"Caveat Emptor" ........"Let the Buyer Beware!"
In 1998, due to a cut back in funding from Congress, the EPA shut down their "Radon Proficiency Program" and turned over the management of "certification of radon professionals" to two independent groups: The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) and The National Radon Safety Board (NRSB). Every contractor in the country working with radon should be "listed" by one or both of these groups on their organization's website unless their respective state requires "state licensing".
There are TWO types of radon certifications:
1) Individuals that have met proficiency requirements to perform "Radon testing and test interpretation" in accordance with EPA protocols. This qualified them to perform "Standard testing" (using "passive devices" such as charcoal kits or liquid scintillation). Upon completion, the tester sends them off to the lab for analysis and the "report of findings" is generated by the laboratory.
Becoming qualified to perform "Standard" and "Analytical" testing means that you have successfully passed a "device performance test" which demonstrates your knowledge and ability to properly conduct a radon test using an "active device" (continuous radon monitor) as well as to generate reports which provide a real time and current print-out/average of the test data obtained. Be SURE that anyone who provides radon testing using a continuous monitor has passed a "device proficieny test" (administered by Bower Morner). This must be done every two years! If they utilize continuous monitors they should also "upon request" provide a "calibration report" from the monitor manufacturer that validates the unit has obtained its "annual calibration" certification.
2) Individuals that have met proficiency requirements to "design and install radon mitigation systems" have done so in accordance with relevant EPA mitigation standards.
Just because you are "certified" in one area doesn't necessarily mean you are qualified to offer services (or recomendations) in the other area! Being "certified" not only means you have demonstrated your professional expertise/knowledge on an exam, but that you have also AGREED to perform all the respective services you provide in accordance with EPA protocols!
Be SURE that the individual is "certified" in the area of service you are needing!
NO RADON MITIGATION SYSTEM SHOULD EVER BE DESIGNED OVER THE PHONE.
Section 11.1 of the EPA Radon Mitigation Standards states that:
The contractor shall conduct a thorough visual inspection of the building prior to initiating any radon mitigation work. (the CERTIFIED mitigator should do this!). The inspection is intended to identify building characteristics and configurations (e.g. large cracks in slabs, exposed earth in crawl spaces, open stairways to basements) and operational conditions (e.g. continuously running HVAC systems or operational windows) that might affect the design, installation and effectiveness of radon mitigation systems. As part of this inspection, clients should be asked to provide any available information on the building (e.g. construction specifications, pictures, drawings, etc.) that might be of value in determining the radon mitigation strategy.
Furthermore, upon closure of the EPA's radon program, participants were instructed by the EPA to destroy all EPA contractor identification badges AND were informed that they were no longer to use the EPA's name to imply any sort of "government endorsement".
However, since that time there have unfortunately been contractors, from time to time, that have taken "liberties" in their yellow page or website advertising in an effort to present themselves as "more qualified" than their competitors. The use of the term "EPA-listed", "EPA-licensed", "EPA-certified", or "EPA-approved" are such examples. If you run across a company that is holding themselves out as "EPA-anything" you should visit the Better Business Bureau (Upstate SC) upstatesc.bbb.org and log a "complaint" so that other consumers may be "alerted" to this false advertisting practice!office and ask to include a complaint in their file regarding "false advertising" so that future consumers can be informed before deciding to use them. Furthermore, if they are "members" of NEHA or the NRSB also consider contacting these organizations to report the "false advertising" you have encountered. They will take the necessary actions to halt the practice!