How Will Colorado’s New Radon Law Affect Radon Professionals?
Date Published: July 5, 2022
Starting on July 1, 2022, Colorado’s new radon law took effect. According to this law, titled HB21-1195, “an individual is prohibited from practicing as a radon measurement professional or radon mitigation professional unless the individual is licensed by the director of the division of professions and occupations in the department of regulatory agencies.”
This is a statewide law with no grace period. All individuals must adhere to the guidelines set forth in this bill, or otherwise face disciplinary consequences.
Needless to say, the new radon law is creating quite a significant change in the Colorado radon industry. And many professionals and consumers may be wondering – How will this affect me?
But before we further discuss this new law, let’s talk about what radon is and why it is such a big deal.
What is Radon?
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally, and is caused by the breakdown of uranium in the Earth’s soil. It is odorless. tasteless and colorless.
This gas moves up through the soil, into the atmosphere, and consequently, into people’s homes. Radon is prevalent throughout the state of Colorado. In fact, studies show that the majority of Colorado counties are likely to have medium to high levels of radon (as indicated in the chart below).
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, radon is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States. Additionally, it is the second leading cause of lung cancer, next to smoking. So this radioactive gas is, of course, something all current and future homeowners should be aware of.
Radon can make its way into homes through foundation cracks, plumbing penetrations, construction joints, sump pits, spaces between basement walls and the slab, and crawlspaces, just to name a few.
It doesn’t matter the age of the house – radon will travel into old homes and new builds alike. And the only way to determine the radon levels in your home is to conduct a radon test in the home.
Specialized testing equipment is required in order to detect radon levels. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), if radon levels are equal to or greater than 4.0 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), then a radon mitigation system should be installed in the home.
Radon is a serious matter, and should be treated as such. That’s why it is essential that radon testing and mitigation installation is done professionally and properly. And that is where Colorado’s new radon law comes into play.
Colorado’s New Radon Law
HB21-1195 is a bill created to establish a stricter “regulation of radon professionals.” Overseen by DORA (Department of Regulatory Agencies), this law is meant to increase consumer protection.
It is categorized as a sunset law, meaning after ten years it will be reassessed. If voted into law again, the bill will remain intact. Otherwise, it will expire.
Image Sourced from: apps.colorado.gov
The excessive levels of radon in residences statewide have created a significant demand for radon testing and mitigation. As a result, a number of unqualified individuals have entered the market practicing as radon professionals.
Improper testing and/or system installation could leave a homeowner in a potentially dangerous environment. Therefore, the new law ensures that only licensed professionals will be able to handle these radon-related tasks.
There are now two available licenses – RMEs for professionals performing the radon testing, and RMTs for professionals installing mitigation systems. HB21-1195 has established a number steps needed to obtain and maintain these licenses.
Here at Scott Home Inspection, we focus on the radon testing (not mitigation) side of things. So let’s talk a bit more about how to acquire the proper testing certification.
How to Acquire a Radon Testing License
In order to legally test for radon in the state of Colorado, there are guidelines that need to be followed:
1. Inspectors must take the NRPP (National Radon Proficiency Program) accredited course.
2. After completing the course, inspectors must pass the NRPP exam.
3. The inspector has to submit their NRPP certification to gain a license through DORA.
4. One of the inspector’s or company’s radon testing devices must go through performance testing to ensure that it is calibrated properly. This process must occur annually. (For more info about this calibration test, click here.)
5. The inspector or company needs to be insured by a state accredited insurance company.
6. The inspector must maintain NRPP certification if they are handling any radon test devices. There is a 2 year renewal cycle on this certification.
This law and its extensive requirements aims to give consumers a new level of assurance when hiring a radon professional. DORA even allows consumers to verify inspector licenses on their website. So if you are incapable of conforming to Colorado’s new radon law, then you you will be unable to legally practice radon-related procedures.
Our Plan for the New Radon Law
Here at Scott Home Inspection, we have been prepared for Colorado’s new radon law to take effect. Our plan was simple – by July 1st, all inspectors on staff would be fully licensed to carry out radon testing procedures.
We have aimed to make the transition into this new phase as smooth as possible for the company and customers. So now that HB21-1195 is in place, we are able to offer the same reliable, professional radon testing services as always.
Our radon tests are EPA-approved, short term 48-hour tests. After the 48 test duration, we are able to extract the test results and deliver them to customers onsite. And our radon tests can be conducted separately or in addition to our home inspections.
One of the devices we use to test radon levels.
Our inspectors follow the testing standards established by ANSI/AARST (American Nation Standards Institute / American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists) to guarantee the utmost accuracy and effectiveness. Because here at Scott Home Inspection, our number one mission is to provide integrity-based home inspections to help Colorado families live in safe, healthy and comfortable homes.
For more information about our radon testing services click here.
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Chris Kimmel worked as an Associate Home Inspector for two years, handling numerous services including sewer scope inspections, pest inspections, mold air sample testing, radon testing, and water quality testing. Chris now works with Scott Home Inspection as a Content Writing Specialist.