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Kaplan ITA's Monthly Inspection Tips - Free Electronic Newsletter

November, 2005
Radon Testing
Issue #43

This month Mike Casey asked me to talk with you about Radon Testing. I guess having performed radon air & water testing for the past twenty years gives me a little insight into the business end of this, but Mike knows I am very involved with the American Association of Radon Scientists & Technologists (AARST) and I have been actively putting together the new Radon Course for Kaplan as well.

Radon testing is a critical piece of the Home buying process in many areas of the country. The fact that 17-22,000 people die annually from radon induced lung cancer helps to get our immediate attention. For someone buying a home, simply having the home tested can let them know if the home has a problem. Radioactive gases coming into the lower levels of the home from soil gases, can be inhaled and cause health concerns.

Proper testing requires that the tester follow the EPA & AARST protocols. And when a test is performed properly, consumers can expect a reasonable assurance that the house is safe to live in. Houses with elevated air levels (above 4.0 pico curies per liter of air or pCi/L) should be fixed by a radon mitigation expert. This is usually a fairly simple job, and in the Northeast generally costs about $1,000 when the air level is too high.

Testing well water for radon is also important as the water may be exposed to higher levels of radiation deep in the ground and only find its way out of the water when it hits the faucet aerator or the shower head. Levels of over 5,000 pCi/l in water are considered a concern that should be repaired. Filtration units costing $1000 and above, or aeration systems between $3000 to $5000 will typically fix the well water. It is rare to see problems with radon in municipal water as most municipalities aerate their water before sending it to the home.

For home inspectors looking for an add-on business, radon testing is a sure way to increase your business activities and bottom line if there is radon gas in your area. Most inspectors in my area (New England) market that they perform water testing, radon testing, and pest inspections. This gives them a marketing advantage by being a one-stop convenience for their clients. Realtors seem to like that the inspector takes care of this as well.

Radon testing protects the consumer and reduces the worry. It makes the client feel safer and allows the inspector the opportunity to determine and explain if there is an important health issue. From a business point of view with a typical test being billed out between 75 to 150 dollars per air test; if an inspector performed 300 tests a year it would increase his or her gross between $22,000 to $45,000. Don't forget you will need to rent or purchase radon monitors and get some additional training.

If you are interested in learning more about radon, Kaplan has introduced our new Residential Radon Measurement Course. This course will offer the student the information they need to add testing to your toolbox as well as receive certification that meets the minimal requirements to test in many states. This course is coming soon to other facilities.

More on this soon,

Steve Gladstone
Kaplan Professional Schools
Now You're Ready For Business!™



Residential Radon Measurement 2-Day Course

6 issues for $19.95.

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