Design Radioactive Sukury Granite

Published on February 2nd, 2009 | by Linda Kincaid, MPH, CIH

46

Hostile Granite Showrooms Refuse to Discuss Radiation


Radioactive Sukury GraniteErica Marcus declared, “I was basically thrown out of a showroom today for mentioning radiation to the owner”. “This tells a lot about the industry knowing about what they are selling.”

Erica and her husband are shopping for granite countertops, and Erica is asking questions about radiation. They are both “serious cooks”, and they have two young children. They do not want any chance of increased radiation in their kitchen, but Erica found that granite showrooms do not welcome her questions.

A San Francisco showroom asked Erica to leave. A South San Francisco showroom initially welcomed her questions, but the tone quickly became uncomfortable.

“Welcome, let’s talk about your concerns, but when the conversation got technical and she realized I knew more than the average customer, she pulled me off the floor and into her cubicle/office. She…admitted there would be a few stones that would register on their meter and they were for sale with nothing posted about the potential danger…” “she didn’t know the difference between radiation and radon

Cathy Woods relayed similar experiences a few months earlier. The same South San Francisco showroom told her, “It is the customer’s responsibility to know about what they buy”. A showroom in Hayward, CA told Cathy that none of their granite was more radioactive that soil or water. Some of the most radioactive granite we have found was in that Hayward showroom.

My own experiences are not unlike those of Erica and Cathy. A San Jose, CA showroom manager told me last August, “This is all propaganda from Silestone”. When I showed him radioactive Niagara Gold granite in his showroom, he insisted, “a sealer will take care of it”. As few minutes later, an assistant asked me to leave the premises.

I was back in that San Jose showroom a few months later, scanning granite for a client. The showroom staff kept me waiting nearly two hours. First, they said they had no record of the client. Then they said they could not find his granite. The manager was quite rude and seemed to prefer losing a customer, rather than allow an industrial hygienist to scan his granite.

A different showroom in Hayward, CA flatly refused to let me scan granite for a client at their site. The manager told the client, “You are not bringing your science device in here”. The client transported his slabs to the fabricator, where I conducted the scan. Two of his three slabs were more radioactive than he wanted.

I have scanned about 1000 slabs of granite since last July, when the NY Times published an article on radioactive granite. Most of those slabs emitted very little radiation. However, a small percentage emitted gamma radiation at many times background. Some of those stones contained as much uranium as uranium ore. Given a choice, most homeowners would not opt for uranium ore in their kitchens. Many granite showrooms do not give their customers the option of making that choice.

Photo by Linda Kincaid.

Related articles:

Granite Counters: Uranium Ore In Disguise?

Worries About Granite Lead to California Homes with Radon

A Rational Discussion on Radon in Granite Countertops

 




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  • Amie Gonzles

    It is no wonder you were thrown out of their showrooms. Would you like someone entering your business just to create problems with your product yoru selling. I own a granite shop and am aware of the current and recent EPA and MIA studies. I would not welcome a customer doing that behavior in my shop either.

  • Amie Gonzles

    It is no wonder you were thrown out of their showrooms. Would you like someone entering your business just to create problems with your product yoru selling. I own a granite shop and am aware of the current and recent EPA and MIA studies. I would not welcome a customer doing that behavior in my shop either.

  • Willy Bio

    Arnie,

    Nice! At least you make no apologies for being an incorrigible piece of garbage. Care to post the name of your shop so that we can all avoid it like the plague? Special place in hell for ya, buddy.

    Author, can you start posting the names of these shops as well? If these swine have no problem selling radon emitting products to customers, and actively prohibit customers from choosing pieces that won’t result in them dying slowly and painfully from lung cancer, let’s start on online database of these establishments.

  • Willy Bio

    Arnie,

    Nice! At least you make no apologies for being an incorrigible piece of garbage. Care to post the name of your shop so that we can all avoid it like the plague? Special place in hell for ya, buddy.

    Author, can you start posting the names of these shops as well? If these swine have no problem selling radon emitting products to customers, and actively prohibit customers from choosing pieces that won’t result in them dying slowly and painfully from lung cancer, let’s start on online database of these establishments.

