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Granite radiation danger a myth?

Posted by outwest_2007 (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 29, 07 at 16:56

In response to my request for pictures of red granite, Carpentershop pointed out that red granites are more radioactive. Interesting, I had never heard that.

Anyway, I think the issue is whether the radiation is harmful. Of course the granite people say no. Here is one interesting response:

Here is a link that might be useful: Granite Radiation Danger A Myth


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

I am always suspect of any article which is on a sight that is prejudiced one way or the other. This happens to be on a Stone Sight, would you really think they would post anything not favorable to stone? I visited a stone forum, when the article they were touting said "more bacteria is killed on granite than any other surface, there fore it must be more sanitary". When I asked how many bacteria were present to kill they couldn't answer. This is a case where figures can lie. More bacteria grew on granite than any other surface, so of course, more could be killed with cleaning. It really is buyer beware.
I have not been able to find a truely independant study on countertops. As in most things in life, follow the $$, and read the fine print.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

If you read the abstract of the article linked on the red granite thread you'll notice a few things. The study was done by researchers at Shaanxi Normal University. Only chinese granites were examined, most granites we use in our kitchens are from Brazil, or India. This is not to say that stones from those locations will be different or the same, just that they would need to be examined before judgement is passed. The measurements are reported in becquerels per kilogram, which is a very sensitive measurement (by sensitive I mean it is a small unit). Back in the day when Marie Curie was first measuring radioactivity she was using a Curie (abbreviated as Ci) as the unit. One Ci is equal to 37000000000 becquerels.

One would need to read the entire article to determine if those levels would be any sort of health risk. I wouldn't jump to any conclusions without doing so. Its worth noting that we are constantly bombarded by radiation. Perspective matters, ie would it really make a difference or not?


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

As far as I know, post 9-11, large metropolitan areas are routinely checked for radioactive substances. My guess would be that a granite radioactive enough to cause a health threat would not be in the yard for very long.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

As far as I know, post 9-11, large metropolitan areas are routinely checked for radioactive substances. My guess would be that a granite radioactive enough to cause a health threat would not be in the yard for very long.

If they're sniffing for radiation, they're not going to track down the small amount of radiation from a piece of granite. As alku points out, it's a very small amount, and radiation falls off according to an inverse-cube law; if I'm standing 1 foot away from a radiation source, and you're standing 2 feet away, I am receiving 8 times the radiation you are. Move 10 feet away and you're getting only 1 thousandth of the radiation that I am. Unless that granite were highly radioactive, by the time you get out to the street, it's lost in the noise of background radiation that's always present.

This is not to say that working at a faintly radioactive countertop (which in my house is at about ovary level for me and uncomfortably close to the jewels for my husband) for long periods of time wouldn't be a concern.

The notions of becquerels and Curies (events per second basically; as alku says a becquerel is teensy and a Curie is huge) aren't very useful in assessing risk. They only tell you how often something decays. That says nothing about the energy of the released radiation, and that's the important thing. (We are rapidly reaching the limits of my knowledge in this area; I teach physics but not nuclear physics and it's been a while since I've studied it.) You have to start looking at absorbed doses, and then what kind of particle made up the dose because you can absorb equal doses of different kinds of radiation and suffer very different effects. Judging from the abstract these researchers compared this kind of information to international standards and found that this red and pink Chinese granite exceeded those standards.

I'd look for something else, myself, but I also wouldn't freak out about it.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Granite and radiation, radon, and bacteria are myths perpetrated by the Corian salespeople. Don't take any of it seriously.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Truth is, Granite can not be used in commercial food preparation areas, as it can not be certified by NSF 51. NSF is the National Sanitation Foundation, while it may be sealed properly when installed, there is no way for them to determine if it will continue to be sealed as time goes on. Care and cleaning will greatly effect the surface of granite. ES and SS are approved for NSF 51 areas.

Remember anyone can dig anything out of the ground, it can be of any quality, they can call it whatever they want and anyone can fabricate it... and it comes with no warranty. To get the best stone, hire the best stone fabricator, only they can assure you your getting a quality stone. And you will not get an $80 stone for $39.. you will get a $39 stone for $39. It is truely buyer beware with stone. Engineered Stone and Solid Surface are backed by large corporations, with a 10 year warranty and the fabricators have to attend class's every few years to maintain their certification.
All types of products are good, but some may not be the best for certain applications or cercumstances.
Good Luck!


