Monday, September 21, 2009

Granite emitting Radiation:

New information about probable hazards of granite and stone countertops. Recent articles told countertops of granite emit unacceptable levels of radiation. "Allegations those granite countertops may produce dangerous levels of radon and radiation has been raised periodically over the past decade, mostly by makers and distributors of competing countertop resources. The Marble Institute of America has said such claim are "ludicrous" since although granite is known to contain uranium and other radioactive materials like thorium and potassium, the amounts in countertops are not sufficient to pose a health threat.

Health physicists and radiation experts agree that the majority granite countertops produce radiation and radon at extremely low levels. They say these emissions are unimportant compared with so-called background radiation that is continually raining down from outer space or seeping up from the earth's coating, not to mention emanate from manmade sources like X-rays, glowing watches and smoke detectors.

However, with increasing regularity in current months, the Environmental Protection Agency has been getting calls from radon inspectors as well as from concerned homeowners about granite countertops with radiation capacity several times on top of background levels. "We have been hearing from people all over the country concerned regarding high readings", said Lou Witt, a program analyst with the agency's Indoor Environments Division.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends taking action if a radon gas level in the home exceeds 4 pico curies per liter of air (a calculate of radioactive emission); regarding the same risk for cancer as smoking a half a pack of cigarettes per day." Something to think about when choosing a counter top material...

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