  • http://forum.solidsurfacealliance.org Al Gerhart

    In Arnie’s defense, he has been horribly mislead by the MIA, the stone industries lobby association. Compounding the problem is Arnie’s refusal to educate himself.

    Arnie, I hate to break this to you, but there is no current EPA study on the controversy. They are awaiting the CRCPD (state radiation officials) and the AARST (Radon scientists organization) to set maximum standards for Radon and radiation in stone used in homes.

    And Arnie, the MIA “studies”? The scientific community is laughing at them. Those that aren’t laughing are shaking their head in wonder that a “study” lacking so much detail was ever released.

    Remember the 1995 MIA funded Langmuir “study”? Where Langmuir claimed less than one atomic decay per year per countertop? A low level granite will put off around 250 to 400 decays per minute depending on the equipment used to measure, which is 131,400,000 to 210,240,000 decays per year.

  • http://forum.solidsurfacealliance.org Al Gerhart

    In Arnie’s defense, he has been horribly mislead by the MIA, the stone industries lobby association. Compounding the problem is Arnie’s refusal to educate himself.

    Arnie, I hate to break this to you, but there is no current EPA study on the controversy. They are awaiting the CRCPD (state radiation officials) and the AARST (Radon scientists organization) to set maximum standards for Radon and radiation in stone used in homes.

    And Arnie, the MIA “studies”? The scientific community is laughing at them. Those that aren’t laughing are shaking their head in wonder that a “study” lacking so much detail was ever released.

    Remember the 1995 MIA funded Langmuir “study”? Where Langmuir claimed less than one atomic decay per year per countertop? A low level granite will put off around 250 to 400 decays per minute depending on the equipment used to measure, which is 131,400,000 to 210,240,000 decays per year.

  • http://www.IndoorAirAnswers.Com Linda Kincaid, MPH, CIH

    Willy,

    As much as I would delight in posting the names of offending shops, my legal pals advise against being too specific. All of the granite I have scanned is in the San Francisco Bay Area. I won’t claim to have experience beyond my home turf.

    I should also mention that there is a lot of variation among field instruments used for measuring radiation. I use a PM1703 electronic gamma dosimeter for my “clandestine” work. The unit is very small and discreet. I periodically compare the PM1703 to a Ludlum 19 uR meter and ArrowTech gamma dosimeters. The PM1703 reads about 10% higher than the Ludlum 19 and about 20% higher than the Arrowtech dosimeters. All units are calibrated to cesium.

  • http://www.IndoorAirAnswers.Com Linda Kincaid, MPH, CIH

    Willy,

    As much as I would delight in posting the names of offending shops, my legal pals advise against being too specific. All of the granite I have scanned is in the San Francisco Bay Area. I won’t claim to have experience beyond my home turf.

    I should also mention that there is a lot of variation among field instruments used for measuring radiation. I use a PM1703 electronic gamma dosimeter for my “clandestine” work. The unit is very small and discreet. I periodically compare the PM1703 to a Ludlum 19 uR meter and ArrowTech gamma dosimeters. The PM1703 reads about 10% higher than the Ludlum 19 and about 20% higher than the Arrowtech dosimeters. All units are calibrated to cesium.

  • Sandra

    Arnie,

    I feel sorry for you.. not only are you selling something hazardous to the unknowing public, but you are exposed to more than one counter top on a daily basis! My condolences to your family.

  • Sandra

    Arnie,

    I feel sorry for you.. not only are you selling something hazardous to the unknowing public, but you are exposed to more than one counter top on a daily basis! My condolences to your family.

  • Pierre

    And how many mrem/h did you mesure?

  • Pierre

    And how many mrem/h did you mesure?

  • http://www.IndoorAirAnswers.Com Linda Kincaid, MPH, CIH

    Peirrre,

    The PM1703 gamma dosimeter in the photo reads 564 uR/hr, which equals 0.564 milliR/hr. It is placed directly on the surface of the granite.