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Oh brother! If you're going to buy into this story, then don't forget that your pillow could be loaded with dustmite feces; each time you flush your toilet, urine is atomized into the air (possibly contaminating your toothbrush!); the sun emits radiation; copper is poisonous and is leaching into your water from the pipes that carry it to your taps; or that an asteroid could come crashing into your house at any moment!!!

Why not just go to bed (without your pillow!), pull your blanket over your head, turn your face to the wall and lie there trembling in fear. If your granite countertops don't get you -- something else will.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Reminds me of a friend who has a teenaged daughter who went from California to a summer program at a college about 50 miles from Three Mile Island. The mother was all freaked about the danger of terrorists blowing up the power plant. I reminded her that the cross-country plane flights to and from PA were probably more of a risk, as was the sight-seeing trip they went on in Washington, DC when she dropped her daughter off.

Crossing the street is a lot more dangerous to your health than your granite.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Everyone who pays attention to health issues knows that radon is a legitimate concern, and houses built on or of granite are more likely to have radon.

But is the amount of radiation present in a granite countertop a problem? Seems unlikely, but I'm not really qualified to say.

I wish someone who IS qualified could take a look at the numbers and tell us whether the difference in radiation levels is worth considering when choosing stone.

It's maddening that the stone people and solid surface people are acting just like politicians, playing and endless game of 'gotcha', twisting everything to their own agendas.

I wonder if the stone bits mixed into the plastic of Silestone and the like are tested for radiation level. If so, lets see some numbers; if not, they'd better stop pointing fingers...


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

"Why not just go to bed (without your pillow!), pull your blanket over your head, turn your face to the wall and lie there trembling in fear. If your granite countertops don't get you -- something else will."

LOL. I agree with this. I am more concerned about all of the imported foods and items in my house. Antifreeze in the toothpaste. Lead on the toys. Botulism in my chili. E Coli on my spinach.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Vjrnts - Its been a long time since I've been in a chemistry class, so please bare with me, but I seem to remember that radiation is everywhere - in sunlight, the food we eat, the rocks in our backyards, the crushed stone and shells in our children's sandboxes, etc. Radiation in and of itself is not bad. Sniffers are designed to detect *harmful* levels of radiation. If they went off at lower levels would they ever stop buzzing?


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

I got my degree in Physics, and work in the industry, so I know a bit about radiation...

Many things are radioactive at some level. Beach sand is one of the higher level items you will find in the normal course of life. Depending on where granite comes from, it can likely have the same levels.

Here is my advice: If you have the smallest amount of concern, skip that granite and go for something else. That little bit of concern is going to take away some of the enjoyment, which is ht reason for building / remodeling. For me, I would not worry about it - I get way more exposure at work (still safe levels) than a peice of granite is likely to give off.

If you really want it, get a piece tested (yellow pages under testing labs).

Best of luck.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Interesting Tom that you are still touting the NSF! line against granite. I thought you might have put that one to bed.
Granite does not get an NSF rating because it is unnecessary, This was stated in a presentation at the Stone Expo in Las Vegas in 2006 during a ES presentation.
The presentation was given by THE representitive of the NSF. It is only required by our government on the man made chemically based materials.

That being said, IF granite were radioactive, I and our staff would be in trouble. There are over 30,000 granite slabs in our distribution center.

Blessings


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

A reputable website? Junkscience.com?


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

I'm reminded of an old saying...
"If the lie is big enough, anyone will believe it"!!

Faron


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

...and don't stand too close to your microwave!!!!! What about those IR waves between your tv and your remotes??? Oh and your cellphone gives off bad stuff too. Our whole town is wireless, so I guess I'm doomed. Invisible waves everywhere... oh dear, oh dear. Hello???


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Junkscience.com is a website run by Steven Milloy, who is not a scientist but is actually affiliated with right-wing think tanks and Fox News. Its purpose is political, not scientific. The study cited in the post above was published with the intention of demonstrating that standards for radiation exposure are absurdly low, in the opinion of junkscience.com. I expect that Milloy would be mortified that it was being used in an effort to make a point about the dangers of granite countertops.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

carpentershop,
I am not going to continue to hijack this thread and get off topic much further. That being said, I do not know much about the radiation issue except that it is scoffed at by anyone associated in the stone business. Rightly or wrongly, who knows? Based on the current level of information out there, it sounds like bunk, but the world was flat once remember. I walk through a warehouse with nearly 30,00 slabs in it, this is making me want to go by a Geiger Counter.

