Is our granite inspection table harmful?

  • Thread starter Jbcourt
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In summary, a pink granite inspection table at a workplace was found to be radioactive when tested with a Geiger counter, while a gray granite table showed almost no emissions. The source of the emissions is suspected to be potassium feldspar in the pink granite. If it is potassium, the isotope could be K-40, which has a very long half life and is not dangerous. However, some rocks may also contain Uranium, which can produce radon gas as a by-product. Home radon testing kits can provide more information about the safety of these countertops.
  • #1
Jbcourt
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A pink granite inspection table here where I work comes up radioavtive when read with
a gieger counter. The Geiger counter says beta emissions are coming from this table. When I scan the gray granite table the geiger counter reads almost nothing.

Note: I don't know the level of radiation. The geiger was not mine.

I think the potassium feldspar in the Pink granite table must be source of the emissions?


Questions:
1. If it is the potassium, what isotope could it be?
2. If its not potassium then what could it be?
3. Can it hurt us

[PLAIN]http://americancomputerservicing.com/images/potassium_feldspar_in_granite.jpg

[PLAIN]http://americancomputerservicing.com/images/gray_granite.jpg
 
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  • #2
K-40, which occurs naturally, is radioactive, but has an extremely long half life - 1.277E+9 years. It is not dangerous.
Some rocks (I am not that familiar with which) also contain Uranium. Although U-238 is an alpha decay isotope, some of its daughters are beta decays.
 
  • #3
Apparently the problem isn't so much the radiation given off directly by the uranium in some granite countertops -- it's the radon that is a by-product of the uranium decay.

You can get home radon testing kits for a fairly small price ($30 or so).They might tell you to gut your kitchen ASAP, but they might also tell you there is nothing to worry about.
 

Related to Is our granite inspection table harmful?

1. Is granite itself harmful?

No, granite is a natural stone that is typically safe and non-toxic. However, in rare cases, it may contain trace amounts of radioactive materials which can emit low levels of radiation. This is not harmful to humans unless exposed to extremely high levels over a prolonged period of time.

2. Can granite emit harmful chemicals or gases?

In most cases, no. Granite is a non-porous material, meaning it does not emit any gases or chemicals. However, there have been some reports of granite countertops emitting radon gas, which is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. This can be mitigated by proper ventilation and sealing of the stone.

3. Is it safe to use granite as a surface for food preparation?

Yes, it is generally safe to use granite as a food preparation surface. As mentioned before, granite is non-porous and does not emit harmful gases or chemicals. However, it is important to properly clean and maintain the granite surface to prevent any contamination from bacteria or other microorganisms.

4. Are there any health concerns associated with using granite as a surface for laboratory equipment?

No, as long as the granite is properly sealed and maintained, there should be no health concerns associated with using it as a surface for laboratory equipment. However, it is recommended to regularly clean and disinfect the surface to prevent any potential contamination from chemicals or microorganisms.

5. Can granite cause any allergic reactions or skin irritation?

In general, granite does not cause any allergic reactions or skin irritation. However, some people may have a sensitivity to certain minerals found in granite, such as silica. It is important to wear proper protective gear when working with granite to prevent any potential skin irritation or respiratory issues.

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