Questions & Answers

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Course Questions
Registration Questions
Exam Certification Questions
Other Questions

Course Questions

How can I find out more about your programs?
Review the course website. Our website has complete information about our courses, including course descriptions, upcoming course schedule, and online registration. If you still have a question after reviewing the information on our website, please call our course coordinator at 800-843-8636.

Why do I want to take a radon measurement or mitigation course from MURC?
Because MURC is the most experienced radon training provider in the world, and we believe we give our students the best training possible. Our instructors are award-winning leaders in the radon profession. MURC is one of the three original EPA-founded Regional Radon Training Centers, and we value our long-standing relationship with EPA, states, and the radon industry. 

We are university-based, and it is our only business to provide you with unbiased, research-based training that will give you the strongest tools for success in radon risk reduction. When you complete our courses, you receive a course completion certificate from an internationally respected university.

Are these courses nationally recognized?
Yes, the introductory radon measurement course and radon mitigation course (as well as instructors and training materials) are approved by the two certification programs: the National Radon Proficiency Program and the National Radon Safety Board.

I have no experience in home inspection, public health, building construction, plumbing, or heating. Can I take your radon measurement or mitigation course and pass the proficiency examination after the course(s)?
No matter what your background, there will be new information you need to master to pass the proficiency examination(s). Our courses are designed and our instructors are skilled to help prepare you to pass either the radon measurement or the radon mitigation examination. Nevertheless, we strongly encourage you to read a number of publications before you come to class. These readings are listed on the website under Recommended Reading.

What should I do to prepare for taking your courses?
There are advance recommended reading assignments for both the radon measurement and radon mitigation courses. We strongly encourage you to read these publications before you come to class. These readings are listed in our course registration confirmation letter, as well on the Schedule & Registration page.

What do I need to bring to class?
As of August 7, 2017 all National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) certification exams will be online only.  All Candidates taking an exam will be required to have their own device, a laptop or tablet, with the ability to access Wi-Fi.  If you are unable to bring a device, you must take the exam at a PSI testing facility.

How many people attend these courses?
The course sizes commonly range anywhere from 5 to 25 students. This allows for a lot of interaction and personal attention from the instructor.

Do I need to take the measurement course before taking the mitigation course?
Yes, the radon measurement course is a prerequisite to the radon mitigation course. The material covered in the measurement course is important to understanding and succeeding in the mitigation course.

Can I take the measurement course now and the mitigation course at a later time?
Yes. However, if you wait to take the mitigation course and examination, it will be very important to thoroughly review the measurement course beforehand, since 25 percent of the mitigation exam is from the measurement course. In addition, you need to take the mitigation course within 12 months of completing the measurement course to be eligible for national certification and state licensing.

How many continuing education credits do I need each year?
For NRPP certification renewal, every two years you will need a minimum of 8 hours of Category I continuing education credits and a minimum of 8 hours of Category II continuing education credits. In states with licensing (such as Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Ohio), you should check with the state health departments in the states in which you plan to do business. To find contact information for state health departments, please go to: www.epa.gov/iaq/whereyoulive.html.

Can I take a course in another state other than where I live?
Yes, you can take a MURC course in any state, with the exception of Illinois, Iowa, Florida, and New Jersey. In Illinois and Florida, contact the lead state radon contact in the states in which you plan to do business. To find contact information for state health departments, please go to Where You Live, State and Regional Contact Information. In Iowa, you must take the mitigation course in the state.

Contact information for NRPP.
For additional information, contact NRPP at 800-269-4174.

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Registration Questions

How do I register for a course or an examination?
We recommend that you register online through the registration page on this website. If you prefer, you can call 800-843-8636 and a registration representative will help you register over the phone.

When is the deadline for registration?
You can register for the courses 10 days prior to the start of the course and receive the lower early registration fee. If your register fewer than 10 days prior to the course, you will be charged a $50 late fee per course.

Can I register on site at a course on the first day?
You can, but this is not recommended. We strongly recommend that you preregister for a course at least ten days in advance so that we can send your materials to the course, and you can complete the advance reading assignments.

Can I transfer from one course to another if my schedule changes?
Yes, you need to contact the radon training registration representative at least 10 days before the course and request this change. Call 800-843-8636.

Can someone attend a course in my place if my schedule changes?
Yes, you need to contact the radon training coordinator and request this change prior to the start of the course. You will receive a refund, and the new participant will need to pay prior to attending. Call 800-843-8636.