As for the NSF rating, that is just one piece of disinformation the ES guys shove and it pops my gasket.
The seminar you scoffed at Carpenter, was given in Vegas in 2006, my company's owner and our magazine editor were asked to participate as representitives of the stone industry, there were numerous members on the panel including a rep from the NSF. The question was asked why can't stone be certified by the NSF and the answer from him was that it is not necessary. It is my understanding that quite a dialogue followed and the bottom line is that stone is safe in a kitchen, period, industrial or residential. No certification necessary. Now convince the ES guys of that.

As always I send blessings.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Vrjames,
Thanks for the civil reply. Still, this tread is about the health issues of granite countertops, so the NSF rating, or lack of, is relevant.

One of the issues here is shops that sell only one product. I do both stone and quartz, and don't understand why most stone shops don't, pretty much the same tooling and process, why not give your customers a choice? For some, it makes the best choice, for others solid surface or laminate is better and for some, only granite will do.

Choice is good.

I would like to see some proof about what you said about the NSF and granite. I post links to back up things, easy to do if the data is out there.

Keep in mind that NSF is exactly like Underwriters Labratory, anyone can have their product certified, if it will pass, but it isn't a one time thing, but a continuing process. If quartz can pass this tough standard, you need to certify your product or concede the ground to quartz on this issue.

Sorry, but quoting from a stone show, a stone shop owner and a stone magazine doesn't meet the smell test.

I will get time this weekend and look up the NSF procedure or call one of my peers that has been involved for more info and post what I find.

On the junkscience site report on the radiation, it is about how silly the protesters are, but that doesn't make the data any less valid. This is science, politics has no place in science. If you want to claim they published something innaccuate, flail away, but be specific so your claims can be checked out. Research a way, we know you have the internet available, post some links to proof backing up your claim of bias and let the chips fall where they may.

Or just cast aspersions with out backing them up. Your call...... What I call a big lie is granite only shops naysaying the radiation levels of granite through ignorance or to prevent losing sales. The science is undisputed, and yes granite will go off around granite.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Carpentershop, I'm not trying to be uncivil, and I hope I'm not coming across that way. I'm mainly just pointing out that you've cited a report in support of your position, when the purpose of that report was to establish a position exactly the opposite of yours.

In your post, you state that your link is "to a science site, very reputable". I can give a couple of quick quotes, but all anybody really needs to do is to visit junkscience.com themselves to see what it's about. If it isn't clear to someone from a visit to the site that its purpose is to sway public opinion to the Republican side on certain hot public policy debates, I'm sure that I couldn't add anything to change their mind.

From Milloy himself:
"Junk science" is bad science used to further a special agenda, such as personal injury lawyers extorting deep-pocket businesses; the "food police," environmental Chicken Littles and gun-control extremists advocating wacky social programs; overzealous regulators expanding bureaucratic power/budgets; cut-throat businesses attacking competitors; unethical businesses making bogus product claims; slick politicians; and wannabe scientists seeking fame and fortune.

From the New York Times (Dec. 18, 2005):

After the EPA released a report on the dangers of secondhand smoke in 1992, the Tobacco Institute berated the agency for preferring "political correctness over sound science". Within a year Philip Morris helped to create a group called The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), which challenged the risks not only of secondhand smoke but also of pesticides, dioxin and other industrial chemicals. (The executive director of TASSC in the late 1990’s was Steven Milloy, who now "debunks" global warming and other environmental threats in the Foxnews.com column "Junk Science").


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Most areas of this country require NSF certification for any product in commercial food preparation areas. Even sink drains have NSF stamps on them, Stainless Sinks used in commercial food service areas will carry an NSF stamp on each sink. Granite, while it can be fairlly sanitary when sealed properly, can not for the life of the surface be assured it will stay sanitary, hence it does not have an NSF certification. There is NO product used in commercial food prep areas that do not need or have an NSF certification. Even faucets, water pipes etc. If you look at many plumbing supplies you will se the little NSF stamp. NevaMar laminate was not NSF approved till the last 10 years or so. I did a restaurant in the Chicago area using NevaMar laminate, which was specified by the architect, only to have to rip it all out and put a different laminate in its place, only because it didn't have the NSF stamp on the sheets.
True some areas health departments are very lax, but the vast majority will not allow stone in any food preparation areas. With all the cleaning and sanitizing done in a typical commercial kitchen, how long do you think a sealer would last before it would need to be reapplied? How can the health department make sure it is sealed properly when its needed?
My personal feeling is for a residential kitchen its not a major problem, but the consumer should not be mislead into thinking a stone counter is maintenance free. Depending on the type and quality of stone, the maintenance could be considerable. Hiring the best fabricator you can find is the best assurance of geting a quality stone job.
Get what you like, do your homework and do the proper maintenance on whatever product you choose. There is NO one perfect product, that is right for everyone. All the products are good for particular application.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

