Videos

Lung Cancer Awareness: Prevention is the ONLY cure
A Message from a Coloradan and Victim of Radon-Related Lung Cancer-Johanna’s Story
A Message from a Victim of Radon-Related Lung Cancer-Rebecca’s Story
A Message from a Victim of Radon-Related Lung Cancer-Eddie’s Story
A Message from a Victim of Radon-Related Lung Cancer-Elizabeth’s Story
The Dr Oz Show-The #1 Cancer Risk at Home-Part One
The Dr Oz Show-The #1 Cancer Risk at Home-Part Two
Have you Heard of Radon?
Radon the Invisible Killer
TODAY SHOW Investigative Reports about “Radon In Schools”
Radon Gas Caused Utah Woman’s Lung Cancer
ACE Radon on Haystack Colorado CBS4

Articles

Living in the Red Zone: Good for Football, Not Good in Terms of Radon
Young Women, Never-Smokers, and Lung Cancer
Radon gas suspected in Prince George, B.C., family tragedy
The Dangers of Radon
Do Granite Countertops Emit Radon? (And Other Radon FAQs)
Families Struggle with Radon in Military Housing
Radon and Lung Cancer
Radon Tests Surge Since Law Passed
Medicare Issues Final Decision to Cover Lung Cancer Screening
Colorado Officials Try To Raise Radon Risk Awareness
Radon’s Link to Lung Cancer
Coloradans Encouraged to Test Their Homes for Radon
Radon’s link to Asthma
Reduce Your Risk of Lung Cancer
Radon-Worse than Ebola!
10 Scary Things to Avoid in Your Home
Should MY Home be Tested for Radon?
January is National Radon Action Month
The Radon Threat Is Still With Us
Radon in Utah homes can lead to lung cancer diagnosis
1 in 3 Utah homes has cancer-causing radon at potentially harmful levels
House OKs bill to regulate radon testers
CT Scans Can Reduce Lung Cancer Deaths, Study Finds
Nation Cooking on Radioactive Countertops
What’s Lurking in Your Countertop?
Radon in the Home Can Cause Lung Cancer
Fast Facts on Lung Cancer

Radon/Radiation in Granite Countertops

There are basically two concerns regarding radon and radiation in Granite Countertops. One is the airborne radon contributed by the “emanation” of radon from the granite slabs. The second issue is the radiation released by the radon in the granite that contributes to the day to day millirems that each person on earth is exposed to from both man-made and natural sources.

Airborne Radon

Airborne radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and the second leading cause of lung cancer in smokers. The main source for radon is from the natural deterioration of uranium in the soil. In Colorado, approximately 60% of homes will test over the 4 pCi/l action level set by the Environmental Protection Agency, and most homes have not been tested. Based on ACE’s 21 years of experience in the industry it is rare that emanation from granite countertops contributes enough airborne radon to pose a serious health risk. Even when the concentration of radon in the granite is high the equivalent airborne radon levels are usually not detected in a typical airborne radon test. Therefore, if the residence has not been tested for radon sourced from the soil, ACE recommends this be the best first step in mitigating any health risk due to radon.

Radiation

The health risk of radiation or air borne radon from granite countertops is best assessed by the amount of time spent near the countertops, the “emanation level” of the radon in the countertops, and an airborne radon level in the space where the granite countertops reside. If the residence has been tested for radon levels from the soil and the results were less than 4 pCi/l or if the residence has a working radon mitigation system, ACE recommends the next step to assessing the health risk from the granite countertop is a three-fold testing process. It is important to note the all the testing should be done simultaneously over the same 48 hour period.

Test Kit #1: Perform an Emanation test on the granite countertop surface. This test can be performed by a NEHA certified radon-testing firm, (a list of measurement providers can be found @ www.radongas.org), or a do-it-yourself kit can be deployed.

If a do-it-yourself kit is desired then ACE would recommend a flat envelope test kit by a company called Air Chek. These kits can be purchased on the website for $14.95 @ www.radon.com and due to the size and shape work well for emanation diagnostics. Follow the directions that come with the kit, except do not hang it. The test kit should be placed flat on the surface of the granite top, covered in a minimum 6-mil plastic and taped “air tight” to the surface and left for a minimum of 48 hours. After 48 hours the test kit can be mailed to the lab and the test results provided within 3 to 5 business days.

Test Kit #2: Perform an airborne test in the kitchen, hanging the test kit according to the instructions around “shoulder height”. It would be wise not to cook or run the dishwasher during the testing period since kitchen grease and moisture can skew the radon test results. After the same 48 hours the test kit can be mailed to the lab and the test results provided within 3 to 5 business days.

Test Kit # 3: Perform another airborne test in the home on the same level as the granite countertop of area of concern, and in the area away from the granite countertop such as a bedroom or living area is ideal (not a bathroom). After the same 48 hours the test kit can be mailed to the lab and the test results provided within 3 to 5 business days.

Interpreting Results: Test Kit # 1 will provide an indication of the radon concentration in the granite in pCi/l before the radon gas is diluted in the space. This will give an indication of the concentration of radon at the surface of the countertops. A high radon concentration (pCi/l) is indicative of a high radiation level (millirems) that may contribute to your decision to change the countertop material. To measure the actual radiation level emitted by the countertops a Geiger counter would be the recommended method of measurement.

Test Kit # 2 will provide the airborne level in the proximity of the granite countertop. Test Kit # 3 will provide the airborne level in the residence that is not in the proximity of the granite countertop. If the difference in the radon level between Test Kit # 2 and Test Kit # 3 is similar, the airborne risk of the radon from the granite countertops is not likely a health issue. If the difference in the radon level is 2 pCi/l or more another countertop material should be considered. According to the NACI, an exposure of 2 pCi/l is the equivalent risk of getting lung cancer as someone who smokes.

Summary

In summary, there are many sources of radiation both natural and man-made on earth. Thousands of studies have been done indicating humans can greatly reduce the risk of this by reducing the exposure as much as possible.

The greatest health risk from radon is the source from the soil and should be tested and mitigated as necessary.

The other sources for radon and radiation like granite countertops can also be evaluated to lower the exposure even more.

*The purpose of this document is for providing some recommendations to consumers regarding some of the potential health risks of radon. ACE Radon should not be used as the sole source for guidance and encourages the general consumer to seek information from other sources.