March, 2003
News in Brief
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Volunteers Needed for Radon Stakeholder Consortium


Radon Standards and Protocols are currently being reviewed as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is looking to private industry to maintain the Radon Standards and Protocols. The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) has organized a National Radon Standards Stakeholder Development Consortium(NRSSDC). Because many ASHI members test for Radon-222, ASHI member participation has been requested.

Volunteers are needed for the following NRSSDC sub-committees:

• Radon Measurement of Large Buildings
• Radon Mitigation Standards
• Quality Assurance
• Measurement of Radon in Water
• Radon Ready New Construction
• Device Protocols

To qualify as a potential participant you should be knowledgeable about Radon-222.
Please send information about your qualifications to serve on the committee of your choice to You can make a difference in your profession by participating in the Consortium.

Construction concerns coveredat Hurricane Conference

The 17th Annual Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference will be held at the Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, Florida, June 9-13, 2003. Sponsored by the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association, the American Red Cross and the State of Florida, this is the largest hurricane conference in the country with more than 50 training sessions, many with hands-on training, more than 60 workshops, a large exhibit hall and general sessions featuring nationally-recognized speakers. The conference is targeted toward emergency management, law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services, state, local and business contingency planners, health care, construction, inspection and insurance professionals, volunteer agencies, military, schools and colleges. For more information or to register, go online to or contact the Governor’s Hurricane Conference, P.O. Box 279, Tarpon Springs, FL 34688-0279, E-mail or call 1-800-544-5678.

Housing starts high, homesales still strong

According to estimates released by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Census Bureau, 6.4 percent more new homes were started in 2002 than in 2001 — a 16-year high.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, “2002 was the year of hearth and home in America.” Regionally, only the Northeast saw fewer new-home sales in 2002 than in 2001, inching down 3 percent to 64,000. The Midwest posted a 15.2 percent gain in sales from the year before, while the South and West posted 2.3 percent and 14.6 percent gains, respectively. But for December alone, both the Northeast and West posted significant declines of 13 percent and 7.5 percent from the previous month. The Midwest gained more than 28 percent, while the pace of sales in the South did not change between November and December.

Visit and to stay abreast of residential building trends.

According to the National Association of Realtors®, sales of existing single-family homes rose stronglyin December while 2002 easily set a new annual record.

NAR reported there was a total of 5,563,000 existing-home sales in 2002, up 5 percent from the previous record of 5,296,000 in 2001. NAR began tracking the sales series in 1968. Existing-home sales increased 5.2 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate* of 5.86 million units from an upwardly revised level of 5.57 million units in November.

December’s sales activity was 12.7 percent higher than the 5.20-million unit level in December 2001 and was the third-strongest monthly sales pace on record.

For reports by region and additional information, visit; click on “December Existing-Homes Sales”

Specialty training: Legionellain plumbing systems and cooling towers

“Minimizing the Risk of Legionella in Plumbing Systems and Cooling Towers” is a new one-day seminar for facility managers, engineers, plumbing code officials, plumbing inspectors, maintenance personnel, and technicians. HC Information Resources Inc. offers the training in public seminars and also privately for industrial, health care, institutional, or corporate personnel. Matt Freije, author of “Legionella Control in Health Care Facilities: A Guide for Minimizing Risk,” is the instructor. A comparison of plumbing system disinfecting technologies is included. No previous knowledge of Legionella is necessary. For information on scheduled courses, hosting a course, or private training for your organization, visit, telephone 800-801-8050, or e-mail