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  1. #1

    Default Granite and Radiation

    Finding high radiation readings from some granite slabs intended for use as kitchen countertops led me to find out why we were finding high levels of radiation from some granites & not others.

    We purchased radiation detection equipment to verify the existence of radiation in granite.

    Our first visit to a slab yard gave us 1 granite that read quite high. It was what we expected though as we had heard that Bordeaux was a culprit behind high radon readings in homes. The Bordeaux that we found generally read 60 uR/hr. (micro rad per hour) with our scintillator which measures gamma radiation. In one spot it read 100 uR/hr.

    We became concerned with this reading and so we contacted our state DEQ & he told us to be very careful when fabricating this material & to dispose of the scraps only in a hazardous waste facility.

    We decided to move on & test other slab yards to see what else we could find. As we were expecting only Bordeaux to emit high readings we were surprised & shocked by our next find. We came upon Niagara **** & our scintillator was going nuts just upon walking up to it. We scanned it with our scintillator & found one spot reading over 400 uR/hr. The whole slab was generally 150 - 200 uR/hr. The label on the slab said "Made in Italy".
    I decided to find more information on where the slab came from & when I tried to google it I only came up with Niagara **** from Namibia.

    It was upon this discovery that I decided to do more digging & find the exact location of the quarry. I found references to a US based company & their investment in a Stone Africa quarry in Namibia & then I found out that Namibia is the 5th largest producer of Uranium in the world.

    So we told our supplier of what we were finding & he invited us down to his warehouse. We found a slab of Four Seasons granite that had a hot spot measuring over 800 uR/hr. The vast majority of the granite in his warehouse did not produce levels to be concerned with, with the exception of Bordeaux & Four Seasons.

    While not all granites are going to emit high levels of radiation, some are.

    A granite quarry's proximity to a uranium mine is not always an indicator that it will produce high levels of radiation. We were made aware of a granite called Shivakasi that elevated a home's radon level to 14 picocuries. Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu state, India is not located near a uranium mine but according to the IAEA is in a region of high radioactivity due to Monasite sands.

    So the lesson here is do some extensive research on the granite you intend to buy. Find out the country of orgin, (not the country where its produced but where it is quarried) & find out if there are any uranium mines nearby.

    If you have Shivakasi, Bordeaux, Four Seasons, or any of the granites from Namibia get it tested for radiation & radon. So far these are the stones we have discovered to give off high radiation readings. There may be more.

    If you are concerned you might just petition the MIA or congress to institute testing & labeling for granite.

    Here are my links for more information:

    Our videos showing our radiation detection devices measuring granite.

    My pictures showing radiation detection devices measuring granite.

    Finding the Stone Africa Quarry & its close proximity to Rossing open pit uranium mine.

    The US based company with investments in Namibia, Stone Africa & a processing plant.

    Information on the stones coming from Stone Africa quarry.

    Namibian licenses for dimensional stone.

    Namibian licenses for nuclear fuel exploration (notice the overlap with the dimensional stone licences)

    The management of Stone Africa apparently does not treat their workers very well. Would you want your stone coming from such a place?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    The Great White North
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    4,045

    Default Re: Granite and Radiation

    Oh my ....
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    980

    Default Re: Granite and Radiation

    believe it or not I'm not going to give my 2 cents.





    I don't like the smell of outhouses

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    980

    Default Re: Granite and Radiation

    Quote Originally Posted by chriscarpenter View Post
    Finding high radiation readings from some granite slabs intended for use as kitchen countertops led me to find out why we were finding high levels of radiation from some granites & not others.

    We purchased radiation detection equipment to verify the existence of radiation in granite.

    Our first visit to a slab yard gave us 1 granite that read quite high. It was what we expected though as we had heard that Bordeaux was a culprit behind high radon readings in homes. The Bordeaux that we found generally read 60 uR/hr. (micro rad per hour) with our scintillator which measures gamma radiation. In one spot it read 100 uR/hr.

    We became concerned with this reading and so we contacted our state DEQ & he told us to be very careful when fabricating this material & to dispose of the scraps only in a hazardous waste facility.