  • http://www.IndoorAirAnswers.Com Linda Kincaid, MPH, CIH

    Peirrre,

    The PM1703 gamma dosimeter in the photo reads 564 uR/hr, which equals 0.564 milliR/hr. It is placed directly on the surface of the granite.

    • http://Web Jerry

      Linda,
      What granite did you measure? You can’t just draw a conclusion by measuring one piece of granite. Please provide us more details.

      Also, if you want to put your instrument to really good use please take it to a coal fired electric plant and see what it being emitted. Over 50% of our electricity comes from these huge pollution sources.

  • terri

    I think it is very interesting that the comment made on February 16th, 2009 was removed from this blog. Obviously it struck a nerve as well as a bit of truth that this industry does not want PAYING CUSTOMERS to read. Because if they had read it, they would no longer be interested in throwing their precious and hard earned money at the people with their “Scientific Equipment”! Just in case this embarrasses YOU, (the people in charge of this blog), hopefully it will also pull at your guts and force you to allow people to hear the truth instead of
    using your scare tactics to get a paycheck. The comment of February 16, 2009 went as follows:
    “To be very blunt with everyone who thinks this article is actually worth reading, if you really think there is enough uranium ore in your counter tops to actually effect your health??, maybe you should think twice before going out in the sun, or think before you put your cell phone to your head! Or better yet, throw away your microwaves!!” The people responsible for this website AND this radiation scare are aware that the SUN, CELL PHONES, MICROWAVES, AND even the ground that your house is built on has MORE radiation than granite. THIS IS A SCARE TACTIC PEOPLE!!! WAKE UP!! Ask them yourself if you don’t believe me. Or, better yet when you hire one of these people to test your granite, have them test YOUR HOUSE AND GROUNDS FIRST!!!! I challenge you.

  • terri

    I think it is very interesting that the comment made on February 16th, 2009 was removed from this blog. Obviously it struck a nerve as well as a bit of truth that this industry does not want PAYING CUSTOMERS to read. Because if they had read it, they would no longer be interested in throwing their precious and hard earned money at the people with their “Scientific Equipment”! Just in case this embarrasses YOU, (the people in charge of this blog), hopefully it will also pull at your guts and force you to allow people to hear the truth instead of
    using your scare tactics to get a paycheck. The comment of February 16, 2009 went as follows:
    “To be very blunt with everyone who thinks this article is actually worth reading, if you really think there is enough uranium ore in your counter tops to actually effect your health??, maybe you should think twice before going out in the sun, or think before you put your cell phone to your head! Or better yet, throw away your microwaves!!” The people responsible for this website AND this radiation scare are aware that the SUN, CELL PHONES, MICROWAVES, AND even the ground that your house is built on has MORE radiation than granite. THIS IS A SCARE TACTIC PEOPLE!!! WAKE UP!! Ask them yourself if you don’t believe me. Or, better yet when you hire one of these people to test your granite, have them test YOUR HOUSE AND GROUNDS FIRST!!!! I challenge you.

  • terri

    P.S. Hey Linda….how about letting your customers, as well as concerned consumers, hear both sides of the story. Believe me, if you continue to decide what they should know and what they should NOT know they will find out for themselves eventually and you will look pretty sad.

  • terri

    P.S. Hey Linda….how about letting your customers, as well as concerned consumers, hear both sides of the story. Believe me, if you continue to decide what they should know and what they should NOT know they will find out for themselves eventually and you will look pretty sad.

  • http://forum.solidsurfacealliance.org Al Gerhart

    Terri,

    It is likely they took your comment of the 16th down out of pity, to keep you from embarssing yourself further.

    I would prefer they leave ridiculous comments like this up for all the world to see, then allow others with some education in the issues to point out the gaping holes in both your information and logic.

    In this article, it wasn’t about “thinking” there was a large quanity of uranium present in that Bordeaux granite countertop, it was about what independent lab reports stated.