NSF certification is limited to manmade products and materials, I believe. Stone (or any similar natural product) can't be certified as there is variance from one sample to another ~ cert would need to be done on a case by case basis, which is unrealistic.

So yes, stone isn't certified by the NSF as it's out of their scope for compliance testing.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Thank you Pauline for putting into the right words what I was trying to say.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

I'm not too worried about the radiation with there being so many other things to worry about..... I just want by kitchen to look pretty! Ha! LOL!!


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

You're welcome vrjames (!) and thank you for your knowledgable input on stone and granite issues.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

From reading all this, it seems like a greater concern for the home owner is sanitation, rather than radiation. I know lots of people with granite countertops who rarely, if ever, reseal them. We're struggling with the granite vs. quartz issue and, today at least, I'm leaning towards Caesarstone which I won't have to maintain and can be sure is clean.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Sealing stone and sanitizing it is not the same thing. Sealing is not done for "sanitizing" the stone.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

I know that I'm far more worried about sanitation issues than I am about radiation issues with my own granite. When our granite was installed, the entire surface was rough and pitted. There is not 1 square inch of my granite that is not pitted. The installers later did something to it to smooth the surface out. We were told it was a sealer at the time, but from everything I've read, it sounds more like some type of resin was used to fill in the pits.

Right now, with the pits filled in, the surface of our granite is smooth and easy to clean. But how long is that resin going to last? And is it o.k. to have such a large amount of resin on a countertop?


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Well. I'll just crawl back into my bubble now.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Good God! The yo-yo's in California have legislated a requirement that any item, substance or food stuff that has been shown to cause cancer in rats (even if it would require exposure in quantities far larger than would be encountered in several lifetimes), must be labeled as a suspected carcinogen.

So far, I don't think that even California requires such a label on granite countertops. This despite the fact that restaurants selling French fries, sea food counters in all grocery markets, and cosmetic counters throughout the state must post a warning of the possible risks associated with fries, tuna fish and ordinary lipstick.

Believe me. if the tort lawyers in California haven't already started suing the purveyers of granite countertops -- you're probably in no danger.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

But the NSF can only address quantifiable materials, like glass, etc: if they declared [for instance] 'Uba Tuba granite' to be food safe, every one would call their stone 'Uba Tuba', even if it were little more than compacted manure.

The NSF could only declare a stone safe if the precise chemical makeup of every square millimeter could be defined, and every millimeter of every slab coming out of the quarry could be compared to this. Basically impossible.

Worth remembering that the government practically banned wood cutting boards a few years ago [too porous], only to later admit that bacteria actually dies faster on maple than synthetic or glass...

The problem with studies of this sort is that it doesn't allow us to compare the risks [and I'm perfectly willing to admit there could be some]of granite with risks from alternative products. Granite has radition, but presumably so does the stone ground up to make silestone and the like, and for the most part these are the people pushing the radiation story. What about VOC outgassing from the chemicals used for plywood and the adheasives used on a formica type counter? Are the petro chemicals of swanstone or corian really better?

We all know that UV from sunshine causes skin cancer. A lot of people slather on the SPF 50 before leaving the house everyday. But LACK of sunshine also causes MS, colon cancer, a wide range of issues: we didn't evolve in the dark. You wouldn't know it from the evening news: the media turns to dermatoligists for sun info, and the only organ the dermas care about is the skin.

So it becomes a balancing act, choosing risks and degree of exposure.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Yo-yo in California with a question here...but why would granite, a natural material, be radioactive? How, in the millions of years it has been inside a mountain or underground, was it exposed to radiation? Probably a stupid question but I really have no idea. Is all stone radioactive?

????


