Testing granite from Green building options
We have written about the dangers of radon and radiation emitted from certain types of granite before; it is a controversial subject that draws the ire of the industry.
And while the industry says "It's misleading to even hint that we would knowingly sell a product that might harm consumers!", on the showroom floor, it is getting messy. 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 gets shown the door a lot.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.
I was back in that San Jose showroom a few months later, scanning granite for a client. The showroom staff kept me waiting nearly two hours. First, they said they had no record of the client. Then they said they could not find his granite. The manager was quite rude and seemed to prefer losing a customer, rather than allow an industrial hygienist to scan his granite.
Stories like this are just going to make the situation worse for the granite industry, already reeling from the housing crash. They should face up to it, buy themselves Geiger counters, and get rid of the stuff that's bad. Otherwise they are not going to survive.
More on Granite in TreeHugger and other sources:
Don't Take it for Granite that Your Countertop isn't Radioactive
GreenBuild: Buildclean is a Breath of Fresh Air
It's National Radon Action Month : TreeHugger