Health: Granite Countertops

Friday, August 8, 2008

I Need a Geiger Counter! Now!

I just found out that my jet black granite countertop releases RADON.

RADON: This odorless, tasteless gas occurs naturally when uranium in rocks and soil decays. Recent studies indicate that exposure to high levels of radon over extended periods is linked to lung cancer. Both the U.S. Surgeon General and the EPA recommend that every home be tested for radon. [Good Housekeeping: The Complete Household Handbook, p. 379 (2005)]

Good Housekeeping not a good enough source for you?

Okay, here is an article from the New York Times -- What's Lurking in Your Countertop?

The E.P.A. recommends taking action if radon gas levels in the home exceeds 4 picocuries per liter of air (a measure of radioactive emission); about the same risk for cancer as smoking a half a pack of cigarettes per day.

I don't smoke but now there's a possibility that I have the same risk for cancer as my friend who smokes half a pack of Dunhills a day. Argh!

What's your kitchen countertop made of?


Anonymous said...

It was an interesting article about countertops - I have 2 in my house and of course was half concerned,
and half saw it as another media created hype designed to drive circulation and viewership.
Nonetheless I decided to take the Gamma-Scout geiger counter that's been sitting in a drawer in my
workroom waiting for a future dirty bomb attack, and test my countertops. Guess what?
They weren't kidding - I did find some elevated readings, but just on one section near a corner.
The reading was about 8 times background level and was high enough to set off the ticker.
I called my remodeler to give him a heads-up but I think he figured I was trying to set the
table for a lawsuit and was pretty tight-lipped about the whole thing and didn't want to discuss it.
Well anyway, there's not much I can do about it except to try not to sit on that corner.:)

Mrs. G said...

Haha! Laugh now. Marie Curie died of radiation poisoning, probably from playing with her glow-in-the-dark watches.

Granite-sealer said...

Interesting Article! I have granite countertops in my house and after reading this blog i am quite scared.

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