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Several ways to get your countertops checked for radiation.
Radon companies some times have Geiger Counters or Scintillators.
Some times the State or local college will send someone out with a meter. We tend to discourage this, prefering to use them to document a previously documented hot top.
Some Enviromental companies will do this for a fee, usually a large fee.
Or you can look on our list of people that have the proper equipment and experience to do an informal test. Some of these people are retired experts, graduate students, experienced radiation enthusiasts, or moonlighting professionals. The equipment will vary from basic to quite elaborate. The point is to find out if you have a high enough level of radiation for concern, not provide a extremely accurate reading, something that is difficult with hand held meters.
New people sign up every day, so ask if you don’t see someone near your city and we will ask around in the radiation forums.
Here is the areas covered so far. Replace the “at” with @ (keeps the spam bots away)
Phoneix, Steve Jones, LENi Omega, steve “at” rustyknives.com
Pleasanton, 40 miles North of San Jose, Craig , zplash “at” gmail.com
Bakersfield, John, CDV 700 basic Geiger Counter, no Alpha, jbls “at” bak.rr.com
San Jose, Linda Kincaid, Certified Industrial Hygienist, nanosafety “at” gmail.com
Denver area, Front Range area, Richard Westfall, spaceguy2008 ” at” aol.com
Stuart, Associated Radon Services, a professional lab, web site at www.radonserv.com
Chicago (Vernon Hills in the north) Doug Troglodite ” at” aol.com
Chicago Radon Ron, professional Radon/radiation testers radonron “at” mac.com
Chicago, Nancy Baker, njbakerco “at” btc-bci.com
Nancy Baker, njbakerco “at” btc-bci.com
Saginaw, Tracy Albert, thealbert “at” earthlink.net
Nancy Baker, njbakerco “at” btc-bci.com
St Louis area, Jim Hickinbotham, rabid “at” unclerabid.com
Ron, Ludlum Model #3, jean-claude “at” hughes.net
Missoula, Eberline RM-14 with a HP 260 pancake probe, Ken Cook, wellsia “at” yahoo.com
Las Vegas, Dudley Emer, extensive list of equipment available, dfemer “at” cox.net
State College, Steve Poterala, scintillator and Geiger counter sfp908 “at” psu.edu
Erie, Jim, lots of equipment keylimepie2″at”verizon.net
Philadelphia, Aaron, Eberline ESP-1 scintillor and a LENi pancake, aaron”at” muderick.com
Oklahoma City area, Al Gerhart, LENi Geiger counter, PM 1703,
Yukon area, Chris Cavanaugh, extensive equipment PM 1703, cav427 “at” cox.net
Nashville, Robert Drueker, LENi Geiger Counter, robertdruecker “at” msn.com
Houston, Mike Loughlin & son, CDV 700 with Data log, loughlin3 “at” sbcglobal.net
Greenville, Steve Poterala’s dad, scintillator, sfp908 “at” psu.edu
Snohomish, PM 1703 and a Ludlum, Ed Garrett, garrett_ew “at” comcast.net
Alamogordo, New Mexico, Danny, dahur1″at”q.com
If you need testing, just add a comment, be sure to do the “at” thing so spam bots don’t pick up your email address.
Over the past few months, we have been able to get homeowners in contact with either SSA members or members of Radiation Measurement Enthusiasts clubs. Most of these guys will charge a small fee for their time, effort, and travel costs, but it will be far less than a professional firm will charge.
In some cases, testing by a professional firm is the way to go, especially if the granite is found to have a high level of radiation after an informal test. But even if the informal test shows little radiation, having the peace of mind and something in writing (an email will do just fine) that says their granite is a low level radiation for when they sell their home.
If you need a test done, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to find someone nearby with a proper meter. We leave the details up to the two of you, but feed back would be nice on how the test went.
I was replying to a few forums today on these issues and decided to save some of the more repetitive excuses not to take this seriously.
First is the distance the radiation can travel. We have run tests in our own shop with a 220 uR/hr source (Niagara Gold, the parent slab of that chunk in both the NY Times and the CBS Morning show.
At four inches, celery chopping length (!), 2,280 counts per minute (each count is a burst of radiation hitting the meter) That meter is buzzing pretty good.
At 12″ 840 cpm 14 times background radiation
At 24″ 600 cpm 10 times
At 36″ 480 cpm 8 times
At 60″ 180 cpm 3 times
Even at six feet, the radiation is still high, double background. That is hardly non existent radiation.
“Worrying about a couple extra micro REMs of exposure per year is nothing.”
How about .7 mR/hr Gamma? Saturday I sent a sample that read just that. Want an extra 511 mR/yr per year with your Cheerios?
The Niagara Gold in the stories, .220 mR, 160 mR/yr. How about that?
“The extra exposure from “unusually” radioactive granite? I’d say at most would be ~1% of normal background exposure.”
