January is National Radon Month, a time to recognize the health impacts of radon gas and consider some significant changes in Minnesota that will strongly affect the industry and those hiring radon professionals.
Now, a person who measures radon or installs mitigation systems in the state of Minnesota must be licensed. The new law, which has been met with strong opposition by technicians and installers, will establish Minnesota as one of 17 states that regulate and require certification for performing radon services (professionals who measure radon or install radon mitigation systems or perform radon lab analysis). The law will require technicians to maintain quality assurance programs, report data to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), maintain certified and calibrated equipment, keep records of all measurements and installations, and participate in continuing education each year they operate their business in Minnesota.
Technicians in Minnesota, many of whom already maintain a national certification with the National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP), argued that the state was duplicating credential requirements they already maintain with the national organization. While many professionals followed the credential requirements of NRPP, reporting and quality assurance were not routinely scrutinized even though equipment and educational credentials were monitored closely. MDH also noted that there are numerous companies testing for radon and installing mitigation systems that have not been properly trained or certified. The new law requires professionals to maintain their personal and equipment credentials and submit a license fee each year to MDH as well as report quarterly data to the MDH radon office.
One result of the new law and license requirements will likely be rate increases by the states’ licensed radon measurement and mitigation technicians. Other requirements and guidelines will require some residents to be tested in multiple locations, further increasing the costs to consumers.
There have been recent reports of people measuring radon in homes for a fee in rural Winona County, using non-certified testing equipment without training. If you encounter such a person please report them to MDH for legal action.
Those required to obtain a license include:
• Measurement professionals: an individual who places and retrieves a test device in buildings they do not own or lease
• Mitigation professionals: an individual who installs or designs a radon mitigation system in a building they do not own or lease, or provides on-site supervision of mitigation work
• Mitigation companies: a business or government entity that employs one or more licensed mitigation professional and performs or authorizes employees to perform radon mitigation
• Radon analysis laboratories: a business or government entity that analyzes passive radon test devices for the presence or concentration of radon
One common factor among all these occupations is these professionals do not own or lease the building where they are testing or installing a system. You cannot test for radon or install a radon mitigation system without a license unless your own or lease the building.
No license is required for the following:
• Testing radon concentrations in a building that you own or lease
• Installing a mitigation system in a building that you own or lease
• Installing radon control systems in newly constructed homes, prior to a certificate of occupancy being issued
• Providing radon testing devices or information for general education purposes
• A building official or that person’s designee
• Hardware stores that sell test kits
• Mitigation technicians if they are supervised on site by a licensed radon professional
Measurement professionals must complete an initial measurement radon-training course approved by MDH and pass the exam. Mitigation professionals must complete the initial measurement course and the initial mitigation course and pass exams for both courses. Courses may be taken in-person or online. License applicants must submit proof they have completed the initial training(s) and passed the exam(s) when they apply.
More specific licensing information
• Licensing for radon measurement professionals: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/indoorair/radon/measurementprof.html
• Licensing for radon mitigation professionals: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/indoorair/radon/mitigationprof.html
• Licensing for radon mitigation company and sole proprietor: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/indoorair/radon/mitigationcomp.html