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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Are Granite Countertops a Threat to Your Health?

There has been a controversy swirling around behind the scenes in the countertop industry for around 10 years or so. The issue is the amount of radon that some types of granite countertops are emitting and whether or not it should be deemed a legitimate risk to peoples health.

It was only this week that I noticed it in the mainstream media for the first time. Fox News featured a segment on this issue on July 25th about it. Since then, I started looking around and it looks to me like this is going to be an industry shaking event before too much longer.

Radon is the main culprit in the countertop related health scare. But according to W.J. Llope, a physics professor ar Rice University in Houston, Texas, we should also be concerned about the levels of Uranium as well. This is according to an AP article that was published on Chron.com on July 26, 2008.

Professor Llope goes on to say "I'm not claiming that people necessarily will get very sick or die of cancer within months," Llope said. "But if you spend 10 years in that kitchen there is a risk you may end up with cancer. It might or might not be attributed to granite. Who would know?"

Hey, theres nothing like those scientists to give you a certain definite answer about something, right? It may be dangerous but maybe not and if it is and you can't tell then how will you know, and blah blah blah.

On the other side of the argument you have people saying in defense of granite that granite is absolutely safe...mostly.

The same article has a quote from Jim Martinez, a spokesman from the Marble Institute of America. He warns against the use of "Junk Science" to determine the threat levels posed by granite countertops. A point that I fully agree with. Junk science has been the ruin of many good things and has muddied the waters in all kinds of research from medical advancements to global warming.

Jim Martinez goes on to say that according to a study done at The University of Akron, 85% of the granite varieties used in America were found to be safe. WHAT? 85% safe. Okay, who wants to volunteer to be the 15% of consumers that has radon oozing, uranium churning countertops in their kitchen?

I know Jim means well, but that is not a very good argument for the Granite team in my opinion.

He is correct about one thing though. There needs to be uniform standards and protocol across the board in order to properly study the levels of radon and uranium
in these countertops.

There are 2 sides to this story and it is one that I will be keeping an eye on.

Right or wrong, I think there will end up being a lot of litigation and eventually a lot more government regulations involving the granite industry.

Conducting a radon test in your home is very simple. We have located a web site that sells low cost radon testing products that are 100% EPA approved and easy to use. You can order online and have the package within just a few days, not to mention their excellent customer support. Click here to go there now

You can spend truckloads of money getting someone to test the radon levels in your home or you can buy different types of test kits and radon safety gadgets to test it yourself. If you are going to want to test it periodically, it's probably a good idea to go ahead and buy several test kits
or one of the radon safety gadgets and do it yourself.

Here is the link to the story at Chron.com http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/hotstories/5909022.html


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the information about the radon test. I really don't know that we can perform the granite radon test in our home.

Unknown said...

Home remodelers and builders have experienced a boom in the demand for granite countertops in kitchens and bathrooms.