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  1. #66
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
    Al Gerhart Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Al,

    I read what a person writes. If you think they mean something other than what they write, then you should ask for clarification prior to restating their quote (which makes it no longer a quote) into what you wanted it to say.

    So I am held to that standard you you and Connell aren't? Connell was using valid points on the difficulty of measuring soil based Radon but was using them to dimiss a steady state source. Actuall it isn't quite steady state, one of the experts is saying that the emission initially is slowed by the Radon in the center of the slab working its way out, but long term it averages out slightly less than 100% due to some of the Radon decaying in place.
    You called him on it, he responded by pointing out that you said he said something he did not say - and he is correct, you were incorrect.

    No, his interpretation of what I wrote didn't agree with his intent. Totally different.

    There is no way you can now reverse what you said he said he said (huh? hard to follow that myself ).
    No need to, the guy was using false premisis in his arguments.

    Elite MGA Home Inspector E&O Insurance

  2. #67
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
    Al Gerhart Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Breedlove View Post
    It appears some of the previous posts have disappeared.

    I was responding to someone (Al Gerhart?) who referenced an article that stated that exposure to low levels of radon showed a health benefit. He asked if we should be recommending that clients install granite countertops for that health benefit. Sorry Bruce, it wasn't me. It is hard to keep who said what straight at times.

    My point was - how much exposure to radon (and its associated radiation) is healthy?

    My contention is that no level of exposure to radon (or radiation) is safe. The less exposure the less health risk. To me it is foolish to say that low level of exposure to radon will in some way protect a person from lung cancer. It is like saying that smoking a half a pack of cigarettes every day will make you healthier and less prone to lung cancer than a non-smoker.

    Bruce, that is an excellent anology. It is also the law of the land currently despite what the Hormesis believers would have you believe otherwise. Your simple paragraph states our efforts entire purpose, that lower is better, and knowing what radiation level granite you have or are about to buy.

    Sorry for the confusion.
    Geez, Bruce and I are in agreement.


  3. #68
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
    Al Gerhart Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Making sure I am 'keeping it in context' for you ... Al, doesn't that depend upon where you are?
    Good point Jerry, but we aren't in Africa. Again that shows the reason for context.


  4. #69
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Gerhart View Post
    Good point Jerry, but we aren't in Africa. Again that shows the reason for context.
    Al,

    Except that we are in a zoo here , and zoos typically have more zebras than horses.

    Keeping it in "context", of course.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  5. #70
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Forget granite tops, can I eat pen raised salmon safely?

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    Jerry McCarthy
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  6. #71
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
    Al Gerhart Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Caoimhín P. Connell View Post
    Good morning, Mr. Gerhart:

    Nothing personal Mr. Gerhart, but frankly, I think that you are bringing a knife to a gunfight. In any event, I will try to help you out. And you sir are a one legged man in a butt kicking contest.

    Standards:
    The 4 pCi/l is not a standard, and pretending it is doesn’t make it one.

    Then explain why the EPA says if Radon is above that level, you should mitigate?

    The answer lies in your own question: Then explain why the EPA says if Radon is above that level, you should mitigate?

    You recognize the correct word and you even use it in context (something you don’t do often, frankly).

    Ahh, I love it when I run into an over educated ivory tower type. As with most, you don't understand the definitions of simple words like "should".

    School is in session Mr. Connell.

    Merriam-Webster defines "should" thus, "used in auxiliary function to express obligation, propriety, or expediency".

    Got it, or do I need to define obligation or propriety? I know you will have trouble with expediency, appropriateness or suitability for a task or purpose.

    So once a home reaches 4 pCi/L, the EPA says you are obligated, you would be meeting the standards of propiety (sigh, Conformity to prevailing customs and usages), or you would be acting with appropriateness or behaving in a suitable manner if you mitigated the Radon.

    Now, let's talk about the definition of standard.


    Let’s look at a real EPA standard. Since we are dealing with radon, and much of the contention that you dn’t understand comes from the NESHAPS, let’s look at another contaminant out of NESHAPS- asbestos. And look at what a real standard encompasses. In this case, we would go to the place where standards are located – a collection of documents called the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Title 40 of the CFR contains the EPA standards, and Part 763 contains (some) of the asbestos standards. Now, if we go to Paragraph 97 of that section we read language like:

    (a) Compliance with Title II of the Act. (1) Section 207(a) of Title II of the Act (15 U.S.C. 2647) makes it unlawful for any local education agency to:

    (i) Fail to conduct inspections pursuant to section 203(b) of Title II of the Act, including failure to follow procedures and failure to use accredited personnel and laboratories.

    (ii) Knowingly submit false information to the Governor regarding any inspection pursuant to regulations under section 203(i) of Title II of the Act.

    (iii) Fail to develop a management plan pursuant to regulations under section 203(i) of Title II of the Act.

    4) Section 16(a) of Title I of the Act (15 U.S.C. 2615) provides that any person who violates any provision of section 15 of Title I of the Act shall be liable to the United States for a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $25,000 for each such violation. Each day such a violation continues shall, for purposes of this paragraph, constitute a separate violation of section 15.

    And it goes on and on and on and on, long enough to ensure that I will be in business for awhile. This is an EPA STANDARD. Throughout the CFR you can read where the EPA, through legislated authority, has established actions that MUST be followed, and if the individual does not follow those protocol, and meet the specified attainment goals, they have committed a CRIME which is punishable by fines and/or prison sentences. In the case of radon, is a “recommendation” that one can do or not do or even just tell the EPA to eff-off with themselves without any kind civil penalty or retribution.

    The main reason? In most cases, such as asbestos, there is an absolute unquestionable hazard associated with various types of asbestos, and the science necessary to support the standard was sufficient to allow the standard to be promulgated. In the case of radon, no such standard will ever be promulgated, since in spite of thousands of man hours spent in studying the effects, we now know that there are no demonstrable health effects associated with radon concentrations as normally seen in houses. And in fact, the studies are demonstrating that as the radon concentrations elevate above non-detect to moderate levels, the risk of cancer actually goes down.

    Uh, Mr. Connell, we weren't talking about Asbestos, we were talking about Radon. Are you the gentleman who was accused of cutting and pasting "mucus" when asked to defend his points?

    Merriam-webster says that "standard" means something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example. In this case, Radon of 4 pCi/L is considered the "standard" that a home should not exceed, or a point at which you should mitigate.

    In your case, you seem to be refering to "technical standard", an entirely different definition. Again Mr. Connell, you really need to understand that things need to be taken in context, less hair splitting and you might develop a few friends.

    And "must" means to be obligated or required by morality, law, or custom. Two of the three values were brought up in our lesson on "should". You can hang your hat on the use of "law" in your "technical standard".

    So you see Mr. Connell, you don't understand simple words well enough to put together a coherent arguement, which leads you into splitting hairs and living without friends. So sad......




    Basis of the EPA recommendation

    Sure, I'll dig that up. They spoke about the cost to lower the Action level to two pCi/L, was like $6,000,000 per life saved.

    Again, you are getting confused about what you said, confusing time-frames and documents, (something, I see that happens a lot with you). What you are now referring to is not, as you originally stated, (the basis of the original 4 pCi/l recommendation), but rather you are now talking about a document that came AFTER the establishment of the 4 pCi/l recommendation. Oh, I see why you have no friends. You seem have the final say on everything. In this case, you are assuming that the discussion of social cost per life saved came AFTER the EPA set the 4 pCi/L standard. Instead of nitpicking the statement, why not agree that it was set after considering the cost to impliment?


    Since you are confused, I don’t know what you have read, but I suspect it is similar to the finding of the SNM Committee On Radiobiological Effects Of Ionizing Radiation, wherein the societal cost of testing and mitigation at the EPA recommended level was estimated at 44.5 billion dollars (1991), and that cost would rise to 101.2 billion dollars if scientists like me lowered the action level to 2 pCi/liter. Even at the NCRP action level, 8 pCi/liter, the cost is estimated at approximately 15 billion dollars.

    However, it is important to state that NOBODY, NOBODY, NOBODY, can estimate the cost per life saved, since NOBODY, NOBODY, NOBODY has demonstrated that a single life has been saved through the application of EPA recommended actions, and in fact, if the current EPA studies withstand the test of time, we will see that the radon mitigation systems that were installed may have actually increased the risk of cancer, and been the cause of more lung cancer related deaths than would have occurred by chance alone. I know you don’t understand what I just said, but it’s important for those who do follow these posts to see it again.

    B.S. Mr. Connell,

    "We need your help to save lives by getting the word out about radon. Exposure to indoor radon is a serious health risk -- it's the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. But the risk can be managed when people test their homes and take action to reduce high radon levels."

    That is from http://www.epa.gov/radon/videocontest.html

    Gee Mr. Connell, by being a scientist, does that mean that you can claim the EPA says one thing while their websites say otherwise? I would like to be a scientist myself, would come in handy with arguements with the better half.

    Editorial
    No, you are advocating allowing higher Radon levels by minmizing the health aspects. Not sure why.

    No. Not true, Mr. Gerhart. And you will not be able to find a single comment that I made anywhere that can support your subjective editorial.

    Uh, you claimed it a few sentences up :
    "we will see that the radon mitigation systems that were installed may have actually increased the risk of cancer, and been the cause of more lung cancer related deaths than would have occurred by chance alone."

    Is it just me, or are you claiming that removing Radon increases cancer risks? I guess I have to keep repeating what the EPA stated "it's the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S." You seem to be saying exactly opposite of what the EPA states on their public websites.

    Let's face it Mr. Connell, you have an agenda promoting that radiation is safe. Your views are not accepted by BEIR VII, they specifically studied Hormesis and rejected it. Either do the science to prove them wrong, or start cackling a new tune.

    By the way, please learn to use the lower case for radon; “radon” is not capitalized except by you and at the beginning of a sentence – the use of the word “radon” is exactly like the use of the word “air” or “benzene” or “gasoline.”

    Let me guess, you are under thirty five, right? Lack of proper education is so apparent in your generation, and some of those past 50 were stoned half way through college, regardless, you need an education in capitalization rules. The one that specifically addresses this case is the requirement to capitalize proper nouns. Let me make it easy for you, pretend you have regressed back to nursery school.

    Caoimhín is ready for nappy time, but is hungry. He tuggs on the daycare workers smock, asking "Can I have a cookie?" Note that "cookie" is a noun, but not a proper noun, "cookie" can mean many different types or brands of cookies.

    Now, let's change it up a bit. Caoimhín is again ready for nappy time, this he has been watching Barney on TV, he is quite explicit in his choice of cookie. This time he says "Can I have an Oreo?"
    Notice that in this case, Oreo was capitalized because it is a proper noun, a word that refers to only one particular cookie.

    I fear I have built a clock when all that was asked was the time, but this is the only way to show how utterly silly Caoimhin's hair splitting truly is. In our case, Caoimhin is claiming that Radon refers to many elements. No, he is confused. Were I to write "noble gas", then of course capitalization would not be needed, noble gas is a classification or type of element. In our case, Radon must be capitalized because there is only one Radon gas, it is an element (Caoimhin, that means it can't be divided into anything else save electrons, neutrons and such).

    Got it Caoimhin? Oreo, Radon ----- cookie, noble gas.

    You might want to brush up on your English skills. In your example, "air" could certainly be left uncapitalized, benzene could go either way. If you are refering to the aromatic hydrocarbon Benzene, it would need capitalization. If you are using it as another name for gasoline, you are correct it would not need capitalization as there are multiple type of gasolines. Benzene is listed as a noun in most dictionarys, which one could debate.... ahhh, heck. I am becoming like Caoimhin. Lay down with dogs, get up with fleas.

    http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/propernoun.htm

    Editorial
    From what I am seeing here, not sure I would have learned much beyond your "radiation is good for you" agenda. I prefer critical thinking to recieting by rote.

    Mr. Gerhart, with all charity, in your posts, you have demonstrated a complete lack of critical thinking, and instead you have cited tautology (or “rote” as you incorrectly call it). Not so fast my English skills deficient friend. Rote has several meaning and again that old context thing rears its ugly head. Rote means the use of memory usually with little intelligence or mechanical or unthinking routine or repetition. Tautology is needless repetition of an idea or statement. Since I used "reciting" (type, extra e) it should (see above for definition) be obvious that I am saying you are repeating from memory in a mechanical or unthinking manner. However, Tautology also fits, and you seem to think it describes your arguement well, so let's use it.

    There is no part of any of your comments in this thread that have shown any elements of critical thought. I don’t mean that as a personal attack, Sure you do, Cao. Can I call you Cao? it is just there for everyone to see. You get so much, so wrong, so often, on such a fundamental level, it is a bit embarrassing, and I am worried that I may be picking on someone I should not be picking on. I agree that you should be worried, you being a scientist and all, but not understanding the definition of common words. This is where the "experts" usually slink off in shame while proclaiming their refusal to debate the issue. Oh, right, you have already stated your intention to do just that.

    Editorial
    Wow, Mr. Connell, you are smart. You have invented time travel or reversed cause and effect! The EPA doesn't have any building material/Radon standards but you say they somehow managed to get dozens of other countries to enact them.

    No, Mr. Gerhart, wrong again. Your lack of critical thinking skills has once again let you down. You have not even followed the logical progression of your own thought, let alone accurate characterized mine. You are demonstrating on this board that you are truly not very skilled in reading what is printed and thinking things through. Ahh, here it is, leaving the debate field victorious by his own declaration. So many words, yet Cao understands so few. Perhaps I should switch to using only monosyllables.

    Editorial
    Mr. Connell,
    you won't be the first "expert" that got his ears pinned back on these issues. Here is a Health Physicist Soceity press release that says low dose CAUSES CANCER. Got it? The legendary HPS, defender of nuclear power, Cat Scans, and the right to be wrong. 10 rem can cause cancer in 1% of those exposed.

    Mr. Gerahrt, this is not what we are discussing. Please try to stay on topic, and if you are going to present information and references, please try to make them germane to the discussion. Which actually is a good transition to your next comment. I’m not sure where you are going with the BIER VII quote, except that you don’t seem to understand its context.

    Sorry Cao, it is germane. You wish to dispute the fact that low level radiation, including Radon, is not a health risk. That is ridiculous. You are no different than the HPS crowd.

    Spelling
    …by the way, it is BEIR, not BIER. PLease scroll the page up and reread what BEIR VII stated.

    Um.. Mr. Gerhart, people in glass houses should not throw stones. If I were to start nit-picking your spelling skills, I would lose the focus of how poorly you understand health physics and epidemiology. Like you misspelled my name in the paragraph above? And I would say you understand health physics and epidemiology quite well to be able to twist it like you do.

    False Logic
    Please provide proof why BEIR VII should not be the definitive proof.

    As a scientist, Mr. Gerhart, I don’t engage in the impossibility of attempting to prove a negative. I leave that to confused people, Mr. Gerhart. Not to confuse people, Cao. To educate them. Again please provide proof why BEIR VII rejected the very Hormesis claims you are spreading? I am waiting.......

    False logic
    Tell me why we should believe you are right and all these hundreds and thousands of scientists are wrong?

    Wrong again, Mr. Gerhart. I am suggesting that these “hundreds and thousands of scientists” are RIGHT and we need to believe in what they have found – I am saying that the policy wonks in the EPA who have hi-jacked the findings of the vast majority of these “hundreds and thousands of scientists” and implemented public policy statements that are not supported by the findings of those very same scientists. Why should we believe you when you say these “hundreds and thousands of scientists” are WRONG and you, Mr. Gerhard, who can’t even figure out the simple progression of Roman numerals, is right.

