Radon in granite countertops.


Interesting article, What am I to tell my customers in the Granite state? (NH)

Anyone do the testing that they talk about in the article? Grab Sampling?

I know it’s beyond SOP, but wondering if done as an additional service.


Everything causes cancer.

This clear it up for anyone?

From the same article:
Indeed, health physicists and radiation experts agree that most granite countertops emit radiation and radon at extremely low levels.** They say these emissions are insignificant compared with so-called background radiation that is constantly raining down from outer space or seeping up from the earth’s crust, not to mention emanating from manmade sources like X-rays, luminous watches and smoke detectors.

This is old news, and Mike is right - nothing really to be concerned about. . .

The NYT is doing poorly. Loosing revenue and readership.

Now why would they want to scare you?:roll:

Well, I see some significance to this article, guys.

First, there are no known “safe” levels of Radon.

Second, there are people like me who are not comfortable with government standards that provides for a “safe” amount of rat poop in my lunch meat. I would prefer none, thank you, and I would prefer a kitchen counter that did not set off a Geiger counter.

Third, adding a Radon emitting fixture into an air-tight newer construction that does not have the same about of “breathing” as an older house intensifies its effects.

I’m still not interested in performing Radon tests…but I will remember to recommend them in cases of rennovation or new construction where these countertops are being installed.

I had some one call me " for a quote" on radiation testing, just today. The guy told me he read the NY Times article., and he was worried about it, i tried to explain that it is present in granite, but most of the time its not at high levels. i also told him that i can measure radon gas levels ( which emit from the granite)
NOPE- he wants a geiger counter like in the article, and he was trying to inform me about it all because evedently HE WAS AN EXPERT NOW AFTER READING THE ARTICLE.

maybe he should have read this:


You might want to consider that source as well.

I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle. That is, most granite is probably not going to contain enough of anything to be harmful or to affect the overall exposure to Alpha particles.

However, I also suspect that there is some truth that in some cases there may be high enough levels of radiation emitting particles that it could contribute significantly. After all, if a stone fireplace, or concrete made of mine tailings, or any other building product can contribute to higher levels of Radon, why not granite (in some cases).

You’ve got a business opportunity with this client. Surf the net to find out what one of these devices go for (looks like 200-500 for a hand held). Pick one out, tell the guy your fee is the same as for the device, book the inspection for a week or two, and order the device.

He’ll pay for the cool new tool, and you now have one more ancillary service to add to your list. :mrgreen:

Like i said, " most of the time it is not at high levels"
That is suggesting that sometimes it is. I understand and agree that it can be a considerable source of radiation whether alpha or gamma.

However this individual actaully was from Massachusets
( i am in ILLINOIS) and he gave his price:

“…I would be interested in testing if it was under 100 dollars.”

Gotcha, didn’t pay attention to that.

My radon monitors were about $600. I’d pay that for a good sampling monitor if I thought it would pay for itself. But I’ll wait for for that first customer to call though.

A lot of hooey over nuthin…


I was just contacted by someone at CBS channel 2 news about showing how to do a radon measurement.
Since i am a technician working under the professional licence of RADON DETECTION SPECIALISTS, i though it would be better if they ( RDS ) took this one.

They are doing a story in response to the new york times article…

Steve, would you clarify your comment? Are you talking about radon, or the granite?

Actually I have several problems with this article that you linked to. For one, the EPA’s recommendation is based off of practical remediation capabilities. They clearly state that no level is safe, but their recommendations are based on getting them as low as is practical.

If the EPA regulated radon, like they do other class A carcinogens the remediation level would be below current outdoor averages.

I’m doomed, I have granite counters I ran to get out but there is a black substance on my door knob, must be deadly mold, I started to cut through the wall but it looks like vermiculite insulation, I think the windows might be plate glass. I’m gonna try to tunnel my way out, Pray for me.

Bingo, you find out your countertops emit Radon, which causes cancer, in your house which because it is wired causes cancer, so you use your cell phone, which causes cancer to order new countertops, and while you are removing the granite, you drop a piece on your foot and break it, so you go get X-Rays, which cause cancer. It never ends, I am starting to believe we all have cancer inside of us, and certain things just make it manifest. The next step will be on a TNT commercial, "If you bought a home with Granite countertops, Call the Law offices of Binder & Binder now, and get the money you deserve!

My home was 15.7 Pci/l, had a Radon system installed with in a week. I have my office, weight room, kids play room, & laundry room in the basement. As you can tell we spend a lot of time down here. If 4.0 Pci/l is the equal to a 1/2 pack of smokes per day thats good enough for me. I know that is not about the subject of Granite but oh well!:slight_smile:

I think it’s important to remember in situations such as this, the words of Clinton’s Surgeon General. Dr. Jocelyn Elders:

[FONT=CG Omega (W1)]…Most of the people who die with heart disease and cancer are our elderly population, you know, and we all will probably die with something sooner or later."[/FONT]

I’m with you Randy. Mine was 12.2 if I remember correctly. Tested it this week at .5.

I’m going to die of something, but I’ve seen lung cancer kill my wife’s grandma. That’s no way to go.

Visit http://www.cansar.org/

AND watch the video