    We decided to move on & test other slab yards to see what else we could find. As we were expecting only Bordeaux to emit high readings we were surprised & shocked by our next find. We came upon Niagara **** & our scintillator was going nuts just upon walking up to it. We scanned it with our scintillator & found one spot reading over 400 uR/hr. The whole slab was generally 150 - 200 uR/hr. The label on the slab said "Made in Italy".
    I decided to find more information on where the slab came from & when I tried to google it I only came up with Niagara **** from Namibia.

    It was upon this discovery that I decided to do more digging & find the exact location of the quarry. I found references to a US based company & their investment in a Stone Africa quarry in Namibia & then I found out that Namibia is the 5th largest producer of Uranium in the world.

    So we told our supplier of what we were finding & he invited us down to his warehouse. We found a slab of Four Seasons granite that had a hot spot measuring over 800 uR/hr. The vast majority of the granite in his warehouse did not produce levels to be concerned with, with the exception of Bordeaux & Four Seasons.

    While not all granites are going to emit high levels of radiation, some are.

    A granite quarry's proximity to a uranium mine is not always an indicator that it will produce high levels of radiation. We were made aware of a granite called Shivakasi that elevated a home's radon level to 14 picocuries. Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu state, India is not located near a uranium mine but according to the IAEA is in a region of high radioactivity due to Monasite sands.

    So the lesson here is do some extensive research on the granite you intend to buy. Find out the country of orgin, (not the country where its produced but where it is quarried) & find out if there are any uranium mines nearby.

    If you have Shivakasi, Bordeaux, Four Seasons, or any of the granites from Namibia get it tested for radiation & radon. So far these are the stones we have discovered to give off high radiation readings. There may be more.

    If you are concerned you might just petition the MIA or congress to institute testing & labeling for granite.

    Here are my links for more information:

    Our videos showing our radiation detection devices measuring granite.

    My pictures showing radiation detection devices measuring granite.

    Finding the Stone Africa Quarry & its close proximity to Rossing open pit uranium mine.

    The US based company with investments in Namibia, Stone Africa & a processing plant.

    Information on the stones coming from Stone Africa quarry.

    Namibian licenses for dimensional stone.

    Namibian licenses for nuclear fuel exploration (notice the overlap with the dimensional stone licences)

    The management of Stone Africa apparently does not treat their workers very well. Would you want your stone coming from such a place?
    so what is the purpose of this post are you a distributor of corian? are you a supplier of radiation detection equiptment? or just an alarmist?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Granite and Radiation

    HavanaGranite,
    I'm sure you'd love it if I were a competitor & looking to knock granite off the market. But the fact of the matter is I'm a business owner in the kitchen & bath industry. We fabricate a variety of countertops including granite. For the safety of our employees, our customers, & ourselves we had to verify the truth of the matter so we purchased radiation detection instruments.

    They're not that expensive & you don't have to be certified to use them.

    It's important to anyone who may be considering the purchase of exotic granite for their home to know about this so that they can test the radioactivity level before they invest possibly thousands of dollars. Their health could be at stake.

    I would think that as a fabricator of granite that HavanaGranite would be concerned about this, for your & your employee's safety.

    These Namibian stones are not confined to just one retailer, they are spread out all across the country. A major granite company in Italy imports the granite blocks to their country, processes the blocks into polished slabs & then exports them to the US.

    One of the stones I've seen locally is called Arandis. Arandis, Namibia is the town right outside Rossing uranium mine. It was founded to house the employees of the uranium mine. It mystifies me why the owners of the quarry would name this Arandis which implicates the proximity of the uranium mine.

    I've reviewed the complete video of our visit to the slab "yard" with the Niagara **** & I did find where we ran our scintillator across Arandis. But because at the time we did not understand the significance of the stone we spent only a second at the slab. It was still relatively "hot". At least as hot as most Bordeaux, in the 60 - 70 uR/hr. range.

    When a hot spot is found in a slab it does not neccessarily mean that the whole bundle will have the same hot spot(s). But when a hot spot is found the slab in general will be hot, just not as hot as the spot(s).