What is your cancellation/refund policy?
You may cancel your registration up to 10 days prior to the start of the course and receive a refund minus a $95 processing fee. Cancellations received fewer than 10 days prior to the start of the course are not eligible for a refund. We reserve the right to cancel/change course and examinations schedules, if deemed necessary. Normally, attendees will be notified at least five business days prior to the start of a course if there are any changes.

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Exam Certification Questions

Are the exams really difficult?
Yes, they are difficult examinations. The exams are national proficiency certification exams designed to determine the degree of your understanding. You do need to study and prepare for the exams. You should read the advance reading assignments, plan to study the course materials in the evenings during the course, and be sure to ask questions of your instructor. We take a number of steps to help you prepare for the examinations, including providing summaries of key course content, use of practice questions and answers, comparative checklists, course reviews, and experienced, award-winning instructors.

What happens if I don’t pass the exam?
We want every MURC student to pass the examination the first time, and we do everything ethically possible to help you pass. If you do not pass an examination, we allow you to retake the MURC course free of charge any time within a year of the exam. You can then register and retake the exam. You must pay for the exam each time you take it. It is important to pass the exam and apply for certification within 12 months of completing the course. Call 800-843-8636 to arrange an exam retake.

Can I take an exam without taking the course?
If you desire to be nationally certified and/or state licensed, you must complete the courses before you sit for the examination(s).

Can I take the course now and take the exam at a later time?
Yes, you can take a national proficiency exam within 12 months after your course, but for the vast majority of individuals, it is best to take the exam immediately following the course.

Do I have to pass the measurement exam before I can take the mitigation course and exam?
No, you do not need to pass the measurement examination before you take the mitigation course and examination. You are required to take the measurement course prior to mitigation.

I want to become certified in mitigation only. Do I have the take the measurement exam?
If you plan to only carry out radon mitigation work, you do not need to take the measurement examination.

What do I do now that I have taken the class and passed the exams?
To be certified as a radon service provider, you need to complete an application to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized radon proficiency programs: 1) the National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP), and/or 2) the National Radon Safety Board (NRSB). You may choose to join either program. For further information, please check the websites for NRPP and NRSB. MURC is approved by both NRPP and NRSB as a training provider. We use the NRPP examinations and our graduates typically choose to certify with NRPP. There are several different types of NRPP radon proficiency certifications:

Residential Measurement Standard Service Provider who uses measurement devices (such as activated charcoal absorption measurement device) that are analyzed by a certified analytical laboratory. The requirements for this certification are:

  • completion of a NRPP-approved MURC measurement course and NRPP exam in the 12 months before application;
  • completion of a quality assurance/quality control plan;
  • completion of a signed NRPP application for certification;
  • payment of $150 for a two-year certification.

Residential Measurement Provider Using Field Analytical Device who uses measurement devices such as continuous radon monitors. The requirements for this certification are:

  • completion of a NRPP-approved MURC measurement course and NRPP exam in the 12 months before application;
  • completion of a quality assurance/quality control plan;
  • proof of calibration for each continuous radon monitor or other device that will be used;
  • proof of having passed a device performance test;
  • completion of a signed NRPP application for certification;
  • payment of $150 for a two-year certification;
  • payment of $75 for each additional type of measurement device used.

Residential Mitigation Service Provider. The requirements for this certification are:

  • completion of a NRPP-approved MURC combination measurement/mitigation course and NRPP exam in the 12 months before application;
  • completion of a signed NRPP application for certification;
  • payment of $150 for a two-year certification.

Other Questions

What is the evidence that indoor radon exposure is really a health risk?
The earliest evidence of radon-related health risk came from long-term cohort studies of radon exposure and lung cancer among 68,000 underground miners conducted over the past 60 years. This evidence was of sufficient strength by 1988 that the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radon and its short-lived decay products as known human carcinogens (Group 1 or Class A). The National Academy of Sciences’ extensive assessment of the miner and other health risks associated with indoor radon is found at Health Risks of Exposure to Radon (BEIR VI). Based upon this report, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed the EPA Assessment of Risk of Radon in Homes.

Since the 1980s, more than 40 residential case-control studies have been conducted. Overall, these studies reflected increased risk of lung cancer in homes with elevated indoor radon. In the mid-portion of the past decade, data from a number of residential case-control studies were pooled, which allowed for more rigorous risk assessment. The risk estimates from residential studies virtually matched those from the miner cohort studies—thus giving very strong evidence that radon exposure in the home increases the risk of dying from lung cancer. Further information about radon health risks is found in the World Health Organization’s WHO Handbook on Indoor Radon, A Public Health Perspective.

