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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Radon in Granite Countertops

    My goodness, what’s with you people. [you know who you are]
    The links you provided is nothing but studies.
    99.99999% of them are nothing but media scare tactic. Granite and radon is everywhere and it has been with us for more than 50 years.

    Most of the damages you see on internet or in person are cause by careless installation, lack of knowledge and lousy maintenance.

    Cripes, my mother has granite counter top when I was a kid. Perfectly flawless for many years, that because we [my family] took care of it.
    When visiting friends or other relative’s home, I’ve seen things that they do on granite floor, laminated floor, granite counter tops or laminated counter tops. They all blame on manufacturing quality. [go figure]

    C’mon people, take your frivolous mind off on granite counter top and pay more attention to radon gas in your basement, cellar or crawl space.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Radon in Granite Countertops

    I love this discussion. Not because of the subject, but it really shows how some people buy into an idea and then search for something 'anything' that reinforces that belief.

    My sister lives in a solid granite cottage in the south of England. It's been there since the 13th century and there's evidence to show the granite was quarried a lot older than that. Her and the family are as healthy as they come yet there they are, surrounded by 36 inch walls of solid granite, damn place is more like a cave.

    My wife received an email today warning of the dangers of granite tops and radon. The sender had 'apparently' ripped out their counter tops the moment they received this information. It seems that people want to believe in this junk science, they want the splenda in their coffee to cause cancer, they want dogs to turn into Cujo, they want the granite tops to be filled with masses of uranium and giving off huge plumes of radon gas.

    If you've bought into this then go out and read as many articles from as many sources, biased or not, that you can find. Look for the bias, look for that 'leap of conclusion' that jumps past scientific scepticism. Then think, just think. Your house is built on a base of soil with clay or sandy deposits, sometimes haunted gravesites if poltergeist the movie is to be believed. Under that is the strata of eons. Millions of years of crusty sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous building material, a whole bunch of granite. Under that is the mantle, then the hot sticky toffee stuff.

    All that 'stuff' is under your house and you're worrying about some thin slabs of granite, which look terrific by the way.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    980

    Default Re: Radon in Granite Countertops

    Quote Originally Posted by Kev View Post
    I love this discussion. Not because of the subject, but it really shows how some people buy into an idea and then search for something 'anything' that reinforces that belief.

    My sister lives in a solid granite cottage in the south of England. It's been there since the 13th century and there's evidence to show the granite was quarried a lot older than that. Her and the family are as healthy as they come yet there they are, surrounded by 36 inch walls of solid granite, damn place is more like a cave.

    My wife received an email today warning of the dangers of granite tops and radon. The sender had 'apparently' ripped out their counter tops the moment they received this information. It seems that people want to believe in this junk science, they want the splenda in their coffee to cause cancer, they want dogs to turn into Cujo, they want the granite tops to be filled with masses of uranium and giving off huge plumes of radon gas.

    If you've bought into this then go out and read as many articles from as many sources, biased or not, that you can find. Look for the bias, look for that 'leap of conclusion' that jumps past scientific scepticism. Then think, just think. Your house is built on a base of soil with clay or sandy deposits, sometimes haunted gravesites if poltergeist the movie is to be believed. Under that is the strata of eons. Millions of years of crusty sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous building material, a whole bunch of granite. Under that is the mantle, then the hot sticky toffee stuff.

    All that 'stuff' is under your house and you're worrying about some thin slabs of granite, which look terrific by the way.

    and once people get this thought in their head they are too stubborn and to prideful to even consider that they might be wrong. newspapers have to add stuff that they think will grab people's attention and it really doesn't matter if its true because they word it so it doesn't have to be substanciated because they are simply quoting someone else.

  4. #44

    Post Re: Radon in Granite Countertops

    Hey Guys it looks like this is more truth than fiction.

    Recent imports from Brazil have been shown to give much high levels that thought. Check out the NY Times article

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/ga...=5070&emc=eta1

    I will be testing a home on Saturday that has granite from this location. Ill report back when I get the results.

    Jeff Molloy
    Check Mark Services
    Home Inspection and Environmental Testing Services
    www.checkmarkservice.com

  5. #45
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Bronx
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Radon in Granite Countertops

    When marketing a product, one expects a bit of hype. The idea is to show that the product is the best over the competitor's line of product. That is the trade of advertisers and the history of marketing. Some tactics used to sell can be humorous or as serious as the competition between manufacturers. Marketing tactics that play on fears of the general public can be a very powerful tool.

    In the present day, there's a very popular angle of "green." This is prevalent everywhere in the media. So what happens when you mix a scare tactic under the guise of environmental concern?

