Morning Show Fuels Countertop Cancer Fears
Harry Smith, co-host of CBS‚Äôs ‚ÄúThe Early Show,‚ÄĚ warned viewers on July 25 that radioactivity what might be ‚Äúlurking inside‚ÄĚ their granite countertops despite the risk being close to ‚Äúone in a million.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúI mean some people have gone so far as to tear their kitchen counters out because of the concern,‚ÄĚ Smith said to Stanley Liebert, the quality assurance director at CMT Laboratories. ‚ÄúThere‚Äôs granite all over the place in modern kitchens, sometimes have a little breakfast nook. You sit there; you may sit there hours and hours and hours in a day.‚ÄĚ
Accordign to Liebert, radon gas is a ‚Äúcarcinogen gas that we inhale [that] causes lung cancer,‚ÄĚ and it is emitted from certain types of granite and could be harmful.
Smith showed some skepticism, though, saying, ‚ÄúI‚Äôm having a difficult time getting my head around the idea that the countertops in your home might literally be dangerous.‚ÄĚ
Despite that, no representatives for the granite counter industry were included in the CBS report.
The Times said allegations of radon and radiation in granite counter tops have been raised periodically over the past decade, ‚Äúmostly by makers and distributors of competing countertop materials.‚ÄĚ
The Marble Institute of America told the Times the recent claims were ‚Äúludicrous‚ÄĚ because although granite is known to ‚Äúcontain uranium and other radioactive materials like thorium and potassium, the amounts in countertops are not enough to pose a health threat.‚ÄĚ
David J. Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at
But Brenner also said, ‚ÄúIf you can choose another counter that doesn‚Äôt elevate your risk, however slightly, why wouldn‚Äôt you?‚ÄĚ
The Times also talked to Liebert, the source CBS used for its story. He was quoted in the article saying, ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs not that all granite is dangerous, but I‚Äôve seen a few that might heat up your Cheerios a little.‚ÄĚ