Industrial Hygenist Timothy Rohm explains that granite mined from certain quarries contain radioactive uranium. He shows Dr. Travis Stork how to scan a granite countertop for radiation.
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Dr. Travis Stork: We have an expert here today, Doctor Tim Rohm. He is going to talk with us about the potential dangers of something many of us have in our own kitchen, it's a granite countertop. Doctor Rohm, thanks for being here because everyone wants granite countertops, it's the in thing. Dr. Masterson: Yeah. Dr. Travis Stork: But tell us why we should maybe be hesitant in some circumstances though? Dr. Tim Rohm: I have it in my home. However, certain pieces of granite can emit radiation. It comes from the uranium that's part of the granite itself. Some granite has more uranium than others and those pieces with more uranium emit more radiation, and you can -- if you happen to get a particularly hot piece with a lot of uranium, you could significantly increase your exposure well above back sides. Dr. Drew Ordon: So it all depends on where it's being mined? Dr. Tim Rohm: You can't tell from where it's being mined nor its color, how much uranium is in it. Dr. James Sears: How do you know? Dr. Tim Rohm: The only way to find out is to actually measure the radiation, it's gamma radiation and you need some type of - Dr. Drew Ordon: Is anybody doing that? Dr. Tim Rohm: I am doing it and - Dr. Travis Stork: You brought your device here with us. Let's measure this. The reality is by far the majority of granite countertops are safe. Dr. Tim Rohm: Absolutely. Dr. Travis Stork: So let's not stress about it too much. Dr. Tim Rohm: Right. Dr. Travis Stork: This says 0003, and it says 6%. Dr. Tim Rohm: That's the measure of the radiation and that number, that value is very low. That's typical of most of the granites that we've looked at. However, we have seen at least one where the number is not three, it's 550. Dr. James Sears: Wow. Dr. Tim Rohm: So that shows you the differences between different pieces of this. Dr. Drew Ordon: This is marble and limestone, two or? Dr. Tim Rohm: Marble and limestone generally are no more than soil, nothing to worry about. Dr. Travis Stork: If people did want to get it checked, I am assuming you can just open the yellow pages; granite countertop checker. Dr. Tim Rohm: Unfortunately, there are too many people who do it, you may try it the Industrial Hygienist. I am an Industrial Hygienist and we know at least a good all something about ionizing radiation. Dr. Travis Stork: Okay, but overall don't get too concerned about your granite countertop, just be aware that if it's exotic, you might want to get it measured.

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