The strength of the evidence of the health risk associated with indoor radon exposure led WHO to recommend that (economically developed) countries establish radon reference levels, where mitigation would be recommended, at 100 Becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3) or 2.7 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L). The WHO recommendation is one-third lower than the EPA 4 pCi/L Threshold for Action. The Health Physics Society, an organization of 5,500 radiation safety professionals from 44 countries, also recommends reducing exposures below 2.7 pCi/L. Health Physics Society Recommends Considering Action for Indoor Radon Below Current GuidelinesUpdate on Perspectives and Recommendations on Indoor Radon,  position statement of the Health Physics Society.

I have heard that there is research that suggests that exposure to low levels of radon exposure do not pose a health risk. Is that true?
Yes, there have been “ecological” studies that suggest there is not a risk of lung cancer at low levels of radon exposure. However, ecological studies should not be used for risk assessment. Some of those who argue hormesis (low doses of ionizing radiation are safe) are supported by those in the nuclear and chemical industry.

The National Academy of Sciences reviewed the health risk associated with exposure to low levels of ionizing radiation, including radon, and found, "The scientific research base shows that there is no threshold of exposure below which low levels of ionizing radiation can be demonstrated to be harmless or beneficial," said committee chair Richard R. Monson, associate dean for professional education and professor of epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston. "The health risks—particularly the development of solid cancers in organs—rise proportionally with exposure.”  Further information is available at The National Academies Press. Other organizations that share the perspective of the National Academy of Sciences include: National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) and the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR).

Furthermore, there is evidence from cohort studies of underground miners that reflect increased risk of lung cancer with radon exposure at concentrations as low as 2 pCi/L for periods of less than two years.

Is there evidence that radon exposure may be related to health risks other then lung cancer?
Yes, there are more than 20 studies that have examined the association of indoor radon exposure and leukemia in general as well as childhood leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Most of these studies have been “ecological” investigations and normally ecological studies are not used for health risk assessment. Thus, this evidence should be considered more suggestive and in need for further research. Other radon-related health risks have been conducted, including those involving Alzheimer's, cardiovascular diseases, and multiple sclerosis. While some of these studies found evidence suggestive of increased risk associated with radon exposure, evidence of a clear link has not been established and further research is needed.

What do you recommend for equipment for a certified and/or licensed measurement provider?
In our measurement classes, we cover the full range of passive, time-integrated and continuous radon monitors, their comparative performance characteristics, advantages, disadvantages, and costs. Our instructors also discuss their own experiences with using the various measurement devices and monitors as well as business trade-offs with various options. We also mention leading manufacturers that offer discounts to MURC students purchase of measurement devices. One of the many advantages of taking the MURC measurement course is that we have no stake in whatever device you wish to purchase or lease, whereas some of our private sector training providers may have interest in specific devices. Our interest is in giving you the best unbiased, research-based facts that will help you make the best choices.

What is the cost of radon measurement devices? I want to determine if it makes sense for me to join another partner with the equipment or to buy the devices myself.
There are two fundamental options available for radon measurement devices: passive time-integrating devices and continuous radon monitors.

Passive time-integrating devices are the least expensive and the costs will be about $10 to $20 per device, such as activated charcoal. For testing in real estate transactions, you would need two devices and thus your cost for devices per test would be $20 to $40. In addition, you will probably need to overnight the test devices to the analytic laboratory.

Instead of activated charcoal devices, you may choose to purchase a direct reading electret ion chamber measurement system for about $2,600 but your expense per test would typically be about $2.00 or less.

For quality control, you are required to do the following:

  • for every 10 tests, you would need to use a duplicate device ($10 to $20);
  • for every 20 tests, you would need to use a blank device ($10 to $20);
  • for every 33 tests, you would need to use a spiked device (about $150).

Generally, competition and service to customers drive radon measurement providers to continuous radon monitors. The costs of continuous radon monitors will be similar to the following:

Initial purchase price ranges from about $800 to in excess of $5,000 per monitor (the price reflects quality of monitors such as minimum sensitive, accuracy, and precision). There are also lease options that typically are about $125 per month.

In either case, whether purchase or lease:

  • you will need to complete a performance test in order to be certified and/or licensed. A performance test will cost about $150;
  • for quality control, you are required to use a duplicate measurement device for every 10 measurements you complete. The least expensive option for a duplicate would be an activated charcoal device at a cost of $10 to $20.

If you purchase a continuous radon monitor, you will need to calibrate it at least annually and this will cost about $150.

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