How Much Weight Can I Put On A Quartz Countertop Radon From Granite Causes Cancer

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Radon From Granite Causes Cancer

The allusion that visible, natural stone installed in your home is dangerous to your health has been raised repeatedly on websites and on recent local Houston TV news programs.

It is interesting to note that the two main contributors to this non-profit organization are engineered stone manufacturers. One of the contributing manufacturers has a marketing executive on the board of directors of this particular organization.

From what may seem on the surface to be another “going green” advertising campaign, it seems to be a different slant in the ongoing battle of engineered stone manufacturers against natural stone.

Remember that granite is the most natural component found in building materials, allowing steam to pass through which can contain radon amounts. There are small amounts of uranium found in minerals such as biotite in some natural rocks. When mined if a large group of biotite appears, the result will be a radon reading. However, after a piece of granite or natural stone exposed to a large amount of minerals rich in uranium in the soil has been removed from the source and exposed to the air, the transmission of radon vapor will be weakened drastically and then dissipate. Simply, think of natural stone as a very dense sponge that allows water, air and radon to pass through the stone. Once the stone is removed from the radon source (the earth) the stone has no radon to filter out.

We approve of Radon testing but to mention that natural stone is a major contributor seems ludicrous.

Here are some facts about Radon:

Where does radon come from?

“Radon comes from the natural radioactive decay of radium and uranium found in the soil under the house. The amount of radon in the soil depends on the complex chemistry of the soil, which varies from one house to the next. Radon levels in the soil range from a few hundred to several thousand pCi / L. The amount of radon that comes out of the soil to enter the house depends on the weather, soil porosity, soil moisture, and suction in the house”.

HOW DOES RADON ENTER THE HOME?

“Houses act like big chimneys. When the air in the house heats up, it rises out of the attic opening and surrounds the windows of the upper floor. This creates a small suction on the lowest level of the house, drawing radon out of the ground. and into the house. (Like stone nature filters out radon emissions as mentioned earlier.) You can try this on a cold day by opening an upstairs window one inch. If you open a basement window one inch, you’ll feel the cold outside air coming in. Inhale this which draws radon out of the soil and into the home. You might think that sealing cracks and openings in the basement floor will stop radon from entering the home. However, scientific studies show, it only takes unsealed cracks or pin holes in caulking to equal 1/2” diameter hole to let all the radon in. and the joints will seal the permanent openings radon must enter the house. Radon levels will still remain unchanged.

Fortunately, there are other very effective ways to keep radon out of your home. Across the country, several million people have been tested for radon. Some homes tested as high as 2,000-3,000 pCi/L; yet, there is not a single house that cannot reduce the acceptable level. The difference in reference to natural stone is that one slab of stone removed from the source and exposed to the radon atmosphere has been vented in the same way as house ventilation mitigates radon emissions in the ground.

The level of radiation from granite products, which can be technically measured, is, in fact, a small fraction of the threshold established for environmental safety. The truth of the matter is that granite is a safe product. It has been used for thousands of years and the relationship between granite and radon has been studied for years and years. How safe is granite? A mathematical model has been developed that shows that a person can live in an all-granite house or building, including sleeping on the granite, for a year and still be at a safe exposure level.

Calculations show that, if the average countertop traps an average uranium concentration of four ppm (parts per million), the radon concentration provided by the countertop to the household air will be 270,000 times less than the radon level in the outdoor air. The maximum level of contact that you will receive over a year if you sit at a desk all the time will be about a quarter of the annual radiation from all sources. If you are only a few inches away from the granite (such as when doing the dishes), the dose will be too low to measure.

To Quote Donald Langmuir, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Geochemistry, Colorado School of Mines, & President, Hydrochem Systems Corp.