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Silica dust from granite may increase risk of esophageal cancer in workers. Also--granite outcroppings are a source of radon. Overall the amount of granite used for counters seems minimal--but then again, 3/4 of my yard is made up of granite outcroppings :-/.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

I'm just wondering if there have been any studies linking granite with an increased risk of cancer in those who have it in their homes?

If a strong enough correlation has been found, we would then need to know what it is about granite countertops that causes cancer. Is it in the *nature* of the stone (ie radiation) or is it in some aspect of the *processing* of the stone (ie resin, sealers, etc.) that is to blame?


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Busymom, such a study is nearly impossible. Cancers take many years to develop, and any study done now would simply be a list of anecdotes without any controls at all. There is probably nothing about granite countertops causing cancer. Worry about the real things that you can do in your own life, such as not smoking, diet and exercise. It isn't the countertop.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Fairegold - I tend to agree with you about the health "issue" (or not) that granite poses. But people have been using granite in their homes for a long time. So a study, at least on radiation dangers, should be possible. Since sealers and resins haven't been around as long and the types used may have changed over time, a study may not be so clear cut on them. But, if they can study the health effects of Windex, I suppose they can also study the health effects of granite processing methods.

With the popularity of granite these days, I would actually be surprised if someone *didn't* do a study in this regard.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Snookums, radiation is natural, and everything is radioactive to some degree. The heat and pressure under which granite is formed causes it to be more radioactive than some softer stones.

Just remember uranium comes out of the ground, too...


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

My husband gets more radiation at his job(a trace amount) then he does from our granite counter tops. He is a mechanical eng. by degree with Nuclear and a bit of electrical eng. thrown in to boot. So if he says there is nothing to worry about I tend to believe him. He laughed when he read some of the posts here. Without knowing what some of the people do here for employment he asked if some were salesmen for Corian.
We have had our granite counter tops for over 12 years. We didn't have mutant babies during our childbearing years, neither of us have any type of cancer and we all still have our own teeth and hair, so I guess all those years standing at the counters didn't really have any effect on us. Oh wait, does your husband forgetting to get you a anniversary card count!?? Good grief what will those non-granite fabricators come up with next! NancyLouise


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Sorry, I totally did not mean to start a fight! I am not getting the red granite, but not because of radiation concerns.


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No you didn't and I was wrong about something

Oh, Outwest, you didn't start it. What type of granite are you going with?

By the way, I was wrong about those guys being new posters, they have been around a while. My bad....


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Interesting snippet about radiation exposure for the average person. Except for the sleeping next to a person example, these list annual exposure amounts.
I think granite countertops are pretty safe. You need to surround yourself in granite with high uranium content to get a fair amount of exposure. I think sleeping in a separate room from your significant other will play a bigger part in reducing it! :P

Being exposed to really low doses gives the cells a chance to repair, as oppposed to high doses in quick succession. The cells can't keep up with the damage it causes.

Here is a link that might be useful: PBS link


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

alex9179, that was a good link. Did you see the FAQ about plutonium? I had no idea that it was that safe to handle.

Still, the link mentioned that the granite in our capitol was so radioactive that it couldn't be used a a nuke site. Either the nuke site rules are too tough, or that is some really radioactive granite.

The junkscience.com used the same unit of measurement, microrems as the PBS site. I see some things on the PBS site that I don't understand. It says that sleeping next to another person gives you a 2 microrem dose, but there are 365 nights a year or a dose of 730 microrems a year, far in excess of what they say is the normal exposure of 250 to 300 (the higher number is from a CDC site ). Which figure is correct? Actually for those of us who have been married quite a while, it might explain
some things...

Still, if the rate of exposure in our capitol buildings is correct, that is 60 Millirem per year, on top of what we get from natural sources. They said that it means a one chance in one thousand of developing a fatal cancer over a lifetime. So depending on the actual dose, expect from one in a thousand to one in two hundred increase in the chance of developing a fatal cancer in your lifetime.

If cancer runs in your familiy, like it does in mine, perhaps it makes you more concerned about this issue.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

FWIW, I'm a homeowner who just completed his first, and probably only, kitchen remodel. I work in the insurance industry. The countertop in our new kitchen is Corian. There is no granite in my home.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

More than one outstanding idea in your post, fori. In the interest of changing the tone, here are 3 photos of one of the buildings in question from the first "study" cited in this unfortunate thread. These are from a family vacation to Washington.

