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Barbara Staib, President of Safe Home Products, is an expert on child safety, emergency preparedness, pet training and even pest control. She has personally helped thousands of customers since SHP started in 1999. Here you can find Q&A with Barbara to foster safer, healthier and simpler living.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Will a Radon Detector Detect Outgas from Granite?

Queston about the SM-RAD-PRO3Safety Siren Pro 3 Radon Gas Detector.

Q: " Will this detect radon outgassing from granite countertops? Thanks. Diane.

Answer: First, here is some information found on August 6. 2008 on the Marble Institute of America's website: "Radioactivity in Granite: It’s Natural. All rocks have a small amount of radioactivity in them due to the presence of minerals that contain radioactive elements uranium (U), thorium (Th) and potassium-40 (40K). Because granite typically contains more of these elements than most other rocks, it will be more radioactive than a slate or marble. All of the minerals in granite contain some radioelements; the white or pink feldspars contain 40K, the black biotites and horn-blendes contain 40K, U and Th, and the small inclusions of minerals such as zircon, apatite, sphene, etc. contain the most U and Th."

My response to your question is that the outgassing of radon from granite countertops would have to be significant to put enough gas in your kitchen or bathroom to be a health hazard. Installing the Safety Siren Pro 3 in rooms with granite countertops would detect outgas from granite just as it would radon seeping in from the ground.

The health risks are much higher from radon seeping into your basement or home from the ground. If you live in the Northern half of the USA or in areas designated on the EPA radon map of the USA as high radon areas, your concern should first be to test your basement or first floor if you have a crawl space for radon. The Safety Siren Pro 3 Radon Gas Detector has proven to be quite accurate if positioned at the proper height and in the proper location.

Home radon gas levels are not stable. Over a one-month period, radon gas readings can vary from safe to dangerous. Radon levels change due to humidity, temperature, ventilation and season. EPA currently recommends corrective action if radon levels exceed 4 pCi/L (4 Pico-Curies per liter) on a long-term basis. For these reasons, a continuous monitor is better than periodic canister tests.

Go to our website for more information.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely,
Barbara

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3 Comments:

At September 3, 2008 6:58 PM , Blogger admin said...

The nsra is installing a hot slab and testing a home live on the net for all to see. Here is a link just in case you all would like to see.

http://www.nsraweb.com/forums/news-5/live-testing-kitchen-radon-before-granite-9010.html

 
At September 17, 2008 6:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for waiting. I just got back from Vegas where the people who come up with programs to deal with Radon and Radiation were having a conference and one of the topics was building materials.

I personally spoke to Stanley P. Liebert of CMT Laboratories who denied any direct or indirect correspondence with our Al or the SSA. Mr. Liebert went on to say that the only thing that he is hoping to point out is the fact that 10 out of the 2000 granites emit some radiation. This however, does not directly translate to what we have been reading on the web. That is, if you have a slab that has some traces of radiation it will give off radon with in the next ten generations. Mr. Liebert is also the proud owner of granite as well. He thinks it’s crazy for someone to remove a counter top simply because of one area that may show a reading.

I also had the pleasure of speaking with Erik Listou of Build Responsible, Gary Hodgden of AAIR Professionals, Bill Brodhead of WPB Enterprises Inc, and Shawn Price of Air Chek, Inc. These guys gave me a crash course in radiation and radon while confirming that we had the hottest stone measured to date.

Everyone that I spoke to all had the same conclusion. At this time the radiation from natural stone has no significant bearing on the radon levels in a home. It was also explained and demonstrated that the meters on the market are not the best tools to go hunting for radon coming from natural stone. The areas of a slab can be easily avoided or even removed if deemed necessary.

In the NSRA test kitchen, the numbers before the installation were all very low. All were less than 0.3 pCi/l on the days of testing (about as low as anyone can measure.)

The test kit in the hall was 0.6 pCi/l
The test kit hanging in the door way was 0.8
The test kit hanging from the cabinets was 0.7
And the one we hung 12" over the "hottest" spot was 1.0 pCi/l

This test was done in a way to make sure we got the highest readings possible. We now intend on testing the home as if we were simply testing for radon in the home.

http://www.nsraweb.com/forums/news-5/live-testing-kitchen-radon-before-granite-9010-5.html

 
At December 27, 2008 6:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huligar runs a stone site that is attempting to mislead consumers by posting this same exact post over and over again all over the web. As entertaining as it is that he refers to himself in the third person, I need to correct some of his comments.

First off, Stan Liebert is a friend of mine. I had dinner with him twice at the AARST convention. Stan is on record saying that as much as 20% of the stone out there might be of concern, he never suggested it was 10 stones out of 2,000. Stan has been on CBS, NBC, and of course the NY Times story. I was the third person interviewed for that story, I sent Kate Murphy to Liebert, Chiodo and Brodhead. She had already spoken to Llope.

Now Bill Brodhead published two papers on this very issue, radon from granite and concrete. They are published at the AARST site, one includes a thank you to me for providing the hot samples. For Huligar to claim Brodhead isn't concerned is completely false.

Shawn Price works for Air Chek, who is selling granite countertop test kits and meters for testing granite slab, including one of the very meters we use for surveying granite tops. Again this shows Huligar's statements to be completely false.

The conculsion of the three papers on Radon from granite was both the CRCPD (state radiation officials) nor AARST (radon scientists) would have committees seting maximum allowable radiation/radon levels for stones and measurement protocols. ANSI and ASME are also looking into the controversy for their organizations.

On the radon issue, we have a full scale radon test going currently, over 10 pCi/L so far from only 18square feet of granite in a 96 square foot room. That is like smoking 1 1/2 packs a day,
http://forum.solidsurfacealliance.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=98ST

Now, old Huligar suddenly clammed up on this subject around mid November. The dude found out his apartment was too leaky for the Radon to build past 1 pCi/L. By the way, 1 pCi/L has a risk associated with it. The EPA calculates the 21,000 deaths per year from Radon from the national average in U S homes, 1.3 pCi/L. Huligar's 1 pCi/L would have a death rate of 16,000 per year if the national home level was 1 pCi/L. Hardly safe.

 

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