    Then you go on to rant about the sun ( UV radiation), Cell phones and microwaves (both electromagnetic radiation), proving to all that your are incredibly ignorant of the basic conversation and facts on the issues. Hello! We are talking about ionizing radiation, not UV or electromagnetic.

    As to the ground having more radiation, another complete untruth. The average soil under homes will contain around 5 pCi/g of radium. That would put out around .006 mrem of Gamma radiation. I’ve seen lab reports on removed granite countertops that had over 1,100 pCi/g of radium plus the other decay products. People forget that when there is uranium present at 270 parts per million, there are also the decay products, a dozen or more, just as radioactive (sometimes more) as the parent uranium.

    And the first thing testers do is find out the background levels of the home so background radiation levels can be backed out of the countertop reading. Duh…..

    And Terri, the MIA’s propaganda on this issue is all over the internet except in places where it can be challenged. Even in those places, like here, the MIA has attempted to silence the authors, just as they did Linda a few weeks ago.

    Were I you, I would worry more about what people will think of someone that is attempting to prevent the information on the dangerous granites from getting out. That in itself is beyond “sad”.

  • http://forum.solidsurfacealliance.org Al Gerhart

    Terri,

    It is likely they took your comment of the 16th down out of pity, to keep you from embarssing yourself further.

    I would prefer they leave ridiculous comments like this up for all the world to see, then allow others with some education in the issues to point out the gaping holes in both your information and logic.

    In this article, it wasn’t about “thinking” there was a large quanity of uranium present in that Bordeaux granite countertop, it was about what independent lab reports stated.

    Then you go on to rant about the sun ( UV radiation), Cell phones and microwaves (both electromagnetic radiation), proving to all that your are incredibly ignorant of the basic conversation and facts on the issues. Hello! We are talking about ionizing radiation, not UV or electromagnetic.

    As to the ground having more radiation, another complete untruth. The average soil under homes will contain around 5 pCi/g of radium. That would put out around .006 mrem of Gamma radiation. I’ve seen lab reports on removed granite countertops that had over 1,100 pCi/g of radium plus the other decay products. People forget that when there is uranium present at 270 parts per million, there are also the decay products, a dozen or more, just as radioactive (sometimes more) as the parent uranium.

    And the first thing testers do is find out the background levels of the home so background radiation levels can be backed out of the countertop reading. Duh…..

    And Terri, the MIA’s propaganda on this issue is all over the internet except in places where it can be challenged. Even in those places, like here, the MIA has attempted to silence the authors, just as they did Linda a few weeks ago.

    Were I you, I would worry more about what people will think of someone that is attempting to prevent the information on the dangerous granites from getting out. That in itself is beyond “sad”.

  • Pierre

    On February 7th, 2009 at 11:00 pm you told me that you mesured 0.564 milliR/hr, and that it is placed directly on the surface of the granite.

    Now my question is. What was the reading at 1 foot?

    The effective dose limit for Nuclear Energy Workers, as prescribed by the CNSC, is 100 mSv (10,000 mrem) for 5 years (with a maximum of 50 mSv in any given year or an average of 20 mSv/yr for 5 years) for whole-body exposure. For Radiation Users and “members of the public” the corresponding limit is 1 mSv (100 mrem) per year.

    If you lay down on that counter 24h a day during 1 year you’ll get around 5 rem… that’s a lot, but do you know a lot of people sleeping on their counter top? Like you said, 0.564 milliR/hr was on contact… how long do you stay in contact with a counter top during the year? I bet that drinking a Coke a day is more harmful for your health then this radiation.

  • Pierre

    On February 7th, 2009 at 11:00 pm you told me that you mesured 0.564 milliR/hr, and that it is placed directly on the surface of the granite.

    Now my question is. What was the reading at 1 foot?

    The effective dose limit for Nuclear Energy Workers, as prescribed by the CNSC, is 100 mSv (10,000 mrem) for 5 years (with a maximum of 50 mSv in any given year or an average of 20 mSv/yr for 5 years) for whole-body exposure. For Radiation Users and “members of the public” the corresponding limit is 1 mSv (100 mrem) per year.