I have seen speculation by those whose judgments should be taken seriously that the Library of Congress may be the most beautiful building in America. If you go to D.C., don't miss it.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

"Solid surface is a polymer, where two molecules crosslink into a new larger molecule which is completely inert."

Only to the extent that the reaction goes to completion.
They NEVER do.
The monomers remaining are often relatively hazardous, though in an industrial setting they can be pretty well controlled to low levels.

"…60 Millirem per year…"

Not enough to worry about.
I work at cyclotrons testing devices for use in satellites.
No one would even look twice at 60 mRem.
It is below the allowable exposure limit of 5 mRem, or even the ‘general public’ limit of 0.1 Rem (100 mRem) per year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Exposure limits


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

The granite used in the Capitol Building isn't the stuff that's going to go in the average kitchen, and don't forget the massive amount used in the construction. THAT granite has high uranium content. It doesn't say ALL granite. It's not like it's closed to the public or workers for a hazardous environment.

I saw uranium content listed from 4 ppm to 100 ppm. I'd wager that most household granites are at the low end. I think sandstone was a little over 2 ppm, for perspective.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Revans, surly you could have put each of those in a different post!

Lovely pictures!


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Yes, carpentershop, I still will use granite in my home and it is still not a concern. I doubt myself or anyone for that matter will use as much granite in their kitchen or bath as the whole Capital building in Washington. You are really grasping at straws with that one. Awesome pictures by the way revans1!
NancyLouise


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

brickeyee,
nice to see some technical info and yes some polymers don't "cook" all the way. I warn about solid surface from small plants with little investment in equipment that forces them to use one of the three catylast systems that is vastly inferior to the other two. The major brands use either continuous cast, and the temp and humidity is controlled to insure the most complete cure possible, or open pour with a long steam retort curing process to force all the chemical to cross link.

One of the most famous companies that tried to pour their own was Jetta corp, a maker of fine hot tubs, but really, really bad countertops. The stuff was porous, would change color and texture as it cured out, in the customers home. What we think of as a solid, hard surface is anything but on the molecular level, and these molecules will eventually find each other, bringing on all sorts of quality issues when they do. Think green or yellow when you bought white..... Durability is an issue as well.

I really don't care what the crap product is made of, I point them out as I see them.

Your point about the monomers being unlinked is valid for some products, including resined stone and quartz, which is about 35% solid surface. The quartz is post cured, while the granite is not, so this is the most likely to be a problem with resined stone that solid surface or quartz.

See, I don't mind when someone comes up with valid points to consider, I respect that very much. It points to missing links in my knowledge, ones that I address quickly. I am as afraid of what I don't know as I am of what I do know on some things.

I am especially glad to see someone with radiation exposure experience to be joining in the discussion, but am a bit confused by one of your sentences

"No one would even look twice at 60 mRem.
It is below the allowable exposure limit of 5 mRem,...."

I am totally confused by that, while I understand the difference between milli and micro, isn't 60 larger than 5? Wouldn't that be 12 times the allowable exposure limit?

Another question, is the remainder of the quote, "or even the ‘general public’ limit of 0.1 Rem (100 mRem) per year." The link at the end of this post shows the natural exposure to be 300 mRem, not 100 mRem. Is there debate on the allowable levels that one is subjected to, and if so, who has the last say on the matter? This would radically change the risk if the allowable level was three times lower as you point out.

Another question is the math involved, never my strong point, so forgive if this is a stupid question, but you state that 0.1 Rem is 100 mRem, but the same CDC site states that the symbol "m" refers to milli and states that is .oo1 or one thousands of a Rem. Is .1 Rem 100 mRem or 1000 mRem

Even if I am ignorant of the math, wouldn't an allowable exposure of 100 mRem that you state, after getting 60 mRem from a granite countertop, leave you with only 40 mRem left for natural occuring radiation? If so, this ties in with what I and others have pointed out, if you are at risk or near the limit because of natural exposure, or employment exposure factors, better that you pick a safer material?

My main expertise is in the bacterial aspect of granite, learning about the more technical aspects of radiation as the need arises, so forgive the questions.

Thanks for the link to exposure levels. I will spend some time there later this week.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

alex9179,
Exactly what type of granite was used in the Capitol building? How can you be so sure that it isn't used in kitchens?

I would like to see that link about the ppm of granite, what you have quoted sounds close to what I have on file, and sandstone isn't used much.