    Tchh, Tchh. Mispelled my name twice now, despite spelling it right at the start of the paragraph. Sighhhh..... such attention to detail, such precision, so worthy of an esteemed scientist. Now, your paragraph establishes that BEIR VII was correct on the issues, the law of the land so to speak, the authority on the subject. So again explain why they rejected Hormesis (claims that low level radiatin is good for you) yet you continue to cling to it? And a simple mistake on the Roman numerals, just pointing out that you yourself didn't comprehend that 4 comes before 7, that previous data is usually overridden by new data and facts.

    Did you know that Hormesis isn't in the Merrian-Webster dictionary? Wikipedia had a nice article, that said it was B.S., and quoted BEIR VII :

    "The possibility that low doses of radiation may have beneficial effects (a phenomenon often referred to as “hormesis”) has been the subject of considerable debate. Evidence for hormetic effects was reviewed, with emphasis on material published since the 1990 BEIR V study on the health effects of exposure to low levels of ionizing radiation. Although examples of apparent stimulatory or protective effects can be found in cellular and animal biology, the preponderance of available experimental information does not support the contention that low levels of ionizing radiation have a beneficial effect. The mechanism of any such possible effect remains obscure. At this time, the assumption that any stimulatory hormetic effects from low doses of ionizing radiation will have a significant health benefit to humans that exceeds potential detrimental effects from radiation exposure at the same dose is unwarranted."

    Clearly, Mr. Gerhart, your skills sets lie elsewhere, I recommend that you stick to whatever it is that you do, and leave science to scientists. I would suggest that you do likewise since a simple cabinetmaker/fabricator can defeat you in a debate. Are you really a scientist? Or do you do janitorial work in a lab?

    Editorial
    But you did say that it was impossible to measure Radon, all of us can read what you wrote.

    No. Wrong again, Mr. Gerhart. It is difficult to understand how you can be so wrong, so often in such a short span of time. How can you expect to have any credibility in claiming to be able to interpret scientific data when you can’t even figure out what is being said to you directly, and which remains before you for instant reference. You have once again shown a complete lack of critical thought and instead you have attributed to me something that I never said. Please, try reading what I have written, before you conclude what it is that you want me to have said. Mr. Gerhart, straw-men do not make good debate fellows.

    Uh, so you aren't going to support your stance? For such a verbose fellow, you certainly have a reluctance to answer questions. I think I like Dr. Steck better. When I asked him about one of his studies that was quoted, he reconstructed it with great effort, even admitted the weak points such as not having sufficient sample sizes (he did point out that he asked for larger samples but was refused). In comparision, you seem quite touchy when someone questions your claims.



    False logic
    Why not defend your statements?

    Seems to me like I am doing a pretty good job. Why can’t you defend any of our arguments?

    False logic
    You are the one claiming expertise, time to show us you know what you are talking about.

    Again, it seems to me like I am doing just that. However, apparently your critical thought skills are apparently so vastly superior to mine, that you are seeing through my little ruse. Finaly, a bit of honesty from Cao!

    False logic
    Neither now nor then were we talking about buildings, we were talking about granite countertops. Prove why barometric pressures increase or decrease the Radon emission. I can see it would affect a crawl space.

    Hoo boy. Mr. Gerhart, you can’t be serious. Are you really this confused? I think so. I think this statement, by itself, nicely summarizes how terribly confused, you really are, and how poorly you are able to both follow a steady line of thought and present one. Mr. Gerhart, we are discussing buildings. As far as proving that radon emissions increase or decrease please just go to, even, the EPA documents and start reading something about radon. You are embarrassing yourself. Again, Cao descends into personal attack rather than stand his ground and defend his position. Cao, have you ever published anything at all? Did you cloak yourself in this attitude during the peer review process? Argumentum ad hominem might sway the ignorant, but to someone with a modicum of intelligence, it proves you can't support your claims at all.

    Editorial
    Mr. Connell, you don't have many friends, do you?

    Probably not in your circles, no.

    Mr Connell, please answer the question. Do you have any friends?

    False logic
    But it doesn't take a college education to understand that BEIR VI came after BEIR VII.

    My face is in my folded hands and I am weeping. I am truly sorry, my typo shouldn't have hurt your feelings in such a manner. Is something bothering you?

    Legitimate question
    And what is it with that long disclaimer after your signature line?

    Because my work frequently takes me to court, where my work is used to present arguments before the trier of fact. Under those circumstances, the rules of presentation are very clear. On this board, however, the rules are much less stringent and I am allowed to use logical devices that are not otherwise permitted (such as humor). Is B.S. allowed in court? Unsupported statements? Are you as adept as refusing to answer questions as you are here?

    Since there are more than Home Inspectors who read these pages, and some of those people conduct depositions, and direct examinations, and cross examinations, I need to tell them, that my post is not a “work product,” it is akin to a conversation that you and I would have in a kitchen during a cocktail party. So it doesn't have to be accurate? Is that your point? No harm in misleading the rubes or something like that?

    Legitimate question
    Why would someone post something that wasn't his "professional opinion"?

    Because I enjoy explaining things. It’s just my nature. I particularly enjoy taking foundationless myths and rooting out the facts. And fora such as this one provides me the opportunity to explain things to a wide variety of interested people; some of whom raise very good objections and excellent points. I understand that well. Debate sharpens the arguements. You like me, have an agenda and you want to spread the info around. Unlike you, I prefer proven science to buttress my claims.

    By contrast, professional opinions are documents that are prepared under specific rules of presentation. Those documents are required to meet specific standards, and are internally reviewed, and scrutinized, and painstakingly assembled; for which I am remunerated appropriately. This off-the-cuff posts are rattled off while I am sitting in my famously blue bathrobe, sipping my morning coffee. Well, I agree with the rattle part.

    Rhetoric
    And are are your "employers, agencies, peers, or other professional affiliates" ashamed of you or something?

    No.

    Last dying gasp
    Did mom make you put that disclaimer in your posts? What???

    No.

    Mr. Gerhart – with all due respect. I don’t think you possess the mettle for the fight. Your own words testify against you. So, I will give you the last word, and then I’m afraid I won’t be debating you on radon issues from this point forward. From your perspective, just assume that you won! You beat me up! I confess that you are much more technically astute than I. Good job.

    Ahh, Cao, but I must force you to admit that I am right for it to have any value.

    Cheers!
    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Industrial Hygiene

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG
    Cao, do you want a cookie or an Oreo?


  7. #72
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
    Al Gerhart Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Al,

    Except that we are in a zoo here , and zoos typically have more zebras than horses.

    Keeping it in "context", of course.
    Yeah, but I think Cao is about to call me an a**, not a zebra.


  8. #73
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
    Al Gerhart Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    Forget granite tops, can I eat pen raised salmon safely?
    Now that is funny.

    Tonight I was feeding the dog, but the bones were frozen (raw food diet for the old bugger) so I got a can of Tuna to go with his dinner. My wife stopped me and said she fed him some Tuna the other day, didn't want him to get too much mercury.

    What about me????


  9. #74
    Randy Evans's Avatar
    Randy Evans Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    edit.

    Last edited by Randy Evans; 09-07-2008 at 06:42 PM.

  10. #75
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
    Al Gerhart Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Well Randy, I am aware that you had one position on Gardenweb and and another position on Fabnet. I am aware that if I did that people would call me two faced. I am aware that you started out with an agenda, then switched sides, and now are switching again.

    I guess once you hear that Dr. Llope is finding that our geiger counters and scintillators are reading only a few percent of the gamma from some of the granites you will switch sides again.

    Now tell me again why an insurance salesman (shudder) would spend so much time on this issue?


  11. #76
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Gerhart View Post
    Geez, Bruce and I are in agreement.
    Funny how things work sometimes.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  12. #77
    Randy Evans's Avatar
    Randy Evans Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    edit.

    Last edited by Randy Evans; 09-07-2008 at 06:42 PM.

  13. #78
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Evans View Post
    I acknowledged the reasonableness of the question. That's still where I am. I'm very interested in any additional

    I also acknowledge the "reasonableness of the question", I also acknowledge the "reasonableness of the question"s, asked or not yet asked, about other materials.

    Performing a "reasonable test which equates to real reasonable risk" is what this will turn on.

    No placing Geiger counters on a countertop, not placing a sealed bowl over a countertop and reading the radon in it, but making comparisons as have stated above, and doing so with the same devices in each location, and using multiple devices in each location, and multiple 'closed'/'sealed' devices in each location as a zero basis test.

    It will be time consuming and expense (unless one's time is cheap).

    Then, when you get results which start to indicate 'Hey, there might be something to this.'. you then remove the materials from the location they were in, construct a "clean" room (i.e., no radon from outside sources and no radon from inside sources, meaning no radon - at least not "measurable") in which to re-install those materials which were removed from the other location and rerun all the tests again. This time you will know that the results are inclusive *of only* that material being tested.

    After all, that is how tests are done to establish fault - provide a "clean" room which produces no influencing whatever (in this case 'radon') and in which the test result include 'only' what is produced by the material undergoing testing.

    Therein lies some of the major costs: finding suspect granite in homes, removing that granite from those homes, and ... 'Hey, who is going to pay for my granite countertop!' You got it, that's where it gets to be a sticky wicket.

    The alternative is to create a "clean" house, an entire house, making sure there are *no* materials contributing radon or anything else which would/could be invasive to the testing, installing complete countertops and all appliances - replicating a real installation, then doing testing over time.

    Can you say $$$$$$?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  14. #79
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    edit.

    Last edited by Randy Evans; 09-07-2008 at 06:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Evans View Post
    I can fully understand the need for all of the rigor that your approach would entail, if there were litigation involved, or a desire for a result that is meaningful in a scientific discussion.
    "or a desire for a result that is meaningful in a scientific discussion"

    Isn't that what this thread is about?

    Isn't that what the ruckus is about (invalid opinions being stated on invalid data taken from invalid "tests" which someone thought up to try to "prove" their "opinion"?

    ~~~~~~~~

    Okay, I guess we need to skip that part of this will just become more of a circus than it already is ...

    What if you're just an ordinary person who already has a granite countertop, and you read the New York Times deal and wonder "What about mine?".

    If such a person got one or more of the ordinary radon test kits that are available ($5 each from the State of Alabama, for example), and carefully followed the instructions, would they know anything meaningful when they got the results back?
    No.

    Particularly, if the results were very low, could they be confident that they didn't have highly radioactive rock on top of their cabinets?
    I doubt the instructions tell them how to check the radon in countertops. So far, there is only one method being backed by the radon industry, but that does not definitively state anything about the countertops radon emissions.

    If the consumer got a 'nope, no radon' report back, that would be a good indication that there was 'nope, no radon' during the period of the test. Not being a radon professional, I'll let the radon professionals answer that question for you, I'll only throw in some things to think about: What if the house was under positive pressure during the test? What would happen if the house became under negative pressure? What if the range hood exhaust fan was on during that test? What if the range hood exhaust
    fan was a recirculating type? What if water had been used during that test? What if there was radon present in the water? What if ... the list could go on and on, and, not being a radon professional - I don't have those answers, only those questions.

    I'm thinking, from a layman's common-sense perspective, that a false negative is unlikely, but I stand fully prepared to be corrected.
    Far be it from me to correct you on that, I also think that could happen.

    If the results are "high" (however one would define that), then you might call a radon mitigation specialist for more thorough testing. What do you think?
    I would think that the average homeowner would do the same - call a professional, however, it is then up to that radon professional to advise the average homeowner that, no, there is no "approved" test and no "approved" limit, but, yes, there is a proposed method to use in the meantime - *DO YOU WANT ME TO DO THAT*?

    I believe that the average homeowner would be thoroughly confused by this time and would look at the radon professional like a deer caught in headlights - and ask 'What do you recommend?'

    It is up to the radon professional to respond "as a professional", setting aside their desire to "make money", ... that answer, too, will need to come from the radon professionals here.

    Do you take their money? Do you suggest 'Hey, I really would like to find out more about this myself, and, being as this is for myself, would you *allow me* to do this and this and this and ... at no charge, of course, as I am collecting data so I may form in informed opinion. Do they suggest ... (what do they suggest)?

    I'm just trying to approach this from the standpoint of a consumer who doesn't have specialized knowledge or equipment, and would like to do what they can (within reason) to find out about their own home. Thanks in advance for any input.
    That's a laudable stance and a laudable goal, one that requires one to spend one's own time and money on the research.

    You don't go up to someone's house (if you were a painter) and say 'I'd like to see what you house looks like in this yellow color, I'll paint it that color for only $xxxxx'.

    No, you would go up to them and say 'Look, I'm doing some research, *I* will pay for painting your house this color, and, when *I* am all done, if *YOU* do not like it, *I* will pay to paint it whatever color *YOU* like - okay?'

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  16. #81
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    laudable

    One entry found.


    laudable


    "That's a laudable stance and a laudable goal,"
    Commendable Commendable

    Main Entry: laud·able Pronunciation: \ˈlȯ-də-bəl\ Function: adjective Date: 15th century : worthy of praise : commendable
    — laud·able·ness \ˈlȯ-də-bəl-nəs\ noun
    — laud·ably \-blē\ adverb

    commendable

    One entry found.

    commend

    Main Entry: com·mend Pronunciation: \kə-ˈmend\ Function: verb Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French comander, from Latin commendare, from com- + mandare to entrust — more at mandate Date: 14th century transitive verb 1 : to entrust for care or preservation 2 : to recommend as worthy of confidence or notice 3 : to mention with approbation : praise intransitive verb : to commend or serve as a commendation of something
    — com·mend·able \-ˈmen-də-bəl\ adjective
    — com·mend·ably \-blē\ adverb
    — com·mend·er noun


  17. #82
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    edit.

    Last edited by Randy Evans; 09-07-2008 at 06:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Evans View Post
    I can fully understand the need for all of the rigor that your approach would entail, if there were litigation involved, or a desire for a result that is meaningful in a scientific discussion. What if you're just an ordinary person who already has a granite countertop, and you read the New York Times deal and wonder "What about mine?".

    If such a person got one or more of the ordinary radon test kits that are available ($5 each from the State of Alabama, for example), and carefully followed the instructions, would they know anything meaningful when they got the results back?
    Maybe.

    At this time there are no EPA protocols to test for radon from countertops. So, any such testing would probably not meet EPA protocols. With that understanding, you can still do testing to find out if radon levels are higher in your kitchen area.

    You need something to compare to so you should do multiple testing throughout the house. All the tests should be done at the same time so they test the different locations under identical conditions.

    You should do a normal test in the basement which is where the radon concentration is the highest under normal conditions. If the house does not have a basement the device should be placed in a frequently-occupied room on the lowest level of the house (e.g., a bedroom).

    In the kitchen I would test where the device is sampling air that the occupants would normally breathe. I would not place the device directly on top of the contertop. (And I certainly would not cover it with a bowl.) Rather, I would hang the device from the ceiling or place it on something so that the device is at least 24" above the floor or 24" above the countertop and well away from walls and cabinets so air can freely circulate around it. (See EPA protocols for device placement.)

    Since the kitchen is the primary area of interest I would recommend placing multiple devices so their results could be compared. If possible I would spread them around the kitchen rather than testing only one location. That should give you a better representation of what is going on in the kitchen.