    Buildclean found the answer to that question. The premise seems of the nonprofit organization seems to be admirable but the fact that the "awareness campaign" that Buildclean is currently using seems to be curiously slanted. In fact, the target seems to be the natural stone industry.

    When Sara Selber of BuildClean was asked how she got involved in natural stone and radon, she explained how she was approached by the owner of C&C North America, a company that produces two products – granite and a quartz product called Silestone®™.
    "C&C North America then recruited a quartz company called Cambria, after they learned quartz was an issue, she further explained that the two companies hired her to test quartz, granite and other surfaces for radon emission. Both companies are testing their products through BuildClean, and they contracted two labs – one in New York and one in Israel.

    We have looked all over the C&C website but cannot find any mention of natural stone.

    When ask what granites emit radon, Sara Selber said; "Not all granites emit radon or radiation. There are some that clearly do. There are some that absolutely don't. We don't know," she said.

    They're being set up as a non-profit, and they're funded with two large donations.
    The first is $250,000 from the makers of 'Silestone.' They manufacture quartz countertops, which is a direct competitor to granite. Silestone finance records show that they started out in April of 1998 with a an initial investment of $410K, made there first million in 1998, sales in 2002 was over $70M, and sales in 2006 was well over $260M. it is not hard to see that they have the money to invest $250,000 in a new advertising campaign.

    BuildClean is also getting money from Cambria, another quartz manufacturer.
    In fact, Cambria's marketing director is on BuildClean's board of directors.

    When asked about the funding Sara responds: I don't believe the issue is who our founders are. And I'm not going to have that debate." That answer seems to be clear enough.

    In a recent interview Mrs. Selber mentions teaming up with Al Gerhart who has some interest in the granite \radon scare.

    Al Gerhart is a carpenter whohappens to own a website called the Solid Surface Alliance .org. He educated himself, regarding materials he works with that may expose him to harmful elements."

    Upon further review it seems this "personality" is well known for his view of natural stone. All one has to do is look at the website to get the gist of his viewpoint. Coincidentally, there also seems to be a new business venture for Solid Surface Alliance as the website now sells Geiger counters to detect radiation…
    His debates have earned him quite a place ****** in forums discussing the subject.

    After a certain debate on a well known residential forum, a renowned geoscientist in the industry concluded:
    "Al attempts to hijack debates by choking the system with verbal diarrhea. The problem appears to be that he has a bit of knowledge about some things but not enough sense and understanding of the subjects. In that debate on the Garden Forum he threw in so many fabrications (plain made up lies) that his credibility just plummeted to zero.

    Anyone who operates this way (by including a number of facts to gain an element of credibility in the eyes of a generally uninformed audience, twisting facts deliberately or because of his lack of understanding, and then throwing in a number of lies) does not deserve extended airtime. Many years ago when doing science psychology I still remember my professor giving the advice to his students that you should never engage a nutter in debate. You can never win an argument with such people. I recognized this early in the forum and that is why I would not engage him in "debate".

    One of his major problems is that he does not know what the numbers mean and how they are derived."

    In response to the buildclean tactics, The Marble Institute of America is in the process of doing their own independent study:

    "The Marble Institute of America (MIA) is grateful for the preliminary response from the members to the newly established Truth About Granite Fund. Based on this positive response, it's clear that their colleagues share their commitment to protect consumers from needless fear mongering by establishing standards for the testing of granite so consumers can safely and comfortably enjoy the beauty, durability and practicality of this natural stone."

    When we asked the MIA why Sara Speer Selber consider The Truth About Granite Fund as a draconian move that is being waged against BuildClean(TM), they simple responded:

    "The Truth About Granite Fund was established to help raise funds to develop unbiased, scientific standards for the granite industry, including the testing of granite for radon. No such standards currently exist in the natural stone industry. Previous tests of granite samples have found they are safe. However, the Truth in Granite Fund aims to take advantage of new, advanced scientific instruments that make testing both more practical and more accurate. Our goal is to make sure testing follows consistent protocols, so that future studies are meaningful and based on consistent, approved science – not isolated methodologies or unapproved instruments. Ultimately, our goal is to make sure the granite we sell is safe."

    This latest sales tactic received the attention of an independent group called the Natural Stone Restoration Alliance (NSRA). The NSRA saw Radon testing as an added service that their members could provide to the homeowners along with all their other services for natural stone. Josveek Huligar, one of the lead testers and trainer for the NSRA , invited times Members of the Solid Surface Alliance dot org to discuss and provide proof of this threat to the home owners.

