Posted on June 8, 2009. Filed under: Health and Wellness... |

This isn’t in the news, but I thought it was worth posting…
When my husband and I bought our home five years ago, we had a radon test done, pre-purchase, and thankfully, radon isn’t in our home.  The best place to check for radon is in your basement as it can be in the soil.  There’s another place where some radon can be seeping from…granite countertops.  For the record, we don’t have granite countertops.
If you’re about to update your kitchen, think before purchasing granite countertops.  Granite does emit some radon, but the levels are generally low.  That said, it’s not a bad idea to have the granite you’re thinking of installing tested for radon, especially if you’re going for a pricey, unique type since this odorless gas is second only to smoking as a cause of lung cancer.  There’s not enough data right now to create a list of which types of granite emit how much radon, but there is some evidence that some exotic types from Brazil and Namibia are among the high emitters.

Already have granite countertops?  Test your indoor air for radon.  If the results come back high, you’ll want to hire a professional to figure out how much is coming from the countertops and how much from the other usual sources, like the soil beneath your home.  Track down the main sources and suppress them because your countertops may not even be a factor.

WHAT IS RADON?  From Wikipedia…

Radon (pronounced /ˈreɪdɒn/) is a chemical element with symbol Rn and atomic number 86. Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, naturally occurring, radioactive noble gas that is formed from the decay of radium. It is one of the heaviest substances that remains a gas under normal conditions and is considered to be a health hazard. The most stable isotope, 222Rn, has a half-life of 3.8 days. While having been less studied by chemists due to its high radioactivity, there are a few known compounds of this generally unreactive element.

Radon is formed from the normal radioactive decay of uranium. Uranium has been around since the earth was formed and has a very long half-life (4.5 billion years), which is the amount of time required for one-half of uranium to break down. Uranium, radium, and thus radon, will continue to exist indefinitely at about the same levels as they do now.[1]

Radon is responsible for the majority of the mean public exposition to ionizing radiations, it is often the single largest contributor to an individual’s background radiation dose, and is certainly the most variable from location to location. Radon gas from natural sources can accumulate in buildings, especially in confined areas such as basements. Radon can be found in some spring waters and hot springs.[2]

Breathing high concentrations of radon can cause lung cancer. Thus, radon is considered as a significant contaminant that affects indoor air quality worldwide. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, radon could be the second most frequent cause of lung cancer, after cigarette smoking; and radon-induced lung cancer the 6th leading cause of cancer death overall, causing 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States.

Here’s a link for more information about radon:  A Citizen’s Guide To Radon  Isn’t it ironic that radon can cause lung cancer, yet radon was used to treat some cancers.  This boggles the mind.  Makes me stop and think before believing what I hear from our government regarding health issues.  Even they don’t know a lot of the risks involved with what they approve until it’s too late.  Even then, there are some cover-ups if the price is right or "stalls" by the FDA so the pharmaceutical companies can make some money.  That’s why I take what they say with a grain of salt, and you know too much "salt" is bad for your health…
Yours in good health,

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