Background is 6o cpm, see the above list for that CBS/NYT slab. Looks like you are off by 84,000 times for the oncontact measurement of that sample.
“I suggest you all read some actual scientific facts about radiation risks and nuclear power.”
There is the problem, someone that thinks if we can’t sell radioactive granite countertops, we can’t have nuclear power.
“The industry is already trying to set some standards”.
The MIA is attempting to set some standards, about like letting the felons decide what we jail people for. One problem, one of their scientists they named a few weeks ago has jumped ship. Two of the others are jokes, one said only .85 of a radioactive decay per year from a large countertop. Idiot, each click on a Geiger Counter is a decay being detected and you have a very small target catching a tiny portion of the radiation being released. There are billions, even trillions of decays per year from a medium hot top.
Another of their “experts” has a habit of being hired as the second scientist for the EPA, after the first one won’t say what the powers that be want him to say.
The last one left, Dr. Chyi, sent me a very nasty email after I asked a simple question, was the report being used by the MIA the same one that he wrote. A scientist that gets offended at questions is a scientist that has something to hide.
Oh, the one that jumped ship? He not only answered questions, he offered to send me the data tables from the study I was asking questions about. Most scientists I have emailed have done the same.
This scientist, a good one in my opinion, is starting another group to set protocols for testing. Completely independent of the MIA or BuildCLean.org. I like it.
“Regulation is not what we need” .
The Chinese regulate granite radiation levels, Class A, B, C and Below C. Only Class A is allowed to be used in homes. Many other countries, including most EU countries regulate radiation in building materials.
“There is no danger from these granite counter tops. I have a Ph.D. in the field of radiology. ”
And you don’t know squat about the radiation levels being found. Are you saying that .7 mR/hr Gamma is okay for consumer products? Again, if you sell X rays or Cat Scans, you do want people to accept high radiation levels as “safe”. X rays are a risk, but it is a known risk that has a potential benefit.
“Surely these companies won’t dig up radioactive granite for home use”.
These companies know exactly what they are digging up and selling. They are actually conducting a lawsuit in Namibian courts, suing an Uranium company for the right to quarry granite next door to an Uranium mine in Namibia.
“How long has the granite industry known about this issue?”
This debate has been raging in the countertop industry since 1995, has been beaten down several times by the MIA. This time we organized, gathered allies, and broke the story. One huge granite importer (owns one of the Nambian quarry the Niagara Gold granite came from) admitted yesterday that their purchasing manager has known about this issue for about a year and a half. Strangely, they blame me for not calling and telling them, but their purchasing manager was debating the issue with me last may!
“Aren’t the workers most at risk?”
The worker is the most at hazard, and don’t let anyone cut a slab in your home (sink cut out) or drill any holes if possible on the higher level stones. In addition to the silica (silicosis), granite is loaded with heavy metals (Cadium, Arsenic, lead, Chromium, a very long and toxic list), as well as the radioactive dust inhaled. We started using HEPA filters after we learned of the high radiation levels in the dust.
“But bananas and brazil nuts are radioiactive too.”
Sorry, bananas aren’t very radioactive. I heard of a guy that reduced 100# of bananas to ash before he could measure the radiation.
A researcher with the Dept of Health at NY state, Dr. Kitto studied Brazil nuts and found around 1 pCi/G of Radium, less than the average soil content, far less than the 1,130 pCi/G of Radium found in the Bordeaux granite countertop found in the Houston story.
Twenty eight. grams of Brazil nuts would contain .008 uR of Radium, compared to a granite countertop that can have thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands times more radiation.
Thanks to Dr. Kitto for sharing the results of this study on Brazil nuts.
Associated Radon Services has been helping tremendously in the fight to get stones tested and the results in front of consumes. Now they have made an offer to provide homeowners a way to check countertop samples for Radon.
I would highly recomend this lab if you are worried about your granite. An inexpensive Radon test kit would be another way, but for a guaranteed result, send these guys a small sample. Perhaps a sink cutout or a sample knocked off the corner of a slab.
1) Radon emanation from surface test result unit will be pCi/sq.ft./second
4-14 day turaround, sample size must accomodate ,minimum 9″ diameter circle,
$ 75.00 per sample
2) Radon emanating Radium 226 fraction test unit will be pCi/gram and euilibirum level Rn222 Pci/l inside chamber/gram (or area if I can come up with a K ), 8 – 30 day turnaround, sample size must pass through a 3.5″ dia hole and no longer than 6″ (can change if any demand ) , $ 75.00 per sample up to 9, 10 or more together $50.00 per
Must ship UPS, FEDEx ground, or DHL no motor freight ; at this time we have 52 emenation chamber capacity ; contect KMLevy@radonserv.com or email@example.com
ASSOCIATED RADON SERVICES
Fl DOH and NRPP Certified Analytical Radon Laboratory
5136 SE Orange St. Stuart, FL 34997