    We'll be getting the hot slab of Four Seasons so we can analyze the slab & find out the relation of the hot spot to the slab & also isolate the isotope causing the high radiation. Also we'll be conducting tests to see what the radon emanation will be from a hot slab like this. We did find the sister slab that was cut next to the tested slab & did not find a 800 hot spot but the whole slab was between 100 - 200 uR/hr.

    Generally when you are looking for hot spots look for blackened areas. Although not all blackened areas will indicate uranium. But if you come across a suspected hot slab, look for concentrated areas of black. I received this information from a geologist that explains why hot spots are black:

    "When you look at the Granite we speak about 4 components.
    The main components
    1. Feldspar
    2. Quartz
    3. Mica
    and
    4. The Rest

    Feldspar and Mica are containing Potassium. You can say that itīs a main element in the lattice of these Minerals. So its easy to imagine where the K40 content is hiding.
    Quartz is mainly pure SiO2 with inclusions of gas and water. Itīs hard to find any radioactivity in here.
    Mica is also a source of Potassium and U/Th. The amounts of U/Th can be so high that the lattice of Micas were destroyed by alpha radiation and dark spots getting visible.

    The rest lets say 3 % of the Granite contains small mainly dark Minerals. Literature says that the U/Th is bound at these Minerals."

  6. #6

    Default Re: Granite and Radiation

    Keep in mind, you cannot see, feel, taste, or smell radiation. A homeowner doesn't know its there until it may be too late.

    The US & UN "safe" standards for radiation is 100 millirem per year(above background). You are going to be exposed to about 360 millirem per year no matter what you do. 100 millirem per year is the accepted "safe" threshold for the general public.

    We data logged the Niagara **** at 7.5 millirem per hour & the Four Seasons at 13.5 millirem per hour. If a hot spot was incorporated into a slab in a customer's home, lets say at the family's computer desk for example, the homeowner could only be at that spot 14 hours per year for the Niagara **** slab & about 7 hours per year for the Four Seasons slab.

    So if you could imagine what some homeowners across the country could be exposed to, it is alarming & rightly so.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    980

    Default Re: Granite and Radiation

    Quote Originally Posted by chriscarpenter View Post
    Keep in mind, you cannot see, feel, taste, or smell radiation. A homeowner doesn't know its there until it may be too late.

    The US & UN "safe" standards for radiation is 100 millirem per year(above background). You are going to be exposed to about 360 millirem per year no matter what you do. 100 millirem per year is the accepted "safe" threshold for the general public.

    We data logged the Niagara **** at 7.5 millirem per hour & the Four Seasons at 13.5 millirem per hour. If a hot spot was incorporated into a slab in a customer's home, lets say at the family's computer desk for example, the homeowner could only be at that spot 14 hours per year for the Niagara **** slab & about 7 hours per year for the Four Seasons slab.

    So if you could imagine what some homeowners across the country could be exposed to, it is alarming & rightly so.
    and because you are so concerned about your own safty and that of your coustomers, I'm assuming you have removed granite from your own home and no longer do it on any of your jobs?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Granite and Radiation

    I really need to stress that it is not all granites. As a high-end kitchen & bath dealer it is in our best financial interest to knock the cheap granites off the market but unfortunately we cannot with the evidence we have gathered so far.

    It is looking like it is the expensive exotic granites to be under suspicion. Not the common ones like St. Cecilia, Uba Tuba, Baltic Brown, Giallo Veneziano, etc. Buy these without too much concern, but do some serious investigation if you are considering an exotic.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Granite and Radiation

    We actually have Avonite solid surface in our kitchen. It was scrap that we had.

    And we actually haven't had the opportunity to fabricate a granite from Namibia. But we did turn down a $10,000 job. We didn't actually turn it down but I told the customer who was considering Typhoon Bordeaux that we had to test it first & if she thought we were full of bull then I recommended two very skilled granite companies to fabricate & install her granite.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    980

    Default Re: Granite and Radiation

    I'm not saying you sound like a salesman or a politician, but the reasoning is the same as well as avoiding the questions that were asked

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