    I would also recommend placing additional devices in other rooms on the same level as the kitchen. The results will show if the radon concentrations in the kitchen are higher than, lower than or similar to other rooms on that level and will also give clues as to whether the kitchen is a source of radon.

    I would NOT recommend using a charcoal canister to test the kitchen. Charcoal canisters are greatly affected by moisture and can give erroneous results. (That is why EPA protocols say not to test in a kitchen or bathroom.) I would recommend using a device that is not affected by moisture for testing in the kitchen - something like E-PERMs or CRMs (Continuous Radon Monitors). You will likely have to hire a radon professional because these devices are not normally available to the general public.

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Evans View Post
    Particularly, if the results were very low, could they be confident that they didn't have highly radioactive rock on top of their cabinets? I'm thinking, from a layman's common-sense perspective, that a false negative is unlikely, but I stand fully prepared to be corrected.

    If the results are "high" (however one would define that), then you might call a radon mitigation specialist for more thorough testing. What do you think?
    First, a radon test measures radon, not radioactivity in granite. These are two entirely different things. The primary concern with radiation from granite countertops would be gamma radiation that can be measured by a gamma meter. Unless the countertops are highly radioactive I don't think this is a huge concern (unless you spend your days laying on your countertops). You can reduce your exposure to the gamma radiation by simply moving away from the source. Your exposure drops by the square of the distance; i.e., your exposure at 2' is 1/4 that at 1'. (2 squared is 4).

    False positives in your radon tests are entirely possible, especially with short-term testing. Radon concentrations in a house are constantly changing (hour-to-hour, day-to-day, week-to-week, season-to-season) because the house does not draw radon in from the soil at a constant rate. The weather and how the house is being used are the primary components of how much radon is being drawn into the house.

    A short-term test is only a snapshot of the radon concentration in the house under the conditions that existed during the measurement period. Did you conduct the test when the radon levels are much lower than the yearly average? Or did you conduct the test when the radon levels are much higher than the yearly average?

    The test that gives the most reliable results is a long-term test. A LT test must run for a minimum of 91 days up to one year. This is a test that you can do yourself with an ATD (Aplha Track Detector). You can buy ATDs at the big box hardware stores. They may also be available from your State Health Dept. ATDs are not affected by moisture (as far as I know) so you should be able to get reliable results in the kitchen. They are small (about the size of a film canister) and easy to use. At the end of the test you must send the device to a lab for processing; you should receive the results in a week or two.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Randy, I think the point is that there are no quantitative readings or even methods for obtaining readings that are proven to be good or bad. The EPA basically said (and I loosely paraphrase here) "they are still studying the issue."

    But I think we can all agree if it glows in the dark, it might not make a good counter top.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
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  20. #85
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Evans View Post
    I used to think the idea of granite that could be radioactive enough to create a concern relative to radon or other issues was absurd, because the only data that you produced was irrelevant or contradictory. Llope got involved, and I acknowledged the reasonableness of the question. That's still where I am. I'm very interested in any additional information that he can provide on it.

    It doesn't take all that much time. I'm curious by nature, I guess.

    I work in the insurance business, but I don't sell it. I don't sell anything. That's your job, not mine.
    Randy,
    were the data that I produced irrelevant or contradictory, I wouldn't have been able to do what I have done. Like it or not I drove the radiation issue into the fray, Build Clean's Radon experts had dismissed it. Llope's best results will be from my samples, so will Dr. Kitto and the four Radon labs working over my samples.

    You thought the idea of high radiation was absurb because you didn't understand what I was writing. Rather than ask questions to clear any doubts, you attacked. You have been reading Fabnet and following the last few days events, you know who brought this into the light. You know that I had to fight guys that I spent a couple of years educating on the subject.

    What you can't seem to admit is that all of this completely vindicated me.


  21. #86
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Randy, I think the point is that there are no quantitative readings or even methods for obtaining readings that are proven to be good or bad. The EPA basically said (and I loosely paraphrase here) "they are still studying the issue."

    But I think we can all agree if it glows in the dark, it might not make a good counter top.
    Jim, that is more correct than you know. Thanks for supporting the need to look into the issue. Measuring radiation from granite will turn out to be very difficult to do accurately, but the inaccuracy will be too low, not too high.

    We know the EPA guy that is the head of the radiation effort. They asked for local slab yards that sold the Africa Range Collection stones and we sent them the info. Once those guys put a meter to some hot stone, this debate on whether or not granite can be dangerous is over. They will use portable Ion Chamber meters or portable Gamma Spectometers, they have all the neat toys.


  22. #87
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Breedlove View Post
    Maybe.

    At this time there are no EPA protocols to test for radon from countertops. So, any such testing would probably not meet EPA protocols. With that understanding, you can still do testing to find out if radon levels are higher in your kitchen area.

    You need something to compare to so you should do multiple testing throughout the house. All the tests should be done at the same time so they test the different locations under identical conditions.

    You should do a normal test in the basement which is where the radon concentration is the highest under normal conditions. If the house does not have a basement the device should be placed in a frequently-occupied room on the lowest level of the house (e.g., a bedroom).

    In the kitchen I would test where the device is sampling air that the occupants would normally breathe. I would not place the device directly on top of the contertop. (And I certainly would not cover it with a bowl.) Rather, I would hang the device from the ceiling or place it on something so that the device is at least 24" above the floor or 24" above the countertop and well away from walls and cabinets so air can freely circulate around it. (See EPA protocols for device placement.)

    Since the kitchen is the primary area of interest I would recommend placing multiple devices so their results could be compared. If possible I would spread them around the kitchen rather than testing only one location. That should give you a better representation of what is going on in the kitchen.

    I would also recommend placing additional devices in other rooms on the same level as the kitchen. The results will show if the radon concentrations in the kitchen are higher than, lower than or similar to other rooms on that level and will also give clues as to whether the kitchen is a source of radon.

    I would NOT recommend using a charcoal canister to test the kitchen. Charcoal canisters are greatly affected by moisture and can give erroneous results. (That is why EPA protocols say not to test in a kitchen or bathroom.) I would recommend using a device that is not affected by moisture for testing in the kitchen - something like E-PERMs or CRMs (Continuous Radon Monitors). You will likely have to hire a radon professional because these devices are not normally available to the general public.



    First, a radon test measures radon, not radioactivity in granite. These are two entirely different things. The primary concern with radiation from granite countertops would be gamma radiation that can be measured by a gamma meter. Unless the countertops are highly radioactive I don't think this is a huge concern (unless you spend your days laying on your countertops). You can reduce your exposure to the gamma radiation by simply moving away from the source. Your exposure drops by the square of the distance; i.e., your exposure at 2' is 1/4 that at 1'. (2 squared is 4).

    False positives in your radon tests are entirely possible, especially with short-term testing. Radon concentrations in a house are constantly changing (hour-to-hour, day-to-day, week-to-week, season-to-season) because the house does not draw radon in from the soil at a constant rate. The weather and how the house is being used are the primary components of how much radon is being drawn into the house.

    A short-term test is only a snapshot of the radon concentration in the house under the conditions that existed during the measurement period. Did you conduct the test when the radon levels are much lower than the yearly average? Or did you conduct the test when the radon levels are much higher than the yearly average?

    The test that gives the most reliable results is a long-term test. A LT test must run for a minimum of 91 days up to one year. This is a test that you can do yourself with an ATD (Aplha Track Detector). You can buy ATDs at the big box hardware stores. They may also be available from your State Health Dept. ATDs are not affected by moisture (as far as I know) so you should be able to get reliable results in the kitchen. They are small (about the size of a film canister) and easy to use. At the end of the test you must send the device to a lab for processing; you should receive the results in a week or two.

    Bruce,

    AARST is on it, Dr. Steck emailed today asking for us to participate in setting the testing standards with AARST. Now I can do little but listen and point out any bits of info that they assume incorrectly on the countertop trade, and I know a bit about all the fields, enough that I have been useful to these guys who are experts in their field, but have zero experience in the other fields. That and I have provided the samples that will be used to callibrate everyones equipment, with the samples being circulated from team member to team member.

    The plan is to start a long effort for the ANSI standard and EPA supports this being done. But a quick and dirty temporary protocol will be developed as quick as possible to guide the Radon community until the ANSI standards are agreed on.

    Let's face it, something has to be done quickly if not perfectly. The plan is to do as much as possible at the Sept meeting.

    I won't comment on your suggestions, what little I know about the testing protocol makes what you say reasonable, but I have to stay quiet on this subject. Is it okay if I share your ideas with some of the others? Attributed to you of course.


  23. #88
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Now, this discussion is on track. Instead of dismissal, the ideas are being debated. Wonderful.

    I'll add one thing that the Radon experts need to know. Or I will bring it up, perhaps they already know it.

    The granite radiation can screw with the Radon test, but there are correction factors available. The only other thing is that few know just how far some levels of radiation can travel. I am talking about six feet and more for some granites, in significant amounts. In a small home, you can't get away from the radiation in some granites if you are in the kitchen.

    Were it me, I would use a pancake probe to make sure that the radiation was low enough that it didn't interfere with the Radon meter or canister.

    If you need more info, Bill Levy knows this stuff backwards and forwards.


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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Gerhart View Post

    I won't comment on your suggestions, what little I know about the testing protocol makes what you say reasonable, but I have to stay quiet on this subject. Is it okay if I share your ideas with some of the others? Attributed to you of course.
    Be my guest.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    You know, I see that irradiating food has been expanded because it is beneficial for preserving, killing of E-coli, etc. It could be that small doses of radon and radiation is actually good for you.
    If I read what Mr. Connell posted correctly, that is precisely what past studies have hinted at and the EPA has developed an artificial number just in case, since the studies did not confirm the hypothesis that radon was bad in low doses.

    Heck, "hot" rock slabs may be the rage in a few years as medicinal! Instead of tanning beds and oxygen chambers, there will be hot rock salons and the really lucky will have a slab in their house to stretch out on!

    We just don't know if it is good or bad and to test for something as a hazard just to play on peoples fears is unethical. Mold is GOLD!

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Gerhart View Post
    Let's face it, something has to be done quickly if not perfectly.
    Al,

    You have it backward.

    It needs to be done "perfectly", without any questions remaining, "get it right" the first time, don't play EPA games of 'maybe, if, and, or, but possibly' - either do it "right" (i.e., "perfectly") or don't bother doing it.

    As for "something has to be done quickly" ... why? Are we all going to die next week?

    You are talking about a product which is been around since man walked the earth, for crying out loud - "man" has walked and lived entirely on mountains of granite for lifetimes, there is no need to rush into anything for some pieces of granite in the homes.

    Get a grip, Al, we are say 'Yeah, do the testing, it is worth considering.', but "do it right" ... "the first time".

    There is no pressing need for it to be "done quickly" - your words.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    You know, I see that irradiating food has been expanded because it is beneficial for preserving, killing of E-coli, etc. It could be that small doses of radon and radiation is actually good for you.
    Irradiated and radioactive are two different things. Irradiating food does not make it radioactive. The radiation kills bacteria in food. That's all.

    Think of it this way: When you are out in the sun you are being exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. This UV radiation may cause you to tan but you do not become radioactive.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
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  28. #93
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Al, How do you propose we test for the presence of radon in every slab of granite that comes through our ports? Are we to take each and every slab, lay it out horizontally and place a can with a bowl over it for 24 hours? Would these tests be done utilizing real science or your methods of testing?

    As with rants you have had in many other forums, you are again way off base. Testing needs to be focused on gama radiation, not radon. This testing also needs to be perfected, established and documented at all levels of granite usage. From quarry to counter top. Involvement by any of our wonderful government agencies other than the recommendations already in place would be a mistake.

    You have listed on your website that all granite sold by your cabinet company is tested safe. The fact that you even sell granite astounds me due to your obvious disdane for the material. After all, you are such a huge proponent of solid surface and we know that granite has well surpassed sales and use of this material. Or is this the whole basis for your rant? Anyway, I digress. Back to your certified safe granite program at the cabinet shop.

    What method of testing are you using to come to this conclusion? What is the minimum readings you have determined as safe? Are you providing this in writing to your customers? Do you have a secret room with know air flow in the back of the shop to place the cut material before installation so as to be tested for radon? As someone who is looking to help the natural stone industry adopt acceptable and accurate testing methods to ensure public safety, perhaps some of your methods could be usefull if they pass muster.

    Are you willing to work with the stone industry in this eneadvor or just go on crusading to espouse the dangers of stone?


  29. #94
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Kent Potter View Post
    Al, How do you propose we test for the presence of radon in every slab of granite that comes through our ports? Are we to take each and every slab, lay it out horizontally and place a can with a bowl over it for 24 hours? Would these tests be done utilizing real science or your methods of testing?

    As with rants you have had in many other forums, you are again way off base. Testing needs to be focused on gama radiation, not radon. This testing also needs to be perfected, established and documented at all levels of granite usage. From quarry to counter top. Involvement by any of our wonderful government agencies other than the recommendations already in place would be a mistake.

    You have listed on your website that all granite sold by your cabinet company is tested safe. The fact that you even sell granite astounds me due to your obvious disdane for the material. After all, you are such a huge proponent of solid surface and we know that granite has well surpassed sales and use of this material. Or is this the whole basis for your rant? Anyway, I digress. Back to your certified safe granite program at the cabinet shop.

    What method of testing are you using to come to this conclusion? What is the minimum readings you have determined as safe? Are you providing this in writing to your customers? Do you have a secret room with know air flow in the back of the shop to place the cut material before installation so as to be tested for radon? As someone who is looking to help the natural stone industry adopt acceptable and accurate testing methods to ensure public safety, perhaps some of your methods could be usefull if they pass muster.

    Are you willing to work with the stone industry in this eneadvor or just go on crusading to espouse the dangers of stone?
    Kent,
    I will answer your questions but you might want to consider that your choice of words like "rant" telegraphs a different attitude than one of curiosity or one that is asking a civil question. I can be helpful to any one that needs pointed in the direction of the available info on this subject, or I can call a spade a spade. You get to decide how you want to be treated.

    Now, since you asked some excellent questions, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for now. Here we go....

    I would suggest that all stone blocks be tested prior to purchase by the slab processors, then again after gang sawing before polishing. At that point, the quarry men tell me that at most there is $1.50 per square foot in cost. Better to trash a $75 slab than a $750 one.

    This testing is so simple, you don't test for Radon at all, you test for radiation. Radiation is a proxy used to prove that Radon will be present, if you know what you are doing. More on that later in this post.

    You are assuming that I test with bowls over the meter. I do not, in fact I stick to radiation measurements and leave the Radon testing to Dr. Kitto, Dr. Steck, and the four Radon labs I am currently supplying samples to. That said, the bowl method is for one simple thing and one only, to prove that it is the GRANITE that is causing the high Radon level. Remember the CBS morning show? One slab read only 8 pCi/L, the other was at 500 pCi/L. Instead of spreading multiple meters or canisters around the home, $$$$$, one is used, preferably an electric.

    Now, I am helping with the Radon testing because I have access to samples and can provide some info on the granite countertop industry practices. Plus, my limited education comes in handy, I can translate what the scientists say with only a few questions to the experts, then I can explain it in laymans terms to the non experts.

    Were you interested in helping the testing effort, the help would not be rejected. That has always been the case.

    I agree that the focus should be on the radiation, specifically the Gamma, but for the fabricators, all types of radiation will need to be known. The dust carries the radiation into the lungs, 20 times more deadly there.

