Granite & Radon?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!


Been hearing rumblings of radon gas emisions from granite countertops and wanted to see what other people have experienced as it appears the manufactured counter top folks profess it's a great hazard and the granite people say it's nothing to be bothered with.
I have read a ton of stuff and still don't see it one or the other. One of the confusing things is that they state radon gas is a natuarlly occurring gas that happens when soil decays. They say it can enter your home thru cracks or openings in your home's foundation. The reason I question this with countertops is if the "gas" needs a passageway to get from the soil into your home, how does it get out of the countertop and into the air in your kitchen if the countertop is completely sealed against bacteria with a non-pourous coating???
Just wanted to check people's opinions and experiences.... thanks!
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I'm a physicist. ANY amount of ionizing radiation poses a cumulative threat to human cell chromosomes.The is no minimum. When you are subject to x-ray or cat scan your body absorbs some "microcuries" of radiation but exposure only lasts short while. Story changes with presence of gamma ray emanating stones in your kitchen, where you stay most of the time while at home. Even minuscule radiation intensity will cumulate over time to seriously threaten your health/life. I would NEVER install granite countertops in my kitchen or baths. Marble makes a big difference. That natural material does not emit harmful gamma rays but it's also more expensive, than ordinary granite. My kitchen countertops are corian and my main bath has marble. Cheers
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote: ...

Guess you'd best wear lead and certainly _never_ even consider a transcontinental air flight...
Geez!
(ps. I'm a NucE/Physicist fwtw which w/ the appropriate amount of loose change gets me a cup of coffee most places...)
--
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And better stay in a bunker, perferably at least several light years from the nearest star.
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Depending on who you believe...The FDA just released a study/report this summer that basically says; granite poses no health risks. The amounts of granite are too small.
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summer that basically says; granite poses no health risks. The amounts of granite are too small. I think you meant the EPA and not the FDA and this is a link to the FAQ for it. Still not very clear :
http://radiation.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/radiation.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqidS15&p_created 17344512&p_sid=4hms*Hdj&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_lvaS09&p_sp9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX3Jvd19jbnQ9MywzJnBfcHJvZHM9MTY5LDE4NiZwX2NhdHM9JnBfcHY9Mi4xODYmcF9jdj0mcF9wYWdlPTE*&p_li=&p_topview=1
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In my experience, government agencies bend over backward to give the sternest warnings and set exposure levels far below where other toxicologists would. If they can see no problem, there is no problem.
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Except for the "political-contribution effect". :-(
David
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Can you have graniite slabs tested before they're installed? And do you need to test the whole slab? To do our color matching we have a small piece (and 4-square inches) that they broke off one corner for us to take to use for matching tile. Could we have that tested? Most small test kits we've seen require a sample "pouch" to be in the area for several days. Then sent to a lab, then the results sent back. The problem is these slabs are stored outside. No way to segregate one particular slab.
How can you do this????
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You should not go anywhere near granite. I had my mothers headstone made out of corian so her visitors would stay healthy. Too much exposure has also been know to cause paranoia. Ray Davies has claimed that "paranoia is the destroyaaaa".
Have a nice day.
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The world is full of granite. Possibly some does emanate radon gas others may not, but how much gas could a 5/8" thick sheet of granite hold, especially after sitting around in yards, shipped half way around the world and then installed in a kitchen. I am sure that many other mineral building products are similar or worse, such as concrete made with granite aggregates and other products mined from underground.
I am not a scientist but logic tells me there is nothing to fear any more than most other things in this world.

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EXT wrote:

A slab of granite does not "contain" Radon.
Radon is "created" by the granite, specifically Radon is a by-product of the radioactive decay of Radium.
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granite countertop is pretty small, and in generally well ventilated area. i doubt it cpould be a hazard...........
homes with radon sit on a radon foundation
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Having just done a lot of personal research on this issue, from what I've read the issue isn't as much what emits or generates radon, as that radon gas gets contained in an enclosed area where it can build up.
Radon has always been around, but older homes ventilated better than modern ones do (energy efficiency seems to equal air-tight) so it wasn't an issue until the last 20 or so years as these more air-sealed homes don't ventilate all gasses quite as easily.
Which makes me wonder if there is some sort of measurable up-tick in other gasses in modern homes that might correlate to health issues...maybe higher concentrations of CO2, etc., that might be the reason more people have migraines today than did 50 years ago.
Just my 2 cents'
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To get an idea of the radon emited, the only real way is to test for a long time period in the room with the radon, and in another remote room on the same level and compare. You can't sit the canister on the counter top, and you don't sit the canister on the basement floor either.
By the way, I measured my new old house shortly after I moved in. It was OK about 2.7. I got around to measuring it last spring and it was high, around 6, but shortly started falling as the summer approached. It was 2.3-2.5 all summer, but in sep started rising and was getting up to about 20. I installed temporary suction fan and since last fri is falling, from 18 to today about 8. What I learned is, you cannot rely at all on one measurement. Oct to Nov SEEM to be the worst months of the year from data I have looked at, but data is hard to find on monthly average levels. You need to test radon NOW.
greg
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I have learned much after investigating radon. There is much misinformation. An upstairs open window can actually increase radon levels from suction, especially if the window is on the side pointing to wind flow. Radon levels will be similar throughout the house, and very much depends on ventilation, weather, seasons, rain, and snow, ice, etc,etc, Sealing cracks in the basement helps, but not a whole lot. A furnace/air plastic filter like 3M Filtrite, picks up radon and it products and will becomes highly radioactive, as well as furnace and air filter carbon filters.It decays, but be careful disposing. I don't know the time intervals, but radon decays to half life in four days, becomes three other products breaking down finally to LEAD. Those other radioactive elements are also a hazard.
Radon fans come in different suction capabilities. Depending on the location, the fan, or fans need to be sized, and there may require more than one suction point. Some fans can also be controlled by variable speed controls, also controlling cost to run. They also do not have to run all year if levels are measured. I got a reading on the Geiger counter up to 10 times the ambient noise shortly after installing the 3M. The house reading did not go down significantly. Venting the house tends to reduce the radon, but radon and its products can not easily be removed from even using a high speed fan for one hour creating positive pressure in the house. My whole house attic fan produces negative pressure, and its use can be problimatic with radon. It would seem radon and its products stick around and are hard to get rid of, and need to be let alone to decay after a few days, or a couple weeks if no additional inflow exists.
Hope this helps
greg
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How big is an atom of radon? How big is a bacterium?
Cindy Hamilton
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