July 24, 2008

You can stop envying your neighbor's granite countertops now.

Or have you already sprung for this expensive kitchen upgrade that may be the equivalent, cancer-wise, of smoking?

28 comments:

rhhardin said...

In like the way my radium dial watch glows near the granite countertops.

SteveR said...

The science is absolutely solid, granite is much more radioactive than other countertop materials and some types of granite contain more radioactive material than others.

Whether it constitutes a real elevated risk is a whole other issue, not that actual risk can compete with imagined or assumed risk for the public's attention (or bureaucratic action for that matter).

gophermomeh said...

Good, now I can relax about my 1958 formica...

El Presidente said...

Give me that nice clean radon and you can have the phenol and formaldehyde in your laminate countertop.

AllenS said...

A simple solution to this problem would be to wrap tin foil tightly about the top of one's head.

P. Rich said...

If the radiation level is high enough, it will kill bacteria and other uninviteds on the surface where food is prepared. In addition, at no extra chargs, it may foster strange personal effects which can lead to interesting conversation during dinner parties.

"That countertop you're leaning on? Here, let me show you something. Or could I get you some more wine first."

Roger J. said...

Just when I thought it was safe to come out of the bomb shelter, the NYT drops this one on us--is NOTHING safe anymore? Take away my cigs; take away my booze, take away my guns and my religion. Next its my cell phone and then my granite countertops. When will it end.

Dad29 said...

Yah, well.

What would the NYTimes think about the Waukesha Spring-Water spa?

dbp said...

On the plus side, if the media get people to panic about granite maybe then I can get a new countertop at a good discount.

MarkW said...

Hmmm -- I though granite countertops were already well on their way to becoming passe rather than envy-producing. See 'pergraniteel'.

John Burgess said...

P Rich: Either kill them or make them stronger! Be the first on your block to force mutation amongst the bacteria!

Mrs. Elfreida Gleemouth said...

There exists a woman for whom window treatments are not in existence.

I've always wanted to ask her: What is your objection to drapery?

Doesn't this woman understand that mini-blinds to not a picturesque window make.....

Nothing easier than the new self-adhesive curtain rods, and pre-cut fabric drapes. You don't even need tie-backs or tassels.

You literally choose your fabric, take a tape-measure and measure the width, place your rod, and thread your curtains. Of course sheers and shades complete the look, but not essential.

Every single window should be framed with clever curtain-craft. It makes such a sweeping, original, and dramatic presentation to your interior decor.

I pity those without good drapery.

Bissage said...

I don’t know why anyone with granite countertops would worry about a little radioactivity. Doesn’t every status-conscious person have a decontamination chamber?

chuck b. said...

"If the radiation level is high enough, it will kill bacteria and other uninviteds on the surface where food is prepared."

That was my very first thought.

Actually, my first reaction was "Gack!"

We remodeled the kitchen last year. It seems like much longer ago than that, but when it was going on it seemed to stretch on infinitely.

Palladian said...

Why not compliment your emissive granite counter-tops with a set of early orange-red Fiestaware?

vbspurs said...

I believe ours are marble, so we're good. The rest of youse can screw yourselves.

Cheers,
Victoria

Christy said...

Radon gas is an alpha emitter; it doesn't even penetrate a sheet of paper. So those fetuses are protected by mom's belly. Radon isn't much a problem in the home for non-smokers. Not that all those radon remediation businesses would point that fact out.

Entirely predictable. We've known for decades that homes on or near the Reading Prong (made up of granitic gneiss, granodiorite, and quartzite) had elevated levels of radon. As do homes in the Granite State, although Maine is worse.

Still, I'm officially over my granite envy. Although I must say that the huge center island granite top at my friend's house was perfect for cutting out draperies for the full on window treatments we made for her new house.

Steven said...

“There is no known safe level of radon or radiation.”

Only because people put their fingers in their ears and chant la-la-la-la. For non-smokers, moderately elevated background radiation has consistently been shown by studies to show improved health.

But we're still dogmatically locked in the assumption made in the 1950s that if a lot of something is a lot bad, then a lesser amount must be bad, too. Never mind there are lots of things which are beneficial to human health in moderation and dangerous in excess (water, salt, calories, fat-soluble vitamins . . .)

Roger J. said...

In areas where granite is naturally occuring (Spokane area) it is nothing more than a natural phenomena. Or to quote: it is what it is. That hasnt stopped a whole bunch of people from trying to cash in on its alleged threats, however).

Original Mike said...

Christy said: Radon gas is an alpha emitter; it doesn't even penetrate a sheet of paper. So those fetuses are protected by mom's belly.

Yeah, that made no sense to me, either.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Why not compliment your emissive granite counter-tops with a set of early orange-red Fiestaware?

Behold....the place setting of death!!

part of my collection

Revenant said...

Alpha particles are a potential risk if they are emitted by something you inhale. Like radon, for example.

That being said, we've been using granite in construction for about a zillion years now and people are failing to drop dead like flies from the effects of it. That tells me the risk is negligible -- especially since, as an earlier poster noted, alternatives release toxic chemicals as well. Formaldehyde can be horribly bad for you, for example, and you can get that from using *wood* in home construction!

Original Mike said...

Alpha particles are a potential risk if they are emitted by something you inhale. Like radon, for example.

But that's not a risk to the fetus.

SteveR said...

Radon gas is dangerous as it is inhaled beause it is in direct contact with the organ tissue and has a short half life (hours or days depending on which isotope)so it is more radioactive than say U-238 (4.5 billion years). I've never heard of any impact on a fetus.

An underground uranium mine is like wind tunnel to prevent radon buildup, or at least it was 30 years ago when I went down into one. In the same way radon gas trapped in your home (from decay taking place beneath your home) is more harmful the same gas released into the atmosphere in your yard.

Revenant said...

But that's not a risk to the fetus.

Well, no. But I'm done trying to get women to be sane about risks to fetuses.

That weirdly-high radon level in the lady's kitchen confuses me, though. She must have *really* lousy air circulation.

Cedarford said...

Nice picture, DBQ!

Almost - Althousian ...it its careful composition, color play and shadowing.

Ever shined a black light on your collection?

Fiestaware - what a great ceramic.

I have some translucent, pale green stuff that is "hotter" than heck.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I have some translucent, pale green stuff that is "hotter" than heck.

Vaseline glass!! Lovely stuff under a black light.

Almost - Althousian ...it its careful composition, color play and shadowing Its a Capricorn thing.

Radioactive coffee

PatCA said...

Oh, here we go: chapter 8945 in "How Your American Life That You Thought Was Good is Actually Killing You."

I never wanted granite, but now I intend to buy it. Prolly cheaper now.