Thursday, February 12, 2009

Going Shopping? Don't Forget Your Geiger Counter

Testing granite from Green building options

One of my dreams has just been shot down in flames. Oh, well, sometimes doing what’s right involves some form of self-sacrifice. In this case, it’s my “when-I-can-afford-them” granite countertops. I thought they would look super with my organic wood floors that I’m also going to put in when I can afford them.

Then I read a series of disturbing articles about the dangers of radon, radiation, Geiger counters and granite countertops. Radioactive, glow in the dark, granite countertops? That’s scary!!

Not only is it scary, it’s very controversial since only some granite emits radiation and the industry seems to be doing its best to bury the whole sorry mess behind a blustery bravado of innocence and outrage.

The Marble Institute, the trade flack site for the industry, says "It’s misleading to even hint that we would knowingly sell a product that might harm consumers! The report was prompted by a group that claims to be independent, but is actually funded by two companies that manufacture synthetic stone countertops made of quartz gravel, resins, coloring agents and other chemicals."

The Times reports that demand for granite has increased tenfold in the last decade, and the stuff is coming from 63 countries; some are more radioactive than others.

“It’s not that all granite is dangerous,” said Stanley Liebert, the quality assurance director at CMT Laboratories in Clifton Park, N.Y., “But I’ve seen a few that might heat up your Cheerios a little.”

Linda Kincaid at Green Building Options not only writes about granite; but, carries a monitor and has scanned over a thousand slabs of granite since last July.

She writes that:

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.

She also notes that the retailers are either not interested, not knowledgeable or downright rude, often throwing her out of the shop.

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.

It seems that this industry does not want to reveal the truth about their industry; and, is in even less motivated to clean it up and remove any radioactive material.

I don’t know about anyone else; but, there is no acceptable radiation emission level in my home.

1 comment:

Granite-sealer said...

I will always keep the geiger counter with me, whenever i am going for the granite countertop purchasing. Thank's.