I was deeply disturbed upon hearing about this news on TV yesterday. I’ve had my granite countertop for almost five years already and hearing this news made me question my choice. Gosh, I would not want it ripped out. The exposure no matter how minimal it is, will build up in due time. What do I need to do now? I don’t know, how about you?
Below is the report I lifted from wcbsTV.com
NEW YORK (CBS) ? We’re exposed to radiation everyday — from the sun, seeping up from the earth, even when we fly or have an x-ray. But there’s also a newly exposed source coming from your kitchen. Like a lot of families, Judy Shapiro and her three kids, spend a good part of their day in the kitchen, specifically around her beautiful granite kitchen countertop. “We are living, hanging on the countertops, sitting on them, cutting on them, eating off of them,” Shapiro said.
The popularity of granite has skyrocketed — 10 times more has been sold in the past decade according to a trade group. But what most don’t know is some of it emits radiation and radon gas, which is considered to be the second leading cause of lung cancer.
Dr. Ronald Ennis treats cancer patients at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital. “We are more concerned with radiation exposure for a pregnant woman and young children,” Ennis said. This warning has prompted more families to turn to experts like Stan Liebert to measure the radiation being emitted from countertops. Liebert found minimal levels of radiation in Shapiro’s counters…but my own home yielded more dangerous findings. “We’re getting somewhere around 126 to 150 counts per minute,” Liebert said as he examined Shapiro’s countertop. Liebert found minimal levels of radiation in Shapiro’s counters, but my own home yielded more dangerous findings. “We’re over 500 I believe,” Liebert said.
The Environmental Protection Agency says a reading below 2 picocuries per liter is considered safe for radon gas. The levels in my kitchen are 240 picocuries per liter. The EPA says that poses the same risk of cancer as smoking 30 packs of cigarettes per day. “This is where I have breakfast with my daughter,” I said. “We don’t have great guidelines, it’s a grey area, but if it’s a very high dose from radon or radiation I would rip it out,” Liebert said. “Where that threshold is, is hard to define.”
The granite industry argues their products are safe and that levels of radiation, though technically measurable, are small fractions of established thresholds for environmental safety.