ESR spectroscopic investigations have clarified the influence of several preparative parameters on the reaction rates and yields obtained in the radiation-grafting method used at PSI to prepare proton-conducting polymer membranes. At a given irradiation dose, a higher concentration of reactive radical sites was detected in ETFE films than in FEP films. This higher concentration explains the higher grafting levels and rates of the ETFE films found in our previous grafting experiments. Taken together, the in-situ ESR experiments and grafting experiments show that the rates of disappearance of radical species and grafting rates and final grafting levels depend strongly on the reaction temperature and the oxygen content of the system. Average grafted chain lengths were calculated to contain about 1,000 monomer units. (author) 2 figs., 4 refs.