    On that note, I have a Certified Industrial Hygenist in the Northern California area willing to do some free in shop dust surveys. Completely free, completely confidential, the company will use the results to show the need one way or the other, for a govt grant to make absolutely sure fabricators are not being harmed by the hotter slab dust. Any shop owner that gives as rat's a** for their health or their workers health should participate in my opinion. I have the state labor OSHA complaince office coming to test our air levels, unfortunetly, they can only check for silica. I wish I could participate in the CA test.

    Do you know any shops in Northern CA that would help out by allowing the testing? I am not part of that, I know one of the Hygenists and am trying to help her find shops that will test.

    Yes, the govt will be involved in the end. Must be to protect the workers and the homeowners. Too much money involved, your suppliers will be cheated or they will cheat you if no standards are enforced.

    You realize of course that reminding everyone that I fabricate granite undermines your claim that this is all about sales? I make a lot more off a granite sale, twice to three times as much. This isn't about money.


    We test with a PM 1703 scintillator, range is from .060 to 3.0 MeV, so only a small portion of the lowest electron volt level radiation might not be detected, and the low level stuff has little penatrating power. Our level of rejection for a slab is 25 uR/hr. Our main supplier, Pinnacle Counertop Solutions, has 20 uR/hr as the goal for their slabs. Despite the fact that they are tesing in Brazil, upon unloading, and before shipping, we will continue to check anyway.

    I understand that Sensa is going with around 50 uR/hr Gamma limit. The Chinese limit seems to be around 41 uR/hr Gamma. That is close to some of the states NORM levels allowed, some over, some under. However, 20 uR/hr is closer to the levels that require clean up at nuclear plants. It is also an average level at some nuclear Super Fund sites, so never, ever, claim it is a "safe" level. It is a "safer" level than30, 40, or more.

    That said, hand held detectors only catch around 2 or 3% of the radiation present in SOME granites. It is complicated, but one of the studies being done is about to remind the nuclear measurement industry of this forgoten fact. That doesn't mean that there won't be safe stone to sell, that means you have to be very, very, careful selling close to the upper limit.

    We never, ever, say a particular granite is "safe". Even the Health Physicist Society admitted that normal background (6 uR/hr at my home) carries a small risk of 3 per 10,000 exposed per year. We tell customers that in our opinion, from reading all we could find on the issues, that 3 times background is all we will knowingly expose our workers too even with HEPA masks, wet cuttng, and ventilation. It is up to them to decide whether they want to take the small risk or not, but it MUST be an informed decision or even a disclaimer doesn't protect the shop from being sued, nor does it prevent a child or someone that didn't sign the wavier from suing.

    Kent, I recognize you from stoneadvice.com. Not a problem helping with your research. I have a large team of experts backing me up, all volunteers, unpaid. Radiological Chemists, Uranium Geologists, 4 Radon labs doing sample testing for free, Nuclear Physicists, Certified Industrial Hygenists, Govt agency section heads, and Geo Phyisicsts.

    Why are they helping? Some of them work for universities or govt, this is their job. The independents do this to learn more on the issues, the more they know the more they can charge.

    As to whether or not I intend to work with the stone industry or continue to crusade, well that depends on what section of the stone industry you are refering to.

    I have been working with portions of the stone industry, slab yards, importers, quarries, and other fabricators like me. The listened to what I was saying, saw enough that they wanted to know more, then saw that this wasn't going to put them out of business IF they didn't fight it.

    I have also been fighting a whole bunch of ignorante people that are now aknowledging that I was right all along on these issues. They had a crusade to discredit me, and they lost because the facts were on my side.

    So IF any portion of the stone industry is willing to listen to the facts, I will help. I expect to be questioned.... civilly. This will not be done in private, no way in h*ll will it be done in private. Any who realize that my "crusade" has always been about the ignorance of the risks of SOME granite and about those granite companies that lie like mad about their product, will find me quite reasonable to work with. My stone suppliers figured that out quickly. Most are helping Build Clean as well.

    Here is a short list of the issues that I think are most misrepresented.

    Some granites stain, some neeed sealed, so admit that. Also say that some don't.

    sink and cooktop cut outs should always be rodded, fiber glass rodding, no plain steel. Rodd all for the customers long term benefit.

    Granite has a variety of heavy metals, Uranium is one of those toxins that will be addressed with selling lower radiation level granite. Other toxins need looked into, scientificaly.

    Warranty the material or don't call it a warranty. Fix it or replace it if it cracks.

    Your SFA Black List was useful, consumers and fabricators need access to that list. People can read for themselves and can decide why the stone was put on the list.

    That is a start, it is too late to get into the other issues.

    It took some guts to stand up and ask questions and ask if I would help the stone industry. I respect that. I also don't remember you being one of the truly vicious ones, so that helped.

    Email if you want more info, or ask here. Civilly.....

    Thanks,
    AL


  30. #95
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
    Al Gerhart Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Al,

    You have it backward.

    It needs to be done "perfectly", without any questions remaining, "get it right" the first time, don't play EPA games of 'maybe, if, and, or, but possibly' - either do it "right" (i.e., "perfectly") or don't bother doing it.

    As for "something has to be done quickly" ... why? Are we all going to die next week?

    You are talking about a product which is been around since man walked the earth, for crying out loud - "man" has walked and lived entirely on mountains of granite for lifetimes, there is no need to rush into anything for some pieces of granite in the homes.

    Get a grip, Al, we are say 'Yeah, do the testing, it is worth considering.', but "do it right" ... "the first time".

    There is no pressing need for it to be "done quickly" - your words.
    Jerry,
    Kent would disagree with you on the need to get some quick standards in place. I would also say he validated that this is a real issue and realizes that I know more than most laymen on this issue.

    If you don't know what you don't know, you will have a strong opinion, but will it be a good opinion?


  31. #96
    Kent Potter's Avatar
    Kent Potter Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Al,

    I am quite encouraged by yuor last few posts. So you do know how to compromise!

    While I will admit that standardized tests need to be established, I never used the word quickly. There is alot of work ahead to get everyone in the natural stone industry to agree upon these standards let alone getting them implemented. If we involve the government in this other than the exposure limits already established, it will never get done!

    As to the hazards of breathing dust in the fabrication shop, silicosis is by far a greater hazard. Shops that still fabricate with high levels of airborn dust need to practice better abatement procedures or be shut down. Our facility is a dust free one and has been tested to affirm that. We test semiannually with air sampling equipment provided by a lab in NY. Can't recall their name at the moment. I for one would be very inerested in determining if there are detectable amounts of radioactive material present in airborn granite dust.

    I think 20 urem may be to low a number and perhaps the 50 urem could be too high. What numbers are you using for exposure times and at what distance? A rough calculation for a 20urem constant source at 4 hours each and every day only results in a 26.3mrem annual exposure. This does not even take into consideration distance and sheilding. These are just some of the things that will have to be established for proper methods to be established.

    As to the SFA Black list. It still exists, just not for the public at this time. The probelm was that too many guy's were placing selections into the list that should not have been there and people were beginning to perceive unwillingness to fabricate same. It was intended as a list of granites that were difficult to fabricate and maintain so as to better educate the customer. It will back again with some serious editing and monitoring.


  32. #97
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Breedlove View Post
    Irradiated and radioactive are two different things. Irradiating food does not make it radioactive. The radiation kills bacteria in food. That's all.

    Think of it this way: When you are out in the sun you are being exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. This UV radiation may cause you to tan but you do not become radioactive.
    Yep, I understand the difference.
    That was not my point.
    The point is knowledge about radon and radioactivity is limited at this point and jumping to conclusions that something is good or bad based on incomplete or erroneous information is bad.
    Think about how many products that we thought were good that have turned out to be bad to some degree.
    And now, irradiating food, who would have thought it would be allowed.
    And guess what not everyone likes irradiating our food... and they may be right, in twenty years we may find it mutates genes or such.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  33. #98
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Kent,

    I would say that my willingness to compromise is not new at all, but now an openminded stone fabricator is representing the stone industry. The question is, can you resonable guys control the ones that have been cr*pping in the corn flakes the last few years?

    Perhaps what should be done quickly is a short TRUE statement that most stones are safe but a few are a real problem. I would hope that after seeing some hot slabs, you guys would realize that people need to know if their granite is one of the problem ones.

    One thing about the radioactive content of the dust, no one really knows, so please don't be quick to dismiss it. Granite has radioactive content, when worked it creates dust, thus there WILL be radioactive dust present, we just don't know how much. The effects of ALL radiation inside the human body is very well know.

    I am glad someone on your side is looking at the exposure rates, progress. But, the correct exposure of 20 uR/hr for 4 hours x 365 days is29.2 mR per year. Last I checked, there is a 100 mR per year limit on additional exposure, but only 25% can come from a single source, so that puts 20 uR/hr over the limit by 4.2 mR.

    Now this is the important part, we can not measure the amount of radiation that accurately with a hand held meter, even the very expensive Bircon probes are suspect. The only way to measure accurately is through radiological chemistry (destructive sample needed) or Gamma Spectrometry (slow but very accurate). The hand held meters admit not only a "range" of KeV levels they will measure, but also a % of radiation impacts inside the meter that don't read. 30% one way or the other is a pretty accurate meter. With that in mind, Dr. Llope is saying that the best hand held meters read only 2 to 3% of the total radiation coming from his granite samples.

    Once you guys grasp the fact that the hand held meters are for "comparative" surveys, telling if radiatin is present or not, then comparing one slab to another, you will see the need to have a "safe" limit as low as possible.

    Another point that is inescapable. ALARA, As Low As Reasonably Achieveable, is the law of the land in regard to radiation safety. Only a fringe of wackos hold with the Hormesis therory. They don't tell you that it was one study in which 40% of the results showed a helpful effect, while the other 60% left no doubt that radiation was harmful. In the Spokane WA study ( all Mormons, non smokers) and the Iowa study (Farm wives that spent above average hours in the home) both showed higher than normal Radon/cancer results. So do the Uranium studies, but they are tainted with smoking men, corrected for, but still unsteady as proof in my opinion.

    ALARA holds that you must sell the lowest radiation level granite that you can provide and still be able to sell granite countertops. Plenty of stone is available under 20 or 25 uR/hr.

    In this case, distance is the only shielding, so pick one, not both to lower the risk. Then consider that the Gamma WILL reach out to six feet and further. The range INSIDE the stone will be one to three feet, and yes it does affect the measurements on the hot spots, but it is representitive of the actual dose you are getting.

    I would think bringing the Black List back into public view would be an excellent way to regain some credibility with the public. I would restate that people can read for themselves the opinoins on why the stones were place there. Perhaps a lively debate on each stone placed on the Black list would be best?

    I think we might be overstepping our welcome here with a prolonged discussion of the pros and cons of these issues. We have established that there are reasonable people on both sides and that the issue is being addressed, so that is great.

    You know where my blog is, please ask any further questions there. Any thread/article will be kept fair and all civil, educated posters can ask questions and offer comments. I will not tolerate name calling or sarcasm, so expect the trouble makers to be quickly ejected.

    Thanks, nice to finaly talk to a reasonable person on the other side. Darrel Miller was pretty decent on this subject, also a guy named Phil A something.


  34. #99
    Bernie Caliendo's Avatar
    Bernie Caliendo Guest

    Angry Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Some of the big scare came from an article in the New York Time. This is what startled the consumers. AARST came out with some voluntary guidelines to test including testing the house & granite top area. Do not place the devices on the tops and thay should be at lease 20" off the floor & 20" off the granite. Compare the house results with the granite area results. If the house results comes back high, recommend a mitigation system then do an exact placement test. If the house results are low which indicates the mitigation system is working but the granite area remains high, it could be a problem. However, radon gas has a half life of 3.8 days. How would a granite top keep getting the radon replenished?

    Last edited by Bernie Caliendo; 08-23-2008 at 09:47 AM.

  35. #100
    Randy Evans's Avatar
    Randy Evans Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    edit.


    Last edited by Randy Evans; 09-07-2008 at 06:44 PM.

  36. #101

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Good morning, All:

    I just need to chime in.

    I don’t sell counter tops. I don’t install or remove counter tops. I have no dog in this fight.

    I am just an Industrial Hygienist (for 20 years). I was a Radiation Safety Officer for 16 years and I taught the syllabus on radiation toxicology at Red Rocks Community College in Golden, Colorado for four years. I also lectured in Radiation Toxicology at Denver University as part of the Masters Program in Environmental Policy, and I have performed certified radiation safety training for such obscure organizations as the D.O.E. Rocky Flats Nuclear Facility outside of Denver. I have also performed radiation safety audits for other obscure locations such as the Los Alamos National Labs in New Mexico, and the VA Hospital in Denver. I have been the on-site Radiation Safety Officer in the decommissioning of radiation laboratories and on NPL Denver radium sites. And I have been the radiation adviser on radiation exposure issues for the U.S.G.S.

    So, unlike Mr. Gerhart, I’m not very well versed in counter tops – in fact, I don’t know nuthin’ about counter-tops.

    But unlike Mr. Gerhart, I know a little something about radiation, radiation toxicology, and epidemiology and when I read Mr. Gerharts posts, I want to weep – since it is difficult to convey how so completely confused, misinformed, and generally uninformed about radiation Mr. Gerhart truly is. Reading his posts, is painful. It is hard to believe that someone could be so wrong about so much and yet have so much to say! So, I haven’t read through all of Mr. Gerhart’s posts or waded through all the gibberish.

    So, I selected just one, post randomly, and thought I would comment on it. In that post Mr. Gerhart in his hallmark technical incompetence in the area of radiation issues makes the following statement.

    Radiation is a proxy used to prove that Radon will be present, if you know what you are doing.

    Actually – this is a good place to start since radiation is a proxy to prove that radon will be present only if you are a complete nut and you have absolutely no idea what you are doing or talking about. In fact, that would have to be the only way that you could possibly believe that “Radiation is a proxy used to prove that Radon will be present.” Maybe its true in the fantasy Counter-Top World created in Mr. Gerhart’s mind, but not in the real world occupied by you and me.

    Ionizing radiation is all around us, all the time and inside us. Natural radiation is in our food, our water, and in the skies above us. Risks associated with radiation is not just a numbers game wherein high number mean high risk. If that was the case, and Mr. Gerhart was right, then for heaven’s sake, milk would be banned overnight as highly toxic since the natural alpha radiation associated with it is 1,200 pCi/L! Beer would be classified as dangerous since it typically has an activity of about 800 pCi/L, and bananas (good gawd, bananas, the most obviously toxic thing on earth) give off so much radiation that alarms were once triggered at the Rocky Flats plant by a single banana coming out of the facility in a worker's lunch box!

    Bananas are actually an interesting analogy since if we look at the radiation of bananas, we see that much of the activity is associated with the naturally occurring radioactive potassium found in the banana, and it is the same material found in granite.

    (Oh, by the way, I also worked for eight years at Hazen Research, where I had a real scientific laboratory, and I worked almost exclusively in geochemistry and geological mineral beneficiation. Coincidentally, I also had a (gleaming) laboratory when I was a chemist at the Colorado School of Mines Research Institute. So, you might say I dabbled in geology and mineralogy and I may know a little something about geology as well.)