    If you lay down on that counter 24h a day during 1 year you’ll get around 5 rem… that’s a lot, but do you know a lot of people sleeping on their counter top? Like you said, 0.564 milliR/hr was on contact… how long do you stay in contact with a counter top during the year? I bet that drinking a Coke a day is more harmful for your health then this radiation.

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  • http://www.blackhatworld.com memendezjkls

    great comment dude, I think you are right

  • http://www.blackhatworld.com memendezjkls

    great comment dude, I think you are right

  • Pingback: Granite Showrooms Continue Selling Radioactive Granite : Green Building Elements

  • keith

    here is the deal. i own a granite counter top shop my self. the most dangerous part of granite is during fabrication (if done dry). this whole “scare” was brought up by the companies who make quartz counter top slabs because the granite was taking over the stone industry. i would like to see someone who has had a health issue that is DIRECTLY related to granite. i just do not think anyone has. think of it like this, the day you are going to die is already determined. there is no granite out there that will change that. granite is beautiful, natural and inexpensive. if all of you GREEN people out there want something natural, buy granite

  • keith

    here is the deal. i own a granite counter top shop my self. the most dangerous part of granite is during fabrication (if done dry). this whole “scare” was brought up by the companies who make quartz counter top slabs because the granite was taking over the stone industry. i would like to see someone who has had a health issue that is DIRECTLY related to granite. i just do not think anyone has. think of it like this, the day you are going to die is already determined. there is no granite out there that will change that. granite is beautiful, natural and inexpensive. if all of you GREEN people out there want something natural, buy granite

  • shawn

    I recently bought a large historic home (13K sq ft) built around 1900. This article has me concerned because the outside exterior is all brick, with two layers of “regular” brick and an outside layer of granite brick. I don’t have any more info about the granite brick, but there is a LOT of it. I was aware of the potential for radon but not radiation. Should I be concerned and if so, how do I go about getting it tested? Thanks for your help!

  • shawn

    I recently bought a large historic home (13K sq ft) built around 1900. This article has me concerned because the outside exterior is all brick, with two layers of “regular” brick and an outside layer of granite brick. I don’t have any more info about the granite brick, but there is a LOT of it. I was aware of the potential for radon but not radiation. Should I be concerned and if so, how do I go about getting it tested? Thanks for your help!

  • Kartik

    Granite is safe. This is completely ridiculous. This is complete attack on granite by the bozos who make manmade prodocuts FROM NATURAL STONE. Complete hoax. Granite will compe out stronger than ever before.

  • Kartik

    Granite is safe. This is completely ridiculous. This is complete attack on granite by the bozos who make manmade prodocuts FROM NATURAL STONE. Complete hoax. Granite will compe out stronger than ever before.

  • J

    No, it’s not a hoax. It’s a statistical issue.
    Since some galleries won’t test, you don’t know if you have the high radon product. My solution is this. If I’m buying a house with granite, I’ll test it. If it’s high, I’ll deduct the cost of removing the granite. For countertop replacement, I’d go with the quartz unless the granite shop will replace the countertop if it tests high after installation. I don’t care if they test half their slabs and the average is ok. I don’t want that statiscally possible high radiation slab period!

  • J

    No, it’s not a hoax. It’s a statistical issue.
    Since some galleries won’t test, you don’t know if you have the high radon product. My solution is this. If I’m buying a house with granite, I’ll test it. If it’s high, I’ll deduct the cost of removing the granite. For countertop replacement, I’d go with the quartz unless the granite shop will replace the countertop if it tests high after installation. I don’t care if they test half their slabs and the average is ok. I don’t want that statiscally possible high radiation slab period!

  • Heather

    Isn’t the granite shipped to America going through customs. You really think Radiation and poisonous gasses would make the cut?

    People are scared about everything now a days. I used to work in granite for years, and I don’t have cancer. Because of the discounts I received, most of my house is covered in granite. I recommend granite for anyone.
    I sleep with a granite nightstand inches from my head, and I am fine.
    Their were annoying customers that ask3ed obnoxious questions. I am no scientist, and so when people would come in and call me ignorant and a seller of lethal material, I told them that since they aren’t customers, they are just trying to start something, I did ask them to leave. Take these complaints to someone who cares. If I thought granite was dangerous, I wouldn’t still be sleeping with granite.

