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  1. #1
    Curtis Marburger's Avatar
    Curtis Marburger Guest

    Default Radon and the Granite Countertop Fabricator

    Hello Gentlemen I am a Granite Countertop Fabricator in PA I need some help if you would Please as you know Granite Countertops and radon is a hot topic right now. What I would like to know is how you would handle this situation when a Client would ask you about Radon and Granite Counter tops ?
    Also how would you properly test Granite Slabs stored outside ?

    Thank you for your time and input
    Curtis

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  2. #2
    William Levy's Avatar
    William Levy Guest

    Default Re: Radon and the Granite Countertop Fabricator

    Associated Radon Services offers laboratory analysis and DIY information..

    wlevy@radonserv.om

    William Levy
    Radon Measurement Specialist


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Radon and the Granite Countertop Fabricator

    Well, I guess that since we have now heard from AARST and they have issued a postion statement on testing of granite countertops, then we might need to go with their recommendations. They are about as close as we have to an "offical" protocol for testing them.

    This has been going on for several years, and it has reared its ugly head once more.

    I guess that I will start to offer this testing service under the AARST recommendations and protocols. My fee will be a good deal higher than a normal test as I will have two CRM's in the home. Now if it is not for a real estate sale. I would recommend using alpha track devices for the most accurate reading of radon levels in the home.

    Every home will be different. Some homes have granite in every bathroom and even the bedrooms other than just in the kitchen. This would be a problem in that you could not really pinpoint the source unless you placed a device in every room and then that would only be a SWAG.

    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 08-11-2008 at 06:36 AM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
    William Levy's Avatar
    William Levy Guest

    Default Re: Radon and the Granite Countertop Fabricator: AARST Position Paper


    National Environmental Health Association
    National Radon Proficiency Program
    August 6, 2008Dear H. William,

    The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists has released the following advisory statement regarding radon and granite countertops:
    Position Statement
    Granite Countertops and Radon Gas


    From the Technical and Science Committee
    of the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST)

    Radon Risk
    The primary concern about indoor radon gas is the increased risk of lung cancer that exists from breathing radon and its byproducts. The magnitude of the risk depends on the radon concentration in the air you breathe and how long you are breathing it. Radon gas is a serious national concern. The risk of radon-related lung cancer increases the longer you are exposed although any exposure to radon poses some risk.

    Testing for radon in the air you breathe should be a high priority and the first step for anyone concerned about radon gas. The US Surgeon General, US EPA, AARST and the American Lung Association recommend that all homes be tested for radon gas.

    At this time, the EPA does not believe sufficient data exists to conclude that the types of granite commonly used in countertops are significantly increasing indoor radon levels.

    Radon Sources Including Granite
    Soil, sand, and rock underneath the home are the primary sources of indoor radon gas. The soil under a house always contains traces of uranium that eventually decays into radium that then decays directly into radon. This soil constitutes an enormous surface area for release of radon gas into the air and into buildings. Materials inside a building such as concrete, granite, slate, marble, sand, shale and other stones can also contain traces of radium that release radon with varying intensities. While natural rocks such as granite may emit some radon gas, the subsequent levels of radon in the building that are attributable to such sources are not typically high. The contribution from building materials to the indoor radon concentration is very dependent upon the building ventilation rate.

    Appropriate Radon Testing Methods
    Direct measurements in a building of the gamma radiation or radon emanation from a material, such as granite, is not a reliable indicator of radon concentrations that will be in the air you breathe. Attempts to use such measurements for estimating risk are subject to large errors due to the:
    a) wide variability of radon emanation rates across the surface of granite.
    b) significant variability in ventilation rates from home to home and room to room.
    c) volume of space that the building material is contained in.

    This position statement does not address the risk, if any, of gamma radiation from indoor building materials.


    Practical Diagnostic Test
    Diagnostic measurements of the radon in the air you breathe can provide better risk estimates.

    Perform a radon measurement according to testing protocols (specified by EPA or AARST as noted below) in the lowest level (or lived-in level) of your home.

    At the same time, perform another test in the room where the granite countertop or other suspect building material exists. You may also want to test in a highly occupied room, like your bedroom. (Use different rooms if these locations are on the same floor.)

    Place the test devices at least 20 inches off the floor according to testing protocols and at least 20 inches away from the countertop or suspect material. Carefully follow all manufacturers' test kit instructions.

    You may also contact a State licensed or nationally certified radon measurement professional to conduct the measurements for you.

    If any of the test results are at or above the EPA recommended action levels retest these areas to confirm the initial results.

    Interpreting Radon Test Results
    For guidance on test results and protocols for measurements of radon in the air, see documents such as EPA's Citizens Guide to Radon or other EPA publications at http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs. Other information and publications for measuring radon in the air for home and multi-family dwellings can also be found at http://www.aarst.org.

    If confirmed measurements are at, or above, the EPA recommended action levels, contact a State licensed or nationally certified mitigation professional to fix the home to reduce the radon levels.

    Reducing Radon Concentrations
    The best approach to reduce radon in the home is to install an active soil depressurization system (ASD) and reduce the entry of radon coming from the soil. In some cases, increasing the entry of outdoor air to the home is an appropriate method to reduce radon levels by dilution and improve indoor air quality. Both of these methods require a qualified radon mitigation professional to design and install the appropriate radon reduction system. Only in extreme cases would removal of the granite be necessary to reduce the radon concentration, assuming appropriate measurements confirm it as the significant source.