    Now, if we look at granite, we see feldspar, and therefore, we see potassium. And, we also see the same radioactive potassium that is in bananas. So let’s look at that potassium. Most Americans (even those who do not like bananas and never eat granite) will consume about 3 to 4 grams of potassium each day. This radioactive material calculates to about 2,100 pCi of K40 which means a little over 80 radioactive decays each second. The average person reading this post has about 150 grams of potassium in their body right now. As you sit and read this, if you are a normal human, you are irradiating 4,400 Bq (120,000 pCi) of K40, (that equates to about 4,400 radioactive disintegrations per second. And that’s just from the potassium! And that occurs in our bodies each second we live! At least 98 % of these disintegrations take place within body cells, and are potentially capable of altering the cell's DNA. So why aren’t we all dead from cancer by the age of two years old? (I have little interested in knowing Mr. Gerhart's explaination).

    Cosmic radiation pours down upon the Earth. Every SECOND, some 2,000,000,000,000,000,000 high energy protons (each greater than one billion eVs) are incident upon the earth. A single high-energy proton may give rise to hundreds of millions of secondary particles including electrons, muons, photons and even neutrons. In Denver, we receive approximately 190 mrad each year from JUST cosmic radiation! The party-goers at the DNC this week will be receiving approximately 20 µR or cosmic radiation EACH HOUR – and that is just from the cosmic radiation.

    Our own bodies irradiate us with ionizing radiation, at a rate of one fifth of that the average US citizen receives from radon (when we express the exposure as “dose” in mrems per year). So granite has radiation (yawn); big deal, so do I.

    K concentrations in granite are similar to other geological materials such as shale and igneous rock. Virtually all granite is radioactive. That’s it. Always has been, and always will be.

    What is driving this current fear-train is ignorance used to fuel the “sky-is-falling” mentality of people like Mr. Gerhart who otherwise do not have even a foundational grasp of the technical issues at hand. But since virtually none of his readers are well versed in radiation issues, they can’t determine if what he is saying is technically accurate or not. This is precisely the same set of circumstances that allows the charlatans in the “toxic mould” business to rip off so many people. 1) First you scare the willies out of them with scientific sounding Latin names and scientific units of expression and bogus pseudoscience, and then 2) you $tep in with your $ales $piel and a$$ure the poor $ucker that you are a $$pecialist who$e $ole concern i$ their health and welfare.

    We could sit and debate and discuss and argue for weeks about how much radiation a banana gives off – we could present lengthy scientific papers on the best way to measure the emission rates from bananas – we could petition the government for new radioactive banana mitigation standards – we could present scientific papers arguing about the spatial and temporal variations of how much radiation a Mexican banana gives off versus a Colombian banana – but until somebody demonstrates that the radiation received from eating a banana actually increases the risk of an adverse health effect by one iota – the ENTIRE argument is a presentation on the number of angels that will fit on the head of a pin.

    And so it is with radon and granite counter tops. In spite of all the lengthy mumbo-jumbo on the best way to monitor and who has the hottest granite and how much does it increase the radon concentration in a building… it is all missing the big picture which is this:

    1) There is not one study, yet performed on the planet earth, by ANY organization (including the US EPA) that has measured radon concentrations in homes and has demonstrated that those exposures increase the risk of cancer by even the slightest degree.

    2) The U.S. EPA in its various documents has published its acknowledgement that studies performed thus far show that as the concentration of radon in an home (from non-detect to moderate levels) goes up, the risk of cancer goes DOWN. Let me repeat that for the benefit of any members of the US Ninth Circuit who may be reading this: The most reliable and confident studies performed thus far, as reported in EPA scientific literature conclude that as radon in an home goes up, the risk of cancer goes down.

    There may be kooks who peddle the dangers of microwave ovens, toxic moulds, and overhead power lines, and they are likely the same individuals, like Mr. Gerhart, who embrace the current fear du jour of radon in counter-tops. They may present all kinds of scientifically valid emission studies and comparison studies, and comparative levels, but none of them can relate those emission studies to adverse health consequences without drawing on the misconceptions that the EPA or BEIR has demonstrated that a provable health consequence exists at all.

    Folks interested in how some of those studies get perversely twisted, may find my discussions on radon studies interesting.

    You may find the critical reviews of some of the studies here:
    Radon: Truth vs. myth

    There is no point in attempting to discuss radon issues with the Mr. Gerharts of the world. They don’t understand the basic tenets of radiation, toxicology or epidemiology, and they do not care a farthing for objective facts. They see themselves as self appointed enlightened heroes but they cannot backup anything they say – but they can regurgitate large sections of text and tautology without having to understand what they just said.

    I have no intention in responding to Mr. Gerhart, he has already demonstrated that he doesn’t listen, or think, about what is being said – primarily because he lacks the technical foundation to understand what is being said.

    But then, see, I’m just a lowly Radiation Safety Officer and Industrial Hygienist for the last two decades with an additional 10 years experience as a chemist, so I don’t know nuthin about selling or installing counter tops – That is Mr. Gerhart’s area of expertise.

    Cheers!
    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Industrial Hygiene

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG


  37. #102
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
    Al Gerhart Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Caliendo View Post
    Some of the big scare came from an article in the New York Time. This is what startled the consumers. AARST came out with some voluntary guidelines to test including testing the house & granite top area. Do not place the devices on the tops and thay should be at lease 20" off the floor & 20" off the granite. Compare the house results with the granite area results. If the house results comes back high, recommend a mitigation system then do an exact placement test. If the house results are low which indicates the mitigation system is working but the granite area remains high, it could be a problem. However, radon gas has a half life of 3.8 days. How would a granite top keep getting the radon replenished?
    Bernie,
    You have read a representitive from the stone industry say that the radiation issue is real on some stones. The majority of the radiation comes from U 235 and U 238, Radon comes from both decay chains, that is scientific fact.

    The granite countertop continually replaces the radon, for millions of years.

    And Randy, you are misquoting and that is easily proved. No one said the hit men were waiting at the air port, I said they were placing odds on whether or not he would make it to his hotel. Typical make it up Randy, if you can't make something up, you use a personal attack.

    And they do call themselves a "brother hood". No women allowed I guess, like the Mulsim brotherhood or the aryan brotherhood. They brag about strong arming machinery companies, trade associations, non profits, and material companies. I think that "brotherhood" fits the bill till they clean up their act.

    Cao, I'll read your reply later today, got to go measure a lady's countertop.


  38. #103
    Randy Evans's Avatar
    Randy Evans Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    edit.

    Last edited by Randy Evans; 09-07-2008 at 06:44 PM.

  39. #104
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Mr Connell

    A quote from you

    "We could sit and debate and discuss and argue for weeks about how much radiation a banana gives off – we could present lengthy scientific papers on the best way to measure the emission rates from bananas – we could petition the government for new radioactive banana mitigation standards – we could present scientific papers arguing about the spatial and temporal variations of how much radiation a Mexican banana gives off versus a Colombian banana – but until somebody demonstrates that the radiation received from eating a banana actually increases the risk of an adverse health effect by one iota – the ENTIRE argument is a presentation on the number of angels that will fit on the head of a pin."

    You had to go picking on bananas. I loved bananas. You see I said loved. I will never eat a banana again


  40. #105
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Gerhart View Post
    Jerry,
    Kent would disagree with you on the need to get some quick standards in place. I would also say he validated that this is a real issue and realizes that I know more than most laymen on this issue.
    I am sure there are a lot of people who would disagree with me and agree with you: you say that doing it fast is better than doing it right; whereas I say doing it right is more important than doing it fast.

    I mean, look at all of the "Mold is Gold" people who jumped on that bandwagon, doing fast and not right. With the same intentions many would have doing this fast and not right - make the money while the making is good.

    Unless there is something to show that *WE WILL DIE NEXT WEEK*, there is no reason to promote doing it "fast" versus doing it "right". Doing it "fast" only means that you may well end up with useless information, which is subsequently proven to be false information.

    It is far better to "DO IT RIGHT", the world's population is not going to die next week because it was not done "fast". Think about it, do we know that smoking tobacco kills people? Yep. Does that stop people from smoking? Nope. Does that stop people from taking up smoking? Nope. Does that stop people from making tobacco products? Nope.

    Yet that is a far more pervasive problem than radon in granite, and far more in urgent need of doing *the right thing* "fast", and it just is not happening.

    There is absolutely *no need* to do it "fast" versus a need to do it "right".

    Go cry 'Mold is Gold', yeah, that was the last big popular flare-up, and it is still around, albeit slowly dwindling down.

    Because yelling "FIRE!" you need to make sure *that there is a fire*. Unless, somehow, you benefit from yelling "FIRE!" - like your yelling "FIRE!" and then saying 'But our granite is 'fireproof', so you can buy OUR granite, just not granite from those other guys, they have not tested theirs to see if it is 'fireproof'.

    Hmmmm ... kind of like the solid surface countertop industry pouring gasoline on your *fire*, makes for good business for them, puts you in the position of having to say 'but our is *fireproof* I tell you - you do not need to worry about OURS'.

    First, *prove there is a fire*. Until then, don't go around yelling "FIRE!".

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 08-23-2008 at 07:42 PM. Reason: clarity of first sentence
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  41. #106
    Kent Potter's Avatar
    Kent Potter Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Al,
    I paid a visit to your website and was neither impressed nor amused. I for one do not like being compared to the "Aryan Brotherhood", we do have women members and you obviously do not know the difference between stoneadvice.com and the SFA. By the way, your article could get you sued, you might want to run those by an attorney first prior to posting.

    I am looking for credible sources on the topics of ionizing radiation exposure. Looking through past posts here, you are nothing more than an alarmist with no credentials to support what you are espousing. All I see is someone who really has an axe to grind with the SFA. I’m sorry for you that Silestone decided to come along with us (to work toward an industry solution) and terminate their relationship with Buildclean since I also discovered you were trying to bend their ears as well.

    If you understood the geology of stone or some mineralogy, you would not be recommending chemical analysis as a credible procedure. While there are some things you have mentioned that peak my interest, most of what you have written is off base.

    Mr. Connell,
    Even though you may be "a lowly Radiation Safety Officer and Industrial Hygienist", I find your comments very insightful. Because there are so many radioactive minerals present in nature I know that this presence will not always mean radon and further agree with the overall conscience that radon is not the issue and that radiation exposure is the main problem. Since the deposit of radioactive minerals is not constant throughout a granite formation (or slab for that matter), what testing method is best? We’re looking at testing using dosimetry devices which may better represent true exposure.

    Randy,
    I have not been able to confirm the Brazilian Mafia hit men story. Each person I ask gives me very strange responses, I don’t quite understand what to make of it!

    Ted,
    Sorry about your love for banana’s. Cao’s comment does have me looking at the banana trees in my back yard wondering if I should eat any of the crop this coming spring.

    Jerry,
    "Do it right" is correct. We are not going to all die this week or next. But there are those killer banana trees in the back yard...


  42. #107
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Thank you for your input Mr. Connell
    you explain things in away that is easy for a lowly Stone Cutter like me to understand
    Thank you
    Curtis Marburger
    Cornerstone Granite Inc


  43. #108
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    My nieces husband recently bought part interest in 15 granite mines in South America. They currently do not ship to the US. I saw him today at a wedding shower for another niece and he said his fear is that people will simply put in another solid surface counter top and the entire market will be flooded with unwanted granite. He said he has three kids and he would not put it in his house if there was ANY chance it could be a health hazard. The facts may not be as important as the hype.


  44. #109
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    The facts may not be as important as the hype.

    James,

    That's what I'm saying: Al is yelling "FIRE!" and people are running to the exits without know where the fire is, or even if there is a fire. Many deaths are caused by people trampling over people when that many are in panic and fleeing.

    If there is no fire, I wonder if the person yelling fire can be sued for damages?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  45. #110
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
    Al Gerhart Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Kent,
    were I a SFA member I would also be wondering if discussing price fixing, extorting businesses like machinery companies and materials companies, and attempting to pressure non profit organizations is also a basis for a lawsuit.

    But let's look at what the Silestone/SFA alliance did.

    First off, Silestone used the SFA, giving little while gaining much. By turning on their old partners, they lifted some of the pressure from the stone industry. Even better from Silestone and Build Clean's point of view, now the SFA is forced to admit there is a problem with the radiation content of some granites being sold. Even better, now the SFA is doing what Silestone set out to do, bring this issue into the light. The SFA will lose members over this switch from "testing is B.S." to "testing must be done". Plenty of stoners that fought tooth and nail to suppress this debate are now discredited. But they join Randy Evans, or revans1 as he goes on Gardenweb.com, so they have company.

    Now, what exactly, if anything, did the SFA receive? Well, besides a heaping platter of "Crowe" (Pun intended, tell Miles I said hello), the lose of members over the fight, they also lost the support of the MIA (Marble Institute of America). In return, Silestone was supposed to silence Build Clean, something that they knew was beyond their ability, as they had one seat on the board. I'll give Hernando this, he did try, but the rest of the board was drafting the papers for his removal, which prompted Hernando to resign.

    Sure, you stripped an ally from Build Clean's testing effort, but Silestone had given the maximum amount of money all ready, which had to be offset by raising twice that amount from other sources.

    So basically, Silestone asked that Build Clean give in to your demands to stop the testing, then somehow convinced the SFA to start their own effort? Master full, Machiavelli would have been impressed. Those on our side of the debate are liking the turn of events as it furthers our goals, to insure the testing of all stones prior to marketing.


    "If you understood the geology of stone or some mineralogy, you would not be recommending chemical analysis as a credible procedure."


    Well, our Radiological Chemist and our Uranium Geologist would be amused to hear your views on lab testing. Nothing could have shown your ignorance more than that statement. Using the lab report, like the one from ARS on the Houston granite countertop, experts can determine both the amount of radiation and the amount of Radon. In fact, it was this very Silestone funded lab report that turned the EPA around last month. See, they thought that your average granite countertop had 1 pCi/G of Radium, not the 1,130 pCi/g found in that slab of Juparana Bordeaux.
    It sounds like you have been listing to Dr. Hans Henson who prefers to sell his geologist services, dearly, to the stone industry.

    Yes the random distribution of radioactive elements will mean that every slab be tested, no way out of it. There is a method of scanning a slab with an array of 12 probes, then dumping the data into a spread sheet in seconds, giving a color coded "map" of the radioactive hot spots, as well as a computed average of the radiation present. Done prior to polishing, problem solved.

    Dosimeters would be an excellent way to prove or disprove the radiation exposure. One of the experts we spoke with called it "Tag and release", you put the dosimeter on the homeowner or fabricator, then after a period have the badge read at a lab. The absolutely best way to give the exposure. I highly recommend doing it.

    "I have not been able to confirm the Brazilian Mafia hit men story. Each person I ask gives me very strange responses, I don’t quite understand what to make of it!"

    As to the Silestone executive hit, another source said it was the slab processors, but then again, he was a quarry owner. Who knows....but you are finding out few want to talk of it. Draw your own conclusions.

    Now, bananas are not large radioactive sources. Those that drag that straw man into the debate are admitting they have no other info but what few urban myths or lies they can fabricate. We tested rack of bananas at Walmart, nothing. We brought some home and repeated the testing while video taping the test, nothing. The video is posted at Youtube.com. Do a simple google search on the topic and you will realize there is something wrong when someone brings it into a debate.

    YouTube - TCSRock78's Channel Look for the "Disproving more MIA lies" or the "No radioactive bananas or potatoes"
    See why I am the target of personal attacks? It is all they have!

