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Can Radon Tests be Wrong?

Updated: Jul 9, 2022

Can radon tests give false readings?

Knowing what type of radon test to deploy and how to properly deploy that test is paramount to getting an accurate reading and to avoid any test giving a false reading. Each type of radon testing device has specific requirements that a technician must be trained on before they can provide results to a client.

Some things that can cause a radon test to be wrong or inaccurate:

  • Placement of a test too close to an exterior wall

  • Placement of a test out of the breathing space

  • Placement of a test too close to other objects

  • Deploying a test for the improper amount of time

  • Deployment of a test in a place of high humidity

  • Deployment of a test in a draft caused by AC, heating, doors, fans, windows

  • Failure to properly and regularly calibrate testing equipment

  • Failure to deploy duplicates and blanks

  • Testing done by a non NRPP and FL DOH certified Radon Measurement Technician

All EnviroHome employees performing radon testing have been certified by the National Radon Proficiency Program and the Florida Department of Health in Radon Measurement and are highly trained in how to properly place and deploy each testing mechanism to avoid any issues that may cause a test to be void. Each testing type has pros and cons and our team is trained to identify which combination of testing techniques is best for the property. Built into any radon testing plan conducted by EnviroHome is a system of cross checks and redundancies to ensure the results of the radon tests for your property are accurate and representative.

For short term testing projects, where the testing window is about 48 - 72 hours long, charcoal absorption canisters are usually deployed. These small canisters are unobtrusive to the homeowner and are remarkably accurate. Duplicate canisters are deployed across 10% of the testing locations to cross check the accuracy of the canisters and the lab that analyzes them. Similarly, for long term testing, where the testing window is at least 91 days, alpha track devices are routinely used. These, like the charcoal canisters, are deployed with 10% duplicates to provide cross checks throughout the property.

For more complicated testing projects various testing mechanisms are deployed concurrently. Using a combination of charcoal canisters, alpha track canisters, continuous radon monitors, and grab samplers provides a wealth of information about the location of the radon source, severity of the radon issue, and built in cross checks between the testing types.

This is largely dependent on the property type and what stage of testing or mitigation you are currently in. During mitigation, our team will use continuous radon monitors and grab samplers to obtain quick information about the effectiveness of the mitigation efforts. After mitigation is complete, we will deploy short term testing canisters to finalize the mitigation and confirm the levels of radon have been reduced below the EPA's recommended action level. If your property has never been tested before, our team will likely recommend a combination of short term and long term testing to ensure quick information is obtained and seasonal fluctuations are taken into account.

Questions about radon in your home or property?

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