    In Conclusion
    Testing the air you breathe is the best method to determine your risk from radon, whether the source of the radon is from the soil or from a material inside the building.

    We support peer-reviewed research to identify and quantify the contributions of various building materials to indoor radon concentrations.

    This statement was provided by the Science and Technical Committee of the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST).

    This statement was prepared by AARST professionals with no external funding or other support. The sole purpose of this statement is educational and to reduce lung cancer deaths from elevated concentrations of indoor radon.


    For More Information Contact:
    Peter Hendrick, Executive Director
    AARST
    14 Pratt RD
    Alstead, NH 03602
    603-756-9259
    director@aarst



  5. #5
    William Levy's Avatar
    William Levy Guest

    Default Re: Results of Recent Granite Radon Emanation Testing

    FYI From Bill Levy Associated Radon Services


    We have just posted the preliminary results for a number of spplied granite samples that are claimed to have high radon protential. The link to the report PDF is at the bottom. The calculated indoor radon potential for a worst case worst case example would contribute only 0.40 pCi/l to a 2000 sq ft home with a extremely low ventilation rate, we are not qualified to offer a opinion on absorbed dose radiation risk

    Radon Emanation and Gamma Radiation from Granite Counter
    Laboratory now in full operation
    Associated Radon Services, a Florida Department of Health Certified Radon Measurement Laboratory and National Radon Proficiency Program Certified Primary Radon Analytical Laboratory, has expanded their field and laboratory services to include radon risk evaluations of granite building materials using technology the methods developed over the last 18 years of Radon/Radium 226 soil and building material investigation and analysis.
    Granite Sample Radon Emanation & Gamma Radiation Measurement In Lab
    A number of the reported highest elevated gross radiation granite counter top samples have been submitted from various areas outside of Florida for radon emanation lab analysis and surface radiation testing. This detailed analysis is in progress and preliminary results are expected early in September.
    Gamma Radiation Scan & Multi-location Radon Testing Recommended

    On site field measurement of gross gamma radiation with various Ludlum single channel gamma survey/analyzers equipped with calibrated Sodium Iodide (NaI) gamma scintillator detectors has been included with multi-location residential radon testing and offered to Florida homeowners. All of Associated Radon Services' Florida certified radon measurement field technicians now have gamma radiation survey equipment.
    Pre-paid RADON EMANATION & GROSS GAMMA RADIATION testing fee schedule
    1) Gross Gamma radiation scan test result units will be µR/hr above background , 1-3 day turnaround, recommend any size but full thickness of counter , $35.00 per sample
    2) Radon emanation from surface test result unit will be pCi/sq.ft./second 2-8 day turnaround, sample size must accommodate minimum 9" diameter circle, $ 75.00 per sample (also available in the field)
    3) Radon emanation from surface test result unit will be pCi/sq.ft./second 2-8 day turnaround SMALL sample size must accommodate maximum 3.5" diameter circle,no longer than 6" $ 75.00 per sample (10 or more samples $ 65.00 per sample)
    Lab minimum run is 4 SMALL samples may be combined
    4) Radon emanation from surface test result unit will be pCi/sq.ft./second 2-8 day turnaround LARGE, sample size up to 13" x 18" $ 150.00 per sample (singe sample run ok)
    Payment must accompany samples, report can be E-Mail, Fax or Ist class mail
    Must ship UPS, FEDX ground, or DHL no motor freight ; at this time we have 52 emanation chamber capacity ; contact KMLevy@radonserv.com or wlevy@radonserv.com Samples are held for 21 days and automatically disposed of unless other instructions are provided
    ASSOCIATED RADON SERVICES
    5136 SE ORANGE ST
    Stuart, FL 34997
    772-219-4334
    For more information and updates on our findings contact: Info@radonserv.com
    Kieron Levy, Cerified radon Measurement Specialist kmlevy@radonserv.com
    Preliminary test data supplied sample analysis

    http://www.radonserv.com/pdf/Granite...lysis_Data.pdf


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Results of Recent Granite Radon Emanation Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by William Levy View Post
    FYI From Bill Levy Associated Radon Services


    We have just posted the preliminary results for a number of spplied granite samples that are claimed to have high radon protential. The link to the report PDF is at the bottom. The calculated indoor radon potential for a worst case worst case example would contribute only 0.40 pCi/l to a 2000 sq ft home with a extremely low ventilation rate, we are not qualified to offer a opinion on absorbed dose radiation risk

    Bill,

    Coming to the FABI meeting this weekend?

    From your results "The calculated indoor radon potential for a worst case worst case example would contribute only 0.40 pCi/l to a 2000 sq ft home with a extremely low ventilation rate", it looks like granite countertops are not much of a contributing factor, thus not a problem in that sense.

    Am I reading that as you intended it?

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

  7. #7

    Default Re: Radon and the Granite Countertop Fabricator

    Kinda quiet around here.

    Anyone wanna stir the pot with an “horror du jour.”

    I’m sure that someone with a journalism background should be able to cook up a new threat to scare the willies out of the American public. In keeping with past successes (radon, overhead power-lines, toxic mould, saccharine, Alar, etc), here are the rules:

    It has to be foundationless.
    It has to sound exotic.
    It has to use scientific numerical units.
    It has to involve something to which we are all exposed anyway.
    It has to be profitable to measure or mitigate.
    It has to mention children or cute animals.

    A free bottle of 24 year old Jameson to the first home inspector who can make a headline somewhere. Call me, and, like the folks at NACHI, I will certify them as a "Certified XXXX Inspector."

    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


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