    Now, Cao,
    "Actually – this is a good place to start since radiation is a proxy to prove that radon will be present only if you are a complete nut and you have absolutely no idea what you are doing or talking about."
    Dr. Llope, a Nuclear Physicist at Rice University said that there was a tight correlation between Radon and radiation. Can't cut and paste his reply since it is a pdf.

    http://www.des.state.nh.us/ARD/EHP/R...ural_stone.pdf

    Look on page 3, right above the chart. That PDF is posted on the state of New Hampshire's DEQ site. I suppose Cao would have us believe they are lying as well?

    "If that was the case, and Mr. Gerhart was right, then for heaven’s sake, milk would be banned overnight as highly toxic since the natural alpha radiation associated with it is 1,200 pCi/L!"

    True! But what Cao's agenda doesn't allow him to tell you is that your body retains only so much Potassium 40, and although you must have the element for health, it exposes you to 14 to 18 mrem per year, part of your normal 360 mrem exposure. However, one must point out that we aren't at all concerned about potassium 40 at all, there was only 54 pCi/g in the Houston Bordeaux lab report, but there was 1,130 pCi/G of Radium and hundreds more of pCi/g of Radon decay products, all proving that the Radon was present in the sample.

    Now your conclusions.

    1. There is no study showing that granite causes cancer, but there are exhaustive studys showing the Radon from granite causes cancer, few deny that but Cao and his fringe group. Radiation has been proven to cause cancer, granite has radiation.

    2. Prove that statement that the EPA says cancer goes down when Radon levels go up. The EPA has pages of public statements and info that say the opposite of what you claim.

    Sorry, Cao. Your agenda is obvious and like you say, anyone that posts long enough without providing any proof, oh.... you did link to your own site as proof!!! How about something published? Like a study? Maybe the Spokane or the Iowa study?

    Last edited by Al Gerhart; 08-24-2008 at 12:19 PM.

  46. #111
    Curtis Marburger's Avatar
    Curtis Marburger Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    What Mr. Connell Said


    Quote Originally Posted by Caoimhín P. Connell View Post
    Good morning, All:

    I just need to chime in.

    I don’t sell counter tops. I don’t install or remove counter tops. I have no dog in this fight.

    I am just an Industrial Hygienist (for 20 years). I was a Radiation Safety Officer for 16 years and I taught the syllabus on radiation toxicology at Red Rocks Community College in Golden, Colorado for four years. I also lectured in Radiation Toxicology at Denver University as part of the Masters Program in Environmental Policy, and I have performed certified radiation safety training for such obscure organizations as the D.O.E. Rocky Flats Nuclear Facility outside of Denver. I have also performed radiation safety audits for other obscure locations such as the Los Alamos National Labs in New Mexico, and the VA Hospital in Denver. I have been the on-site Radiation Safety Officer in the decommissioning of radiation laboratories and on NPL Denver radium sites. And I have been the radiation adviser on radiation exposure issues for the U.S.G.S.

    So, unlike Mr. Gerhart, I’m not very well versed in counter tops – in fact, I don’t know nuthin’ about counter-tops.

    But unlike Mr. Gerhart, I know a little something about radiation, radiation toxicology, and epidemiology and when I read Mr. Gerharts posts, I want to weep – since it is difficult to convey how so completely confused, misinformed, and generally uninformed about radiation Mr. Gerhart truly is. Reading his posts, is painful. It is hard to believe that someone could be so wrong about so much and yet have so much to say! So, I haven’t read through all of Mr. Gerhart’s posts or waded through all the gibberish.

    So, I selected just one, post randomly, and thought I would comment on it. In that post Mr. Gerhart in his hallmark technical incompetence in the area of radiation issues makes the following statement.

    Radiation is a proxy used to prove that Radon will be present, if you know what you are doing.

    Actually – this is a good place to start since radiation is a proxy to prove that radon will be present only if you are a complete nut and you have absolutely no idea what you are doing or talking about. In fact, that would have to be the only way that you could possibly believe that “Radiation is a proxy used to prove that Radon will be present.” Maybe its true in the fantasy Counter-Top World created in Mr. Gerhart’s mind, but not in the real world occupied by you and me.

    Ionizing radiation is all around us, all the time and inside us. Natural radiation is in our food, our water, and in the skies above us. Risks associated with radiation is not just a numbers game wherein high number mean high risk. If that was the case, and Mr. Gerhart was right, then for heaven’s sake, milk would be banned overnight as highly toxic since the natural alpha radiation associated with it is 1,200 pCi/L! Beer would be classified as dangerous since it typically has an activity of about 800 pCi/L, and bananas (good gawd, bananas, the most obviously toxic thing on earth) give off so much radiation that alarms were once triggered at the Rocky Flats plant by a single banana coming out of the facility in a worker's lunch box!

    Bananas are actually an interesting analogy since if we look at the radiation of bananas, we see that much of the activity is associated with the naturally occurring radioactive potassium found in the banana, and it is the same material found in granite.

    (Oh, by the way, I also worked for eight years at Hazen Research, where I had a real scientific laboratory, and I worked almost exclusively in geochemistry and geological mineral beneficiation. Coincidentally, I also had a (gleaming) laboratory when I was a chemist at the Colorado School of Mines Research Institute. So, you might say I dabbled in geology and mineralogy and I may know a little something about geology as well.)

    Now, if we look at granite, we see feldspar, and therefore, we see potassium. And, we also see the same radioactive potassium that is in bananas. So let’s look at that potassium. Most Americans (even those who do not like bananas and never eat granite) will consume about 3 to 4 grams of potassium each day. This radioactive material calculates to about 2,100 pCi of K40 which means a little over 80 radioactive decays each second. The average person reading this post has about 150 grams of potassium in their body right now. As you sit and read this, if you are a normal human, you are irradiating 4,400 Bq (120,000 pCi) of K40, (that equates to about 4,400 radioactive disintegrations per second. And that’s just from the potassium! And that occurs in our bodies each second we live! At least 98 % of these disintegrations take place within body cells, and are potentially capable of altering the cell's DNA. So why aren’t we all dead from cancer by the age of two years old? (I have little interested in knowing Mr. Gerhart's explaination).

    Cosmic radiation pours down upon the Earth. Every SECOND, some 2,000,000,000,000,000,000 high energy protons (each greater than one billion eVs) are incident upon the earth. A single high-energy proton may give rise to hundreds of millions of secondary particles including electrons, muons, photons and even neutrons. In Denver, we receive approximately 190 mrad each year from JUST cosmic radiation! The party-goers at the DNC this week will be receiving approximately 20 µR or cosmic radiation EACH HOUR – and that is just from the cosmic radiation.

    Our own bodies irradiate us with ionizing radiation, at a rate of one fifth of that the average US citizen receives from radon (when we express the exposure as “dose” in mrems per year). So granite has radiation (yawn); big deal, so do I.

    K concentrations in granite are similar to other geological materials such as shale and igneous rock. Virtually all granite is radioactive. That’s it. Always has been, and always will be.

    What is driving this current fear-train is ignorance used to fuel the “sky-is-falling” mentality of people like Mr. Gerhart who otherwise do not have even a foundational grasp of the technical issues at hand. But since virtually none of his readers are well versed in radiation issues, they can’t determine if what he is saying is technically accurate or not. This is precisely the same set of circumstances that allows the charlatans in the “toxic mould” business to rip off so many people. 1) First you scare the willies out of them with scientific sounding Latin names and scientific units of expression and bogus pseudoscience, and then 2) you $tep in with your $ales $piel and a$$ure the poor $ucker that you are a $$pecialist who$e $ole concern i$ their health and welfare.

    We could sit and debate and discuss and argue for weeks about how much radiation a banana gives off – we could present lengthy scientific papers on the best way to measure the emission rates from bananas – we could petition the government for new radioactive banana mitigation standards – we could present scientific papers arguing about the spatial and temporal variations of how much radiation a Mexican banana gives off versus a Colombian banana – but until somebody demonstrates that the radiation received from eating a banana actually increases the risk of an adverse health effect by one iota – the ENTIRE argument is a presentation on the number of angels that will fit on the head of a pin.

    And so it is with radon and granite counter tops. In spite of all the lengthy mumbo-jumbo on the best way to monitor and who has the hottest granite and how much does it increase the radon concentration in a building… it is all missing the big picture which is this:

    1) There is not one study, yet performed on the planet earth, by ANY organization (including the US EPA) that has measured radon concentrations in homes and has demonstrated that those exposures increase the risk of cancer by even the slightest degree.

    2) The U.S. EPA in its various documents has published its acknowledgement that studies performed thus far show that as the concentration of radon in an home (from non-detect to moderate levels) goes up, the risk of cancer goes DOWN. Let me repeat that for the benefit of any members of the US Ninth Circuit who may be reading this: The most reliable and confident studies performed thus far, as reported in EPA scientific literature conclude that as radon in an home goes up, the risk of cancer goes down.

    There may be kooks who peddle the dangers of microwave ovens, toxic moulds, and overhead power lines, and they are likely the same individuals, like Mr. Gerhart, who embrace the current fear du jour of radon in counter-tops. They may present all kinds of scientifically valid emission studies and comparison studies, and comparative levels, but none of them can relate those emission studies to adverse health consequences without drawing on the misconceptions that the EPA or BEIR has demonstrated that a provable health consequence exists at all.

    Folks interested in how some of those studies get perversely twisted, may find my discussions on radon studies interesting.

    You may find the critical reviews of some of the studies here:
    Radon: Truth vs. myth

    There is no point in attempting to discuss radon issues with the Mr. Gerharts of the world. They don’t understand the basic tenets of radiation, toxicology or epidemiology, and they do not care a farthing for objective facts. They see themselves as self appointed enlightened heroes but they cannot backup anything they say – but they can regurgitate large sections of text and tautology without having to understand what they just said.

    I have no intention in responding to Mr. Gerhart, he has already demonstrated that he doesn’t listen, or think, about what is being said – primarily because he lacks the technical foundation to understand what is being said.

    But then, see, I’m just a lowly Radiation Safety Officer and Industrial Hygienist for the last two decades with an additional 10 years experience as a chemist, so I don’t know nuthin about selling or installing counter tops – That is Mr. Gerhart’s area of expertise.

    Cheers!
    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Industrial Hygiene

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG



  47. #112
    Kent Potter's Avatar
    Kent Potter Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Al

    I really do not want to waste allot of time on this site arguing about the SFA. The SFA (or MIA) has never denied Granite as non radioactive nor that it doesn't emit radon. This however does not fit with your conspiracy theory. Do you have the results of that study that shows the link between granite and cancer? No you do not. Here again, twisting the facts to meet an agenda. We call that "Alarmist Mentality".

    No machine comany has been strong armed by our organization, otherwise they would'nt be sponsors! There has never been any price fixing as everyone knows, this would be in direct violation of US Anti-Trust laws!

    I'll have to give Hernando at C&C NA a call on Monday to congratulate him on his narrow escape. Thank god for good intel, wouldn't you agree? Btw, he never had a trip planned to Brasil and none of Cosentino suppliers had ever cut then off!

    Why wouldn't Silestone ally with us? Their material is 93% quartz (thats a natural material, Al), many of our members sell and fabricate their materials (me included), they are a major importer of granite and they too wish to improve the industry. We're hoping they also come on board with the MIA, would'nt that be great! Damn, that blows another conspiracy theory for you, sorry.

    As to losing members? Membership is up! But then again, you don't know the difference between a registered user of stoneadvice.com and a card carrying member of the SFA. Brothers and sisters alike, bro.

    Your last post answers a question previously asked. Your problem is not with granite or any burning desire to save the world from it's dangers. You are pissed with the SFA and you figure this is a way to get back at them. That is real petty Al. I urge you to take a look through this thread and see if you have anymore support for your radon rant here than you did over stoneadvice.com before you were banned for name calling and abusive behavior! I see the same results here and at some point tese guy's will get tired of your crap too.

    I guess now that buildclean is on the rocks for the same alarmist activity (since they were the ones responsible for the leak to the NYT) you have lost another partner in you campaign against the SFA. Maybe Cambria will come on board with us too! Wouldn't that be great, AL?!

    By the way, did you know there are all kinds of sites on the internet that will sell you hot minerals and granite samples? Of course you did, look at who I am asking!


  48. #113
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Hudson, WI
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Caliendo View Post
    However, radon gas has a half life of 3.8 days. How would a granite top keep getting the radon replenished?
    The Decay Chain of Radon:

    Radon originates from Uranium-238 which naturally occurs in most types of granite and soil in varying degrees. The following table for uranium-238 shows the various changes. As it undergoes radioactive decay, a chain of products is formed as a result of one by-product itself decaying to another element, which in turn decays further until finally reaching an element that is stable. In this case that stable element is Lead. The element we're interested in is Radon-222 (there is another form, Radon-218, but the half-life of this isotope is only a few hundredths of a second, so it is less of a problem). This is produced roughly halfway down this decay chain from Radium-226. Radon is a particular problem because it is a gas, and as such can leave the surrounding rock and enter buildings along with atmospheric air.
    Radon-222

    Half-life : 3.825 days - Emissions: Alpha 5.48MeV - Beta None - Gamma None



  49. #114
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
    Al Gerhart Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Kent Potter View Post
    Al

    I really do not want to waste allot of time on this site arguing about the SFA. The SFA (or MIA) has never denied Granite as non radioactive nor that it doesn't emit radon. This however does not fit with your conspiracy theory. Do you have the results of that study that shows the link between granite and cancer? No you do not. Here again, twisting the facts to meet an agenda. We call that "Alarmist Mentality".

    No machine comany has been strong armed by our organization, otherwise they would'nt be sponsors! There has never been any price fixing as everyone knows, this would be in direct violation of US Anti-Trust laws!

    I'll have to give Hernando at C&C NA a call on Monday to congratulate him on his narrow escape. Thank god for good intel, wouldn't you agree? Btw, he never had a trip planned to Brasil and none of Cosentino suppliers had ever cut then off!

    Why wouldn't Silestone ally with us? Their material is 93% quartz (thats a natural material, Al), many of our members sell and fabricate their materials (me included), they are a major importer of granite and they too wish to improve the industry. We're hoping they also come on board with the MIA, would'nt that be great! Damn, that blows another conspiracy theory for you, sorry.

    As to losing members? Membership is up! But then again, you don't know the difference between a registered user of stoneadvice.com and a card carrying member of the SFA. Brothers and sisters alike, bro.

    Your last post answers a question previously asked. Your problem is not with granite or any burning desire to save the world from it's dangers. You are pissed with the SFA and you figure this is a way to get back at them. That is real petty Al. I urge you to take a look through this thread and see if you have anymore support for your radon rant here than you did over stoneadvice.com before you were banned for name calling and abusive behavior! I see the same results here and at some point tese guy's will get tired of your crap too.

    I guess now that buildclean is on the rocks for the same alarmist activity (since they were the ones responsible for the leak to the NYT) you have lost another partner in you campaign against the SFA. Maybe Cambria will come on board with us too! Wouldn't that be great, AL?!

    By the way, did you know there are all kinds of sites on the internet that will sell you hot minerals and granite samples? Of course you did, look at who I am asking!

    No price fixing or strong arming huh? All this is from the SFA site. I believe it will dispel any claims that there is not a serious issue, so you can drop the alarmist business. It also shows that some of your members do not want you to admit that some granites are "hot as hell"

    You just wrote this:

    "There has never been any price fixing as everyone knows, this would be in direct violation of US Anti-Trust laws!"
    And this is one of many, many, comments proving that the Dark Room is used for price fixing.