    The Solid Surface Alliance dot org agreed to provide an alleged radiation producing granite sample that they claim to have in their possession to do independent testing. After an initial agreement between the two groups it seems the Solid Surface Alliance dot org has reneged on the delivery of the alleged material. Mr Huligar was disappointed of the outcome. The NSRA than requested the name of the company that Mr. Gerhart claimed to just have rejected over 10k worth of radon producing granite. When the information was not provided, Huligar ask if he could purchase the next slab that Mr. Gerhart rejected. But for some reason Mr. Gerhart could no longer find a sample for testing. Mr. Huligar went on to say: "All we care about at this point. As for whether are not Stone adds a measurable amount of "radon" in a home, Mr. Gerhart had agreed to come to NY and pick out a hot slab that I would place in my own home after testing my home for radon. Once the granite was installed I would test my home again as described by the EPA and have it tested by someone approved by the EPA. Not only would we do the short and long term test, we would also video tape the whole event, the selection, the creation, the install, and than setting up cameras for anyone to view the stone and meters on the net. I was looking forward to do this, but at this time it appears that Mr. Gerhart has no plans on doing as he said which is a big disappointment."

    The NSRA plans to push for this simple test, they feel that the consumers only care about one thing; "whether or not adding granite in your home would significantly change the radon levels in a home". At present, the most prudent consumer should watch the outcome of this debate and make an informed decision, not taken in by a scare tactic by advertisers.

    EPA Confirms That Granite Countertops Pose No Significant Health Risk
    Hidden Content

    Providing quality natural stone care, restoration and maintenance through a network of qualified Hidden Content .

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Radon in Granite Countertops

    Lots and lots of supposed data flying around. If we think about this logically and without bias we can come to some conclusions relatively easily.

    1. Granite is not radioactive to a degree that is harmful to the public. Think about it. If it was this would have become an issue long before now.

    2. Radon can be a health risk. some granite emits radon. no surprise here for an informed person, radon is emitted by well water and soil to varying degrees in different parts of the country. Occasionally, in some parts of the country like here in MN the soil emits enough radon that radon abatement (essentially additional fresh air) is required.

    3. radon is a gas. any radon that might be emitted by granite or soil is mixed with (and greatly diluted by) the ambient air inside a structure. A significant factor in the possible risk from radon in a structure is how much and how frequently fresh air is introduced into the structure. The radon mitigation systems already in use simply preheat outside air and introduce it into the household.

    4. Any assessment of risk associated with radon emissions from granite (or any other source) must do the following:
    a. measure, in some repeatable, verifiable fashion, the actual amount of radon emitted over some period of time from a specified mass of source material.
    b. assumptions must be made about the ambient air volume which the radon emission will be mixed with.
    c. assumptions must be made about the percentage of the ambient air volume which will be replaced per unit of time.

    5. anyone that presents data which does not address the factors cited in #4 above is simply throwing meaningless data around in an attempt to further some agenda not connected with accurately informing the consumer.


    6. I believe when all the huffing and puffing is over this will go the way of the brain cancer/cellphone and breast implant scares. Lots of consumer angst created by self serving unscrupulous individuals out to make a buck. Can the tort lawyers be far behind?

  7. #47

    Default Re: Radon in Granite Countertops

    Now we all know smoking is bad..or is it? some live to 100 that have smoked for years and some die fast. Right? Now what is great about America is if one feels for any reason something would better protect their family they have the right. The EPA now is switching sides on this issue why? Fact any amount of Radiation is unsafe. Why live with high reading of a Granite slab when a choice of a background slab could be installed ?

    So sit in the the room with smokers or leave, its your choice.

  8. #48

    Default Re: Radon in Granite Countertops

    oh and yes I do Radiation testing for Granite slabs in the Seattle area some low and some high. One thing is for sure is the buyers of this $150sf Granite are happy when the reading is 7 uR/hr !

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    4

    Thumbs up Re: Radon in Granite Countertops

    Radon is usually found in underground basements, houses that have the lower floor beneath ground level at the rear, etc.
    Granit tile should not be emitting Radon. Gases expand to fill the room by volume. The miniscule amount of Radon that may have been in the tile at the point of excavation has probably been totally emitted before it arrived at the quary or where it was polished.

    There are Radon testing kits you can obtain from a variety of suppliers that cater to Home Inspection Professionals.

    I don't think you need to worry about Radon from Granite Tile. Is the house beneath ground level? That would be your source.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    4

    Talking Re: Radon in Granite Countertops

    Hey if it was radio-active, maybe that's what Ralph Kramden of the Honeymooners meant when he said he had a new invention: Glow in the dark Pizza.

    If everything else fails list the house as "energy efficient" LOL

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