of classroom training on the nature of radon, radon entry in buildings, fundamental radon health risks, occupational health and safety, measurement devices and techniques, and current radon protocols;
  • Successful passing of examination based upon this knowledge;
  • Eight hours of continuing education biennially (i.e., four hours per year);
  • Adherence to the National Radon Safety Board code of ethics.

Measurement Technicians are qualified to place and retrieve measurement devices for the purpose of collecting radon data. This must be done in accordance with an active quality assurance program under the supervision of a certified Radon Measurement Specialist (RMS) or Accredited Radon Laboratory (ARL).

Radon Measurement Specialist-requires demonstration of knowledge which goes significantly beyond that required of a technician. In addition to basic training in the rudiments of radon measurements, the certified RMS must demonstrate a basic knowledge of radiation physics, an understanding of risk assessment, the epidemiological evidence of radon health risks, and the differences between various devices and techniques for measuring radon and radon decay products. The NRSB certified Radon Measurement Specialist must also understand the importance of radiation safety and be capable of designing and implementing a quality assurance program.

To be certified as an NRSB Radon Measurement Specialist a candidate must meet the following requirements:

  • Sixteen hours of classroom training on the nature of radon, radon entry in buildings, fundamental radon health risks, occupational health and safety, measurement devices and techniques, and current radon protocols;
  • Successful passing of a knowledge-based exam;
  • Sixteen hours of continuing education biennially (i.e., eight hours per year);
  • Adherence to the National Radon Safety Board code of ethics.

Radon Measurement Specialists are qualified to analyze -- rather than simply report -- radon measurements in a manner that is consistent with current knowledge.

Radon Mitigation Specialist-The NRSB requirements for certification as a Radon Mitigation Specialist (RRS) are essentially the same as those established by the Environmental Protection Agency Radon Proficiency Program for radon mitigators. To be certified a candidate must have a working knowledge of radon measurement techniques and health risks, and must demonstrate a broad knowledge in all aspects of residential radon mitigation.

The requirements for certification as a Radon Mitigation Specialist are:

  • Thirty-two hours of training, including not less than eight hours of hands-on experience;
  • Successful passing of a knowledge-based exam;
  • Sixteen hours of continuing education biennially (i.e., eight hours per year);
  • Adherence to the National Radon Safety Board Code of Ethics.

This includes the ability to evaluate the quality of radon measurements, assess alternative mitigation strategies, and properly design and install effective control systems.

Accredited Radon Laboratories-To be accredited by the National Radon Safety Board, laboratories will be required to demonstrate that they have thorough quality assurance programs (QAPs) and clearly defined standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Such QAPs and SOPs must cover all aspects of laboratory operations and must:

  • Establish appropriate education, training, and a radon safety program for all laboratory personnel;
  • Assure that all laboratory personnel adhere to the laboratory’s QAP;
  • Include blind tests and inter-comparisons with other NRSB accredited; laboratories, radon chambers, or federal laboratories must be conducted on a routine basis;
  • QAPs must include appropriate quality control measures including blanks, duplicates, and spikes, to determine the lower limits of detection, the precision, and accuracy of measurements.

Applicants must specify what devices the laboratory uses in performing radon analysis and list the NRSB device code for each on the application.

A laboratory must submit current proficiency test results for all devices used to perform radon analysis and for which the ARL wishes to maintain a proficiency listing – including activated charcoal, liquid scintillation, electret ion chamber, alpha track, continuous radon monitor and continuous working level monitor. To conduct a proficiency test, ARLs are required to submit the devices to an accredited secondary radon chamber for exposure to known concentrations. ARLs are expected to provide measurement results that are within + 25% of the target value.

An NRSB Radon Measurement Specialist (RMS) must be affiliated with the laboratory and listed on the application. Certification requirements for RMS are listed above.

Pending adoption of formal, detailed criteria for laboratory accreditation, the NRSB will accept applications for interim laboratory accreditation based upon state accreditation or listing by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).

Accredited Radon Chambers-The purpose of accrediting radon chambers is to establish criteria to assure that measurement devices are capable of performing predictably under a wide range of environmental conditions. To do this a chamber must be able to consistently and reliably simulate conditions similar to those encountered in actual radon tests.

The basic criteria for chamber accreditation include:

  • Sufficient capacity to evaluate multiple instruments simultaneously;
  • Variable environmental controls capable of simulating and continuously monitoring a variety of environmental conditions, including temperature, humidity, ventilation and particulate concentrations;
  • Sources of pure RA-226 and Thoron traceable to an official standards laboratory;
  • Variable radon concentrations from 2 pCi/L - 50 pCi/L with radon progeny in the range of 0.0001 – 0.4 WL, traceable to an official agency; a variable equilibrium ratio of 0.3 – 0.7 is desirable;
  • Radiation standards must be strictly enforced to minimize occupational exposures;
  • Qualified chamber operators with a broad background and knowledge in instrument development, protocol use and a thorough grasp of QA and QC procedures;
  • A program of chamber inter-comparisons.