    "Another cool development is a forum we call the "Dark Room" It is only visible to SFA members. We can talk amongst each other in private. We can talk about pay, pricing, machine makers or whatever. This a room that is only seen by other fabricators. This is powerful stuff!"

    Now, you just wrote: No machine company has been strong armed by our organization, otherwise they wouldn't be sponsors! Here is one comment of one thread of many that disprove what you just wrote.

    "One of our fellow fabricators was having issues getting good support from a machine co.company. Our members emailed and called the company. (20 or 30 of us) and were able to exert some pressure to get our members machine up and running. Talk about a brotherhood."

    "The statements are political documents. Don\'t read into them. It is the end result that matters. Build Clean is going to go away (we are pretty sure)."

    Looks like to me you were applying undue influence on a nonprofit. Look up the laws on that will ya?

    "Ron and Mark,Is the Build Clean site going black and when. Is that at the sole discretion of Cosentino or does everyone have to agree to it?"

    "We will prepare for phase 2 of this operation. Target Cambria. They do not understand or believe that we will wreak havoc. "

    Blackmail, extortion!

    "Now that we have the Cosentino part of the question put to bed it is time to focus on the other half. We can direct our energy on the next objective. Divide and conquer!"

    "So did you get COSENTINO to cut a SPONSOR check yet"

    Ah, it is a money shakedown as well?

    " Dan Dauchess wrote:We need to come up with a reasonable and scientifically defensible testing protocol that does not make us look like a bunch of idiots like Al the Crapenturd."

    Oh, Kent, care to explain why it is okay to name call and then expect me to help? We both know this is one of many insults and threats against me.

    "Trust me on this one detail...if your customer found a spot has hot as the one I came across, you could wind up in a courtroom having your ass handed to you on a platter. I have a huge investment in my shop.....i want to protect my self.This radiation shite is no joke.....we have implicit liability."

    Geez, and this is from SFA leaders? Sounds like "Alarmist activities"? Or the friggin truth.

    "Some people believe the earth is flat...that does not make it so.I watched the meter go right off the charts, we reviewed alot of data....how would you like some radon home inspector to find that crap? And then your customer sues you into the stone age....you wind up paying not only for the tear out, replacement.....you get a judgment against you for millions of dollars for the exposure of her life dose of radiation. You lose your shop....your house....and then have the joy of filing banktruptcy. THIS IS REAL! IT WILL HAPPEN! We can claim ignorance for our past.....we can not do so going forward.I don\'t think you telling the judge \"I still think granite is safe\" is going to fly. "

    Uh oh, more "Alarmist activity" from the SFA leaders....

    "We went into the board room swinging a bat and did so to the very end. It was a 5 hour nut crushing meeting, these men are very very smart and very tough negociators. I am almost 100% certain they did meet with the MIA, and I am almost 100% certain they signed such docs....which is why we never heard about the failure. I do not \"know\" this to be TRUE....but I feel it in my bones. (you can almost never prove these types of things)"

    Yup, the MIA did meet with them, several times. The MIA were exposed to the same data you saw. And it was no "failure", it was the MIA refusal to admit the facts like the SFA did. That very after noon they launched the Defense of Granite Fund to pay the lawyers and settlements that will be needed. Yet they contiue to claim that all stone is safe??? Hmmm, swinging a bat?

    "Dude....we dont\' lose our nukes.....we just took our finger off the trigger. We can torch it off if they don\'t play team ball. That is the power we wield. They perceive it is real and act accordingly.Ron and I discussed this....we decided to post this here first (dark room) before we post in the public. We do not want to appear fractured and un-united in the public. It will turn our nukes in to fire crackers.

    I guess your Bang went Fizzzz. Your extortion attempt seems to have failed.

    "Mark and Ron - Please do not post in a public forum that certain granites may not be safe and needs to be tested. This would be disasterous. We cannot claim ignorance for the past. One lawsuit from an ambulance chaser would cost thousands to defend. The EPA states that their is not any significant risk. Keep that line until more data is revealed."

    Uh oh, this guy doesn't want you to admit the truth, says it would be "disaterous". Hide the facts till we are forced to admit it!!!!!

    "Think about this...The issue is in the press....the radon & radiation inspection crowd is out there testing this stuff.....the American Bar Association is gearing up for law suits and issuing briefs on how to do this.As this moves forward (think about the mold thing a few years back) It is going to keep coming up in the news...To say all granites are fine is simply not the truth. The press will eat our lunch if we continue to deny this. Can you imagine the headlines when some reporter flys to Africa films a uranium mine and then walks a few hundred yards over to a stone quarry?"

    And the SSA has been telling you this for months now, that some of the quarries were a few hundred yards from Uranium mines. Hello!!!!!!!!

    "I know for a fact I do not want granite that is loaded with uranium in MY house. I do not want to install it in others houses....and I sure as hell do not want to NOT know.Not all of that stuff coming out of that quarry is super hot....some of it IS."

    "we know that some of these African granites are possibly a disaster. We need to have a way to check for this to protect ourselves. Saying that all stone is safe will fuel the fire more.....we (like the MIA) will lose credibility in our customers eyes. The challenge will be how do we do this....without turning it into a debacle. We must say this....or we are liars. Deliberate omission of fact is the exact thing as a lie. It is what Build Clean and the MIA are doing. "

    The point the SFA leadership is missing is that they have already been proven to be liars and have spent a lot of effort to suppress any discussion on the subject for a couple of years running, even blackmailing and extorting companies that supported the testing and warning consumers of this problem. The ONLY thing that will save them is for the leaders to step down and the new leaders to accept that improper activities did occur and that steps are being taken to prevent more strong arming, extortion, and suppresion of the facts.

    "Boyd,I think we are going to have a \"party\" with cambria. Too bad they are an American company.Get out the pitch forks. "


    "Sam,We hold the cards.....our ability to deploy the threat still exists.I believe they will play team ball".


    Now, I don't need to find a "link between granite and cancer". You guys admit that some granite needs "boxed up and buried" and that some is "Hot as hell". A news flash, Sherlock, Silestone sent me five samples last week that they said were "the hottest they ever found". I guess they were like a falling soldier throwing a weapon to his buddies so it didn't get used against them. Anyway, I have Silestones data sheet off the samples right here, 274,304, 500, 604, and 1242 cpm (counts per minute). I responded back that these weren't that hot compared to what we were finding, up to 7,000 cpm, but they insisted they were high Radon emitters, so off the the researchers they went. The point is that it is a proven fact there there are high levels of radiation found in granite. It is also a fact that radiation causes cancer. The law of the land is ALARA, with industry spending vast sums to keep the exposures low because of the health risks. End of story.

    And Hernando wasn't the Silestone Exectutive, I was quite specific it was Roberto. Get your story straight.
    93% quartz by weight, between 28 and 35% by volume, again get it right. And do I need to show some of the comments you guys make on regular basis? Like Stink and gravel?

    Losing members? You know that that thread I took the comnets off of also was about SFA members dropping the MIA membership over this. Add the SFA members that can not afford to have the truth come out, read Mark's comments above, how many of them will stick around.

    As to the SFA, I am not at all "pissed" at them. I fully expect them to realize that without me and my allies, they will have zero crediblity in addressing this issue, and our cooperation requires them to come clean in public. I have always thought that the SFA was doing some work to clean up the stone industry, like Mausizio (sp?) the guy that recently passed away, he too was trying hard to clean up some of the B.S. going on. Don't confuse being "pissed" with driving you guys into a position where you have no choice but to come clean, which is exactly what I have done. All that is left is for you to admit it and start cooperating, but then again, you are already doing some of what I wanted.

    Now, you know that I wasn't banned for "name calling and abusive behaviour". I was banned for asking the MIA guy to start cooperating. You guys banned Joe Corelett for saying exactly what Mark and Ron are saying not, Joe's crime was pointing out the obvious and all know it. David's crime was the same, pointing out that you guys had your head in a dark place.

    And please explain why they changed one of my last posts, adding comments in some childish attempt to get a laugh? That is something a "brotherhood" would do, falsifying someone's public comments then banning them so it couldn't be corrected? Talk about crooked!!

    Now, go back and scrub your site if you wish, it is all copied already and in a safe place. The fact that the stuff disappears will prove the intent. Destroying evidence is not a good thing for a trade association to be part of, nor will those who wrote the threads be exempt from penalties from the destruction of evidence.

    Kent, I appreciate the email you sent yesterday, but it was 180 degrees from what you are posting here. Forget the public stance and politics, act the same in private as in public, being two faced will not win much trust. If needed, I will post your email here to prove the fact. If you have to act this way, it tells me I will be wasting my time as you don't have the respect of your fellow members if you have to behave this way to be accepted. Follow Mark and Ron's example, stick your neck out or leave it to those with courage.

    And Build clean is not on the rocks, nor did they leak anything to the NY Times. News flash Kent, Kate Murphy told me she interviewed the MIA first, Dr. Llope second, then me. I gave Kate Liebert, Chiodo,Kitto, the Houston Geologists, and the rest of the background for the story. The story was supposed to be about a fight between Build Clean and the MIA, instead the reporter shocked her editors with a real story about the dangers of some granites.

    As to Cambria, if they switch sides, I will buy you dinner at the next Surfaces show in Orlando.

    And Kent, after you knowing what your own SFA leaders have said about the existence of hot granite slabs, attempting to claim that our samples were somehow tainted is pretty ridiculous.

    Kent, thanks for reaching out, but you have showed an astonishing lack of integrity in your last post. I suggest you find another to represent the outreach to our side, unless you do some quick apologizing and set the record straight. One thing our founding fathers knew was that character counts, few can lead without it.

    Last edited by Al Gerhart; 08-24-2008 at 12:25 PM.

  50. #115
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
    Al Gerhart Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    MIcheal,
    that was a good thing posting the decay chart, it clears up the question of why granite continues to release Radon forever from our viewpoint.

    However, notice that the decay chain listed no Gamma radiation, only Beta and Alpha. Dig a little deeper, as I had to, and you will find more detailed charts that list the Gamma. You will find that it is a random thing, but some of those elements are known high Gamma emitters.

    "* in addition, all decays emit gamma radiation "

    Look right below the U 235 and U 238 decay charts. Four scroll pages down here

    Uranium Radiation Properties

    As you can see, it is not easy to dig through the nuances of this field. The devil is in the details.

    Don't ask me why the chart you used didn't list the Gamma, I have wondered myself.


  51. #116

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Hello Mr. Potter:

    You ask about the most appropriate type of testing. The concept of “testing” especially laboratory testing or “sampling” is a bit misunderstood in the mind of the general population, not least of all because of what I call “The CSI Effect” (1) wherein there is a misplaced belief by the general public that “laboratory tests” represent truth, and can just generally answer questions.

    However, that is not the case, and often, sampling and testing actually misleads the recipient of a lab report and directs decision making in the wrong direction.(2) Laboratory results are worthless, except within the context of a set of interpretive rules called “Data Quality Objectives (DQOs);” without DQOs, one doesn’t have data on a laboratory report, one has numbers and units that may be entirely uniterpretable, and are usually useless and untenable, and you could end up looking as looney as Mr. Gerhart.

    So when you begin to seek the best testing method, you first have to ensure that you have actually defined your question in a manner that can be answered by “testing,” and then develop a set of DQOs that will answer that question.

    In this case, you probably have one of three objectives:

    1) Determine the variance (limits) associated with specific activity for numerous batches of granite.

    2) Develop an academic database of surface measured activities of randomly selected batches of granite.

    3) Determine the contribution of exposure from granite for either your workers or a specific home.

    In any case, your data quality objectives will need to address “PARCC” parameters:

    Precision:
    How reproducible are measurements?

    Accuracy:
    How close is the value to the true value?

    Relevancy:
    Do the data speak to the a priori question being asked?

    Comparability (Points of reference for decision making process):
    This is not needed for an academic database, but is imperative for everything else. Can decisions be based by comparing the results against regulatory or nationally accepted guidelines or at least arbitrary guidelines that are established specific to the case, all before we sampled?

    Completeness:
    Have the DQOs been met?

    These are the foundation of producing tenable data, instead of mumbo-jumbo numbers and useless labreports, and these are the defining character between good defensible data and junk-science. As I have explained elsewhere, (3) it is also the foundation that will permit your data to stand-up in court, if necessary, or withstand scientific rigor.

    In your case, you mentioned “exposure,” and that may be putting the cart before the ass, because until you have something against which to compare your “test,” you may only be measuring total exposure, and not be able to make a statement as to what was the contribution of the exposure from the granite. If you want me to address this kind of “testing” in detail, I will do that for you.

    Measuring specific activity for batches of granite would not provide any information about exposure. In this type of testing, you would select, from a batch of granitic materials a representative portion that would be submitted to the laboratory. The lab would then prep the materials by ultimately pulverizing the stone. In one of the labs I used to work (Hazen Research), we could easily handle several tons of rock and stone, that would slowly be prepared for analysis – the sample I would eventually receive for analysis would typically be about 300 grams, and it would be representative of say, a five ton sample.

    The prep stage goes through a series of stages wherein the sample prep lab ensures that the total mass of material is reduced to a manageable size, whilst ensuring that a representative sample is maintained. Pulverizing the material in imperative since this is how you will reduce sampling error. Then from the final material, samples will be analyzed for a variety of parameters, and most appropriately for your needs would probably include total alpha, beta and gamma. This allows one to confidently speak to the issue of specific activity. By looking at the gamma spec, then we can also speak to the issue of what is decaying.

    Developing an academic database is both the easiest, (and least expensive) and also the method which provides the least useful and least tenable information. In developing an academic database, you decide that you don’t really care about exposure, and you don’t really care about confidence in the results (accuracy or precision), and you select any particular type of radiation (alpha, gamma or beta), and you then employ any kind of real-time field instrumentation for that type of radiation. You try to maintain the same reading protocol for each piece of material (raw material or even finished product), and then after thousands of readings, a picture will begin to emerge that will allow you to make certain statements about both composition and intensities (but not a lot else.)

    All investigations begin by properly defining the “question.” The question needs to be very specific, and it then is put into the form of an hypothesis; and it is the hypothesis that really gets tested. So begin here by telling me as specific as possible what question are you are really trying to answer, and then on this board, I will walk you through the development of the hypothesis, the establishment of DQOs, and selecting the best “test method.”

    Cheers!
    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Industrial Hygiene

    References:
    Connell CP, Forensics by Any Other Name, The Monitor, American Society of Safety Engineers, Vol 6, No.2, December 2006

    Connell CP, Sample results… What do they really tell us? Presented to the IAQ in Schools and Commercial Buildings seminar, Corpus Christi, Texas, March 2003

    Connell CP Sample Results: IAQ Sampling Myths, 13th Annual AIHA/ASSE OEH&S Conference, “Exchanging Knowledge – New Times, New Ideas” Denver, CO October 2007

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG


  52. #117
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
    Al Gerhart Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Cao,
    not that I believe you will stop your personal attacks, being that is all you have, but the lab report we used was from a reputable lab, one recommended by a guy that does certification testing of these labs, indeed he pointed us to a website where labs are rated for their accuracy in testing.

    I believe I will have a look and see what your former lab is rated. Might just check into your current employer as well.

    Even after knowing the lab was both reputable and competent, we had an Uranium Geologist and a Radiological Chemist look the report over and advise us, as well as conversations with the ARS lab director.

    In short, once again you make claims that you can't or won't support.