Keep in mind that you figures do point out that one type of granite can have 25 times the level of radiation that another type has.

Isn't that what started this entire thread, my saying that some red granites have elevated levels of radioactivity?

I love a good debate, but when you guys prove my point, it makes me wonder why we are still arguing.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

I wade in again, with great trepidation. First, I feel compelled to point out that some posts to this thread have been removed, including at least one of my own. We did not play well together, and Gardenweb did the right thing by taking them out. It does, however, mean that this thread won't "flow" now, because there are references included herein to things that no longer appear.

Early on, we were pointed to a report on junkscience.com which stated that a person who spent 2000 hours per year just outside the Library of Congress Jefferson Building (photos above) would be exposed to 60 mRem of radiation from the granite contained therein. This page has lots of very interesting information about that building, not least of which is the fact that it is constructed of 409,000 cubic feet of granite. Brickeyee, who appears to have superior experience and knowledge in this area, has stated above that 60 mRem is "Not enough to worry about."

I am prepared to stand by my previous conclusion that granite countertops do not present a clear and present (or even unclear and remote) danger to a homeowner.

God bless us, everyone.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

okay, Snookums, lovingdw and busymom 2006,
here is something I found. There has been a study done in Cyprus on 28 commerical "granites". It showed the annual dose from living in a home with granite used at differnt rates, from 25% to 100 %, or with varying use of granite. Keep in mind, living in a brick home, with tile floors and sheetrock walls all add to this level, which might bring you up to the 100% level.

Here is what happens when you work in an uranium mine:

1.56 mSv average exposure for an open pit uranium mine worker according to http://www.wise-uranium.org/ruxfw.html

Here is the annual exposure rate of having granite in your home:

as much as 2.97 mSv according to this Cyprus study:

http://arxiv.org/vc/physics/papers/0212/0212104v1.pdf
look at the end of the Abstract.

One suprise was Cafe Brown was the worst, followed by Rosa Balmoral and Rosa Ghiandone.

What does Rosa mean? Rose, or red. Here is a link to some pictures of Rosa granites

http://www.myluton.co.uk/stonea/granite.html

So hopefully this will end this debate. Red granite has more radioactivity than most, with the exception being Cafe Brown, and it is possible to be exposed to twice the radiation that an open pit uranium mine worker is exposed to. Note also that many of the granites were from Brazil, including cafe brown, the most radioactive granite of those studied.

I wonder what they missed, since they studied only 28 types.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

One could conceivably slip and bonk one's head on granite.
Ow!


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

100 mRems would be .1 Rems (100 x .001 = .1)

This looked like an interesting site: about mRems


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Just don't put your poodle in a MW on top of a granite countertop - he'll get a double dose of radiation :-)


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

I read the study from Cyprus. A previous post states:

"Here is the annual exposure rate of having granite in your home:

as much as 2.97 mSv according to this Cyprus study:

http://arxiv.org/vc/physics/papers/0212/0212104v1.pdf
look at the end of the Abstract."

I believe this to be a more accurate reprisal of what it says:

Cafe Brown granite was, by far, the most radioactive of any in the study, and was several to many times more radioactive than almost all the rest. If you built a "massive" (their word) home in such a way that 50% of the building materials used were Cafe Brown granite (countertops, floors, walls, etc), and you stayed in that home an average of 19.2 hours per day every day (80% of the time), then the annual radiation exposure would be a little over half of what brickeyee is legally allowed to be exposed to in his job.

I am prepared to stand by my previous conclusion that granite countertops do not present a clear and present (or even unclear and remote) danger to a homeowner.

God bless us, everyone.


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RE: Granite radiation danger a myth?

Well, not quite.
They mentioned utilization and furnished several sections on the graph for values with varying levels of utilization. The question left unanswered was if they were talking about utilization of common granite materials, or a home made out of granite, which would be quite a stretch.

So look at it this way, granite could be used for counters, sills, and flooring, and the amount could vary, say granite tile in the kitchen and carpet in the living room and bedrooms. That is what I understood the study to mean as far as utilization rates.

This is in addition to background radiation, and what ever radiation is present in your sheetrock, ceramic tile, brick or any other number of slightly radioactive building materials.

The point is this, red granite has more radioactivity than most, the exception being cafe brown. Even at half the dose that brickeyee is exposed to, it adds to the annual dose and will contibute toward cancer risk later in life.

The point to the orignial poster was, pick another color.....


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