“To show how ridiculous the concern of radon emitted from natural stone, a typical granite countertop in our example will release 7.4 x 10 -7 pCi / L of air. This corresponds to 2.7 x 10 -8 decay atoms per second (dps) . This represents 0.85 decays per year. In other words, less than one radon atom is produced by the countertop in a year. This is hardly worth getting excited about. I suggest that it is a good way to reduce our exposure to radon now. in the outdoor air will build an airtight house from granite countertops! There are certain properties of stone that can increase the efficiency of radon emanation, or in other words increase the release of radon from a certain weight of stone. This is stone. Properties that increase the exposure of internal or external stone surfaces into water or air, allowing radon gas to escape. The author of ‘Granite and Radon’ says that these properties, including rock porosity, fissuring and mylonitization, will increase radon release. This may be ben er, however, granite with such properties would be too fragile to be made into a table, and too open to take polish, and not marketable as a countertop – unless the pores of the rock are first filled with chemicals. sealant. The sealing will also eliminate the problem of radon release.

In a more recent study conducted by LL Chyi, Ph.D. and professor of Geochemistry and Environmental Geology at the University of Akron, Akron, Ohio. Dr. Chyi studied 13 of the most popular granites used throughout the United States as determined by an industry-wide survey. Due to the popularity of this 13 granite, it is believed to represent up to 85% of the granite countertop market in the new year. The types of granite are as follows:

1. New Venetian Gold, Brazil; medium grained, yellow-beige gneiss with many dark red garnets

2. Uba Tuba, Brazil; A medium- to coarse-grained, olive-green granite

3. Santa Cecilia, Brazil; Coarse-grained yellow-gray gneiss with pie-sized red garnets.

4. Tropic Brown, Saudi Arabia; medium-grained, brown granite

5. Absolute Black, India; black basalt

6. Tan Brown, India; Black-brown igneous rock with large, amorphous, brown-red feldspar crystals

7. Giallo Ornamental, Brazil; coarse brown-yellow granulite with some brown-red garnet

8. Crema Bordeaux, Brazil; Juparana Crema Bordeaux (Brunello). Coarse to very coarse, pink to red granite with considerable areas of quartz, alkali feldspar and ore.

9. Baltic Brown, Finland; brown-black granite

10. Giallo Veneziano, Brazil; medium to coarse, ocher yellow to golden brown, also light pink, gneiss

11. Dakota Mahoni, USA; brownish-red granite, medium to coarse

12. China Black, China, good plutonic rock

13. Yellow Star, China, a medium-grained yellow to pink granite

The test methodology was designed to measure the amount of radon that each type of granite would add to a 2,000-square-foot interior, typically ventilated with 8-foot ceilings. The results show that Crema Bordeaux (the most active in terms of radon emissions) will contribute a concentration component of less than 0.28 pCi/L, or less than 7% of the EPA recommended action level of 4.0 pCi/L. This amount of radon is below the level that can cause health problems. Tropic Brown and Baltic Brown, second and third in radon emanation based on Dr. Chyi, only 1% of this action rate. Other granites tested add nearly unmeasurable amounts of radon to homes. Radon atoms in pore spaces and fractures are not a problem in the case of granite countertops

Test results Dr. Chyi points out that the granite currently found in the United States market is an insignificant contributor to radon levels in homes. “Based on the test results and EPA standards, we can conclude that the most popular granite used as a countertop surface does not pose a health threat to the home owner. increase is reduced”.

Daniel J. Steck, Ph.D. also ran a test on interior radon and granite, and this is what he said.

“The average radionuclide content of your sample of building material is the same as that of other average samples of granite and other earth-derived building materials such as brick and soil. Therefore, the amount of gamma radiation emitted from the same mass of that building material will be approximately- about the same;

There is little sample-to-sample variation in the concentration of radon family radionuclides; The radon flux is greater for counter-top boxes than for small samples. This shows that the effective diffusion length is only in the order of the thickness of the counter-top sample, ie a few centimeters. Thus, material thicker than 5 cm (2″) is unlikely to yield more than a counter-top sample.

While we feel that health safety is an important matter especially in homes, for the industry to try to get financial with “scare tactics” or under the guise of “Eco friendly” is not to blame. We urge consumers not to be taken in by this alarmist tactic.

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