    However, your advice to Kent sounds proper from the conversations with our experts, so please do continue to advise Kent. I'll pass along the info to our guys and see if they concur. I can assure you that our guys know a lot more about these issues than you ever will, but it will be interesting to see what you come up with.

    I do see a theme in your replys, that no one is right except you, even competent labs. How does this work for you when on the witness stand? I believe I will take a look at that and see what I can find. Arrogance rarely wins over juries.


  53. #118
    Kent Potter's Avatar
    Kent Potter Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Mr. Connell,

    Thank you very much for the info. This give me a good place to start.


  54. #119
    Randy Evans's Avatar
    Randy Evans Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    edit.

    Last edited by Randy Evans; 09-07-2008 at 06:45 PM.

  55. #120
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
    Al Gerhart Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Evans View Post
    Mr. Connell,

    This thread is being followed closely by a number of folks who are interested in the granite/radon issue. Your skepticism about that has been interpreted to mean that you are skeptical generally of the idea that radon AND/OR radiation might ever be harmful.

    I read you to say the following:

    1. Radon PROBABLY IS harmful at high enough levels and long enough exposures (enslaved miners, etc.), but levels typically measured in American homes (with or without granite countertops) are not scientifically established to cause health problems. The fact that an industry has grown up around the 4 pCi/L level that the EPA advertises is unrelated to any scientific consensus about the appropriateness of that level.

    2. Radiation can be harmful, but it is important to understand the terms, units of measurement, and other important ideas surrounding it before you make statements about it. An untrained person waving a meter around and reading things they don't understand is quite likely to make unfounded conclusions and say something stupid.

    That's what I'm understanding you to say, in my layman's terms. Am I close?

    Randy
    You might want to add that most of the governments disagree with Cao including our own. Listening to a crack pot "expert" who seems to be a toxic defense lawyers go to guy might cause some harm to consumers.

    Also, an untrained person listening to a crackpot "expert" might make some unfounded conclusions and say something stupid as well.

    Lord knows you wouldn't want to read the BEIR VII executive summary and see where they reject Cao's crackpot Hormesis claims. After all, despite the majority of science being against him, you have found someone that fits your agenda.

    I don't think Cao ever answered the questions about how many cigarettes should be smoked each day to gain these same health benefits.

    Good one Bruce. Excellent logic.


  56. #121
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Gerhart View Post
    Cao,

    I do see a theme in your replys,
    Al,

    I, and I am sure others do also, "see a theme in your replys" (should have been 'replies', but, that is a quote from you).

    That theme is not unlike that of Chicken Little, to wit: "Oh my goodness!" said Chicken Little. "The sky is falling! I must go and tell the king."

    All because "One day Chicken Little was walking in the woods when — KERPLUNK — an acorn fell on her head."

    What happened to you, Al, to start you on this journey?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  57. #122
    Al Gerhart's Avatar
    Al Gerhart Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Al,

    I, and I am sure others do also, "see a theme in your replys" (should have been 'replies', but, that is a quote from you).

    That theme is not unlike that of Chicken Little, to wit: "Oh my goodness!" said Chicken Little. "The sky is falling! I must go and tell the king."

    All because "One day Chicken Little was walking in the woods when — KERPLUNK — an acorn fell on her head."

    What happened to you, Al, to start you on this journey?
    So, Jerry. What do you have besides one discredited "expert" and sarcasm? Have you read BEIR VII? The Executive summary is only around 20 pages, and they have some pictures. I'll look for a comic book version for ya. Or a childrens book which seems to be your limit.

    Was Chicken Little smoking a cigarette to ward off lung cancer when that acorn hit her?


  58. #123
    Kent Potter's Avatar
    Kent Potter Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Al, To what extent are you an expert in this feild? Do you have any formal training in these matters which can be substantiated by diploma, certificate, or license?

    The vast majority of guy's here have some credentials to support their responses but yet you quickly discount any other veiws which do not meet your agenda. Why is this?

    Is it because in the last 9 months or so, your level of self education has far surpassed any accredited formal education that others may have?

    Just curious.


  59. #124
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Gerhart View Post
    Or a childrens book which seems to be your limit.
    I think you read that children's book and decided that, hey, if the king saved Chicken Little and her friends from the fox, maybe the king can save you too.

    Al, the first thing, the absolute very first thing, you need to do is prove there is a "fire". You need to do that before yelling "fire".

    If you hope to hold your head up and expect any respect at all, you need to document and prove, beyond doubt (meaning ' do not try to do it "fast" ', but ' do it "right" ') that there is a "fire".

    When you do, you will have me as a convert.

    Until then, though, if you run past us yelling "fire", we will throw cold water on you trying to help 'put it out' - after all, without knowing where the fire is, we can only presume it is you who is on fire.

    I think that pretty much describes:

    a) what you have been doing (running around here yelling "fire")

    b) what we have been doing (throwing cold water on you trying to help you put it out)

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  60. #125

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Good morning, Mr. Evans:

    If anyone were to conclude that I have ever stated that radon or radiation is never harmful simply has not paid attention to what I have said. It is unlikely that I would have survived as a Radiation Safety Officer on an NPL site, or have ever be tapped to teach radiation toxicology for the DOE if I held that opinion.

    For almost 20 years my writings have been available, and my position on an whole slew of topics has been readily available, including radon. And those writings have literally been expressed around the world, for example I was the guy who performed the Radon Endangerment Study for the newly unified German Government in Grafenwöhr, Germany.

    For almost 18 years, without interruption my radon discussion (Radon: Truth vs. myth) has been on the internet, wherein the following statement has been present since I first posted it:

    Elevated levels of radon (and thus the SLRDs) are unquestionably a significant health hazard, but how high is "elevated"?

    Now, let’s compare that statement with my two statements appearing in the above post, starting with the first:

    1) There is not one study, yet performed on the planet earth, by ANY organization (including the US EPA) that has measured radon concentrations in homes and has demonstrated that those exposures increase the risk of cancer by even the slightest degree.

    Is there a contradiction? Not yet. Next statement:

    2) The U.S. EPA in its various documents has published its acknowledgement that studies performed thus far show that as the concentration of radon in an home (from non-detect to moderate levels) goes up, the risk of cancer goes DOWN.

    Contradiction? No. My position is precisely as stated; nothing more, nothing less.

    In toxicology, have a paradigm called “The wisdom of Paracelsus” which essentially states that all substances are poisons, there is none that are not poisons – but the dose makes the poison. That is, there is no substance so innocuous that a large enough dose will not kill a person. From this, then, we necessarily get the corollary: There is no material so poisonous that a small enough dose will have no effect. Therefore, for all substances, as a toxicologist, I am interested in a “dose-response relationship.”

    The “dose-response relationship” is one of the foundational tenets of how an Industrial Hygienist determines threat, makes decisions concerning the magnitude of that threat, makes decisions on how to appropriately mitigate the threat, and ultimately communicate the rationale behind the decision. That is what I do for a living (amongst other things).

    At the very heart and foundation of the unsupported argument that radon, as commonly found in homes, increases the risk of cancer is the argument that the model used to predict that risk is accurate. Essentially, the EPA and the BEIR Committees have used what is known as a “linear, no-threshold, dose response curve.” The EPA, and the BEIR Committees, have both admitted what epidemiologists have argued for decades that the model is GROSSLY inappropriate and ENTIRELY incapable of confidently predicting risk based upon the starting data (underground miners). The EPA makes the following statement about its own model:

    Currently there is very little information about...the health effects associated with exposures to radon at levels believed to be commonly encountered by the public. The only human data available for predicting the risks to the public are studies examining the health effects of exposure to radon and its progeny in underground miners. This information would be appropriate for predicting the risks to the public if everyone was a miner, everyone lived in mines, and a large fraction of the general population smoked cigarettes. (1)

    Unlike the goofballs who like to erroneously believe that I disagree with the EPA, I have always made it clear, that I absolutely agree with the EPA, and I too, for years have stated that the model used by the EPA (which completely ignored the effects of smoking on lung cancer) “…would be appropriate for predicting the risks to the public if everyone was a miner, everyone lived in mines, and a large fraction of the general population smoked cigarettes.” However since everyone is not a miner, everyone does not live in mines, and a large fraction of the general population do not smoke cigarettes, the startng data set and the LNTDR model used by the EPA to support its conclusion is GROSSLY GROSSLY GROSSLY inappropriate. It always was, and it always will be because it fails to take into account reality. And that reality is that actual epidemiological studies performed to date, and even reported as recent as March of this year, and noted here on this board(2), have shown that as the concentration of radon in an home (from non-detect to moderate levels) goes up, the risk of cancer goes DOWN. (Now where have I heard that before?)

    Radon is a gas, and so let’s put things into perspective and look at another common gas – oxygen. Is oxygen toxic? Damn straight it is!!! Elevated concentrations of oxygen are extremely toxic to humans. So, using the EPA LNTDR model, we should reduce exposures to oxygen to almost zero, right? Ooooppps… wait a minute, I forgot, we need oxygen to survive. DANG, that darned LNTDR model thing again. Again we see that the gas, oxygen, exhibits a range of physiological responses depending on the dose received. At too high a dose – toxic responses; at too low a dose, toxic responses. (By the way, as a toxicologist, I will make the a priori statement that any upset in homeostasis will be considered a “toxic response.”) And so, too, it is with radon (and an whole host of other materials to which humans may be exposed).

    In a nut-shell, one cannot discuss risk using exposure, whilst at the same time ignoring dose. And yet, that is EXACTLY what the pseudoscience … no JUNK science, used by the policy wonks have done. In order to promote the idea that normal residential radon is harmful, the EPA was required to ignore its own findings, and those of countless other researchers across the globe. The EPA will similarly have to ignore the recent findings of Thompson, and Nelson et al, since it doesn’t fit in with their “public policy” mandates – all science and objective fact notwithstanding.

    By the way, just to return to basics, we need to remember that radon, per se is not the issue, rather what is at issue is the SLRDs (and not just the SLRDs but more importantly, only the unattached faction of SLRDs) – an human could quite safely breath an atmosphere of 80% pure radon, in the absence of SLRDs, provided that the balance was oxygen, with a smattering of CO2 to help balance blood pH.

    Although the EPA likes to use a LNTDR curve which slopes down from right to left, never passing through zero (a point called a NOEL) , in fact, what we see with radon is a complex dose-response relationship that resembles a backward capital “N” wherein not only is there a NOEL, but in fact, there are two points on the curve each representing a NOEL, as the risk curve passes through “zero” twice.

    The dose makes the poison. As of today, Monday, August 25, 2008, there is not one study on Planet Earth, that has measured radon concentrations as normally found in homes, and has been able to demonstrate that those exposures (those doses received) have increased the risk of cancer by even the slightest degree.

    The dose makes the poison.

    Mr. Evens, you concluded with:
    An untrained person waving a meter around and reading things they don't understand is quite likely to make unfounded conclusions and say something stupid.

    I could not agree with you more, Mr. Evens. One just needs to look at Mr. Gerhart’s posts for evidence of that. But then, that’s just my opinion as I sit here in my famously blue bathrobe, at an altitude of 9,000 feet where the air is thin, the cosmic radiation is enormous (both of which possibly adversely affect my brain), and the snow has already fallen, and it’s still August.

    Cheers!
    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Industrial Hygiene

    References:

    (1) (U.S. Department of Energy "Radon- Radon Research Program, FY 1989, DOE/ER-448P., March 1990)

    (2) Thompson RE; Nelson DF; Popkin JH; Popkin Z, Case-Control Study Of Lung Cancer Risk From Residential Radon Exposure In Worcester County, Massachusetts, Health Physics, March 2008, Volume 94, Issue 3

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG


  61. #126
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Sorry Mr Connell

    Your quote

    "and the snow has already fallen, and it’s still August."

    That is not snow it is fallout from the vast amount of counter tops that have been installed lately. Nuclear winter I think they call it.


  62. #127

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Sorry Mr Connell

    Your quote

    "and the snow has already fallen, and it’s still August."

    That is not snow it is fallout from the vast amount of counter tops that have been installed lately. Nuclear winter I think they call it.
    OH MY GAWD!!! Mr. Gerhart is right!!

    THE SKY REALLY IS FALLING!!!!!!


    Caoimhín


  63. #128
    Curtis Marburger's Avatar
    Curtis Marburger Guest

    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    The Sky is Falling ?
    What do I do ?
    will it help if I put tin foil on my head?
    How about a paper Bag ?
    Should I lay down or stand Up ?
    How about if I hide under my bed ?


  64. #129
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Curtis Marburger View Post
    The Sky is Falling ?
    What do I do ?
    will it help if I put tin foil on my head?
    How about a paper Bag ?
    Should I lay down or stand Up ?
    How about if I hide under my bed ?
    Actually, a paper bag isn't a bad idea. Helps with the hyperventilation.


  65. #130
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    Default Re: Stone Countertops & Radon

    Quote Originally Posted by Caoimhín P. Connell View Post
    2) The U.S. EPA in its various documents has published its acknowledgement that studies performed thus far show that as the concentration of radon in an home (from non-detect to moderate levels) goes up, the risk of cancer goes DOWN.

    . . .

    And that reality is that actual epidemiological studies performed to date, and even reported as recent as March of this year, and noted here on this board(2), have shown that as the concentration of radon in an home (from non-detect to moderate levels) goes up, the risk of cancer goes DOWN.

    . . .

    Although the EPA likes to use a LNTDR curve which slopes down from right to left, never passing through zero (a point called a NOEL) , in fact, what we see with radon is a complex dose-response relationship that resembles a backward capital “N” wherein not only is there a NOEL, but in fact, there are two points on the curve each representing a NOEL, as the risk curve passes through “zero” twice.
    Said another way, as the concentration of radon in an [sic] home goes down (from moderate levels to non-detect), the risk of cancer goes UP.

    Can I conclude from this that when a house is mitigated so radon is reduced from "moderate levels" to low levels that we are actually INCREASING the occupants' risk of lung cancer due to radon?

    This is an amazing revelation. Someone needs to notify the New York Times.

    What would you say is the "ideal level" of radon that every home should have to minimize the occupants' risk of lung cancer due to radon? Would it be around 4.0 pCi/L? Or 6 pCi/L? How about 12 pCi/L? Could it be 20 pCi/L?

    This may revolutionize the way we mitigate houses. Instead of intercepting radon before it enters the house and exhausting it to the exterior so that we reduce radon in the home to low levels perhaps the mitigation system should be modified so it can provide the "ideal level" of radon in the home. This new mitigation system will operate much like current active depressurization systems but it will have radon monitors located throughout the house that constantly monitor radon levels in those areas. If the radon concentration drops too low in a zone a valve will open releasing radon into that area until the "ideal radon level" has been reached. (This will be accomplished via a series of piping connected to the mitigation system that pipes the radon collected by the mitigation system to the different zones throughout the house.) For existing homes with radon mitigation systems the mitigation system might be modified to simply shut down until the radon concentration in the home rises to a "safe level".

    How many people in the US are needlessly being exposed to dangerously low levels of radon? This could be a health concern of major proportions. Someone needs to do a study to determine that "ideal radon level" so these poor souls living with dangerously low levels of radon can lower their risk of cancer due to radon by bumping up the radon levels in their homes.

    On a side note, I am a non-smoker. I may be increasing my risk of lung cancer by not exposing my lungs to enough cigarette smoke. Does anyone know how many cigarettes I should smoke every day to reduce my risk of lung cancer?

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

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