    Some of you people are so nice to consider sales people evil and worthy of hell. Like we take a class that tells us that giving people cancer is fun. Go jump off a cliff.

  • Heather

    Isn’t the granite shipped to America going through customs. You really think Radiation and poisonous gasses would make the cut?

    People are scared about everything now a days. I used to work in granite for years, and I don’t have cancer. Because of the discounts I received, most of my house is covered in granite. I recommend granite for anyone.
    I sleep with a granite nightstand inches from my head, and I am fine.
    Their were annoying customers that ask3ed obnoxious questions. I am no scientist, and so when people would come in and call me ignorant and a seller of lethal material, I told them that since they aren’t customers, they are just trying to start something, I did ask them to leave. Take these complaints to someone who cares. If I thought granite was dangerous, I wouldn’t still be sleeping with granite.

    Some of you people are so nice to consider sales people evil and worthy of hell. Like we take a class that tells us that giving people cancer is fun. Go jump off a cliff.

  • Chris

    I have to agree with Heather. I’ve broke,Cut,Sanded marble and a pewtred smell came out similar to muck. I’ve been working with natural stone for years and have breathed in more dust than anyone would like to imagine. so far no wierd diseases and my hair is not falling out despite my age. If your afraid of that much radiation get rid of your microwave. FYI Quartz is a natural stone found in every granite.

    Otherwise I have some butiful granite trinket boxes for sale on eBay going Cheap!

  • Chris

    I have to agree with Heather. I’ve broke,Cut,Sanded marble and a pewtred smell came out similar to muck. I’ve been working with natural stone for years and have breathed in more dust than anyone would like to imagine. so far no wierd diseases and my hair is not falling out despite my age. If your afraid of that much radiation get rid of your microwave. FYI Quartz is a natural stone found in every granite.

    Otherwise I have some butiful granite trinket boxes for sale on eBay going Cheap!

  • Chris

    O’ and one more thing does anyone think to check the radon level of diff. sealers and cleaners everyone use’s.:)

  • Chris

    O’ and one more thing does anyone think to check the radon level of diff. sealers and cleaners everyone use’s.:)

  • http://amstard.wordpress.com Elly

    I’ll be incorporating this to my list of social bookmarks.

  • http://amstard.wordpress.com Elly

    I’ll be incorporating this to my list of social bookmarks.

    • http://Web Lori

      Well, count me as one who may be having significant health problem as a result of exposure to Uranium. I’ve been home sick for the last year, with exhaustion, fatigue, depression, anemia, and weight loss. I’ve had every test in the book… and seen every kind of doctor. Finally, someone suggested testing for Arsenic through hair and blood analysis. Whoa! Arsenic was a bit high, Uranium was off the chart. Uranium, according to the lab, was the highest they had ever seen.

      I have been advised to test my entire house for Uranium exposure. It may be coming in through my water, or some fluke radioactive material somewhere. But so far, the granite counter tops, which are huge, are suspect. They are all being tested. I sit all my baskets of food, apples, oranges etc, on those counter tops… prepare meals there… am constantly wiping them down.

      I would really have appreciated knowing that granite carried this kind of danger before getting sick. If indeed it turns out to be my counter tops that are “hot”, I’ll be looking for an attorney. My understanding is the half-life of uranium in my body is one year. Once the source of exposure is removed, I can look forward to at least another year of what I have been experiencing?

      I would welcome anyone who wants to contact me or share some thoughts to email me directly at lrmilas@gmail.com.

  • LorencoFug

    Did you downloaded Wikileaks docs? Give me link plz
    Hope for answer

  • Ginette A St Coeur

    i just read this pages..about granit radiation…i wanted to do my kitchen countertops next years…with granit…is it more inspected now then before..do you have other material or natural product that is similar then granit but do not contain radiation?

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