David Grammer dg at radata.com
Fri Aug 29 08:29:46 CDT 2008

This is a submittal distributed thru The radon professionals group.
Functional process to over come a home owners fears in existing
This is not a process for raw materials or building materials before use.
We are developing that process now. Oddly we have had no request from the
building industry.
Go Figure!!
David Grammer

RAdata, Inc.
27 Ironia Road, Unit 2
Flanders, New Jersey  07836
973-927-7303   973-927-4980 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: International Web Resource for Radon Professionals
[mailto:RADONPROFESSIONALS at LIST.UIOWA.EDU] On Behalf Of David Grammer
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 4:35 PM

To all. 
The information supplied thru this service in the past few weeks on granite
counter tops is very helpful. Our business is located in New Jersey on the
door step to New York City.
We have completed "37 granite scans with radon test" since the news
releases. In an effort to offer an honest service we have developed a
process and have also considered many of the reported suggestions from this
list to make changes. The granite scan is conducted with a Ludlum Model #
19. These units were calibrated to Ra 226 by Ludlum Instruments on June
27th. We calibrate every 12 months and have primarily used the meters on the
surface of water treatment water softeners or carbon tanks when being
removed. State limit for these tanks is 50 microR at 3" off the surface. If
levels are higher the waste disposal is restricted. Upon arrival to the
homes we scan all granite surfaces and on a drawing identify variations in
the microR readings. In addition when we conduct these granite screens we
require at least 3 additional radon canisters. One radon test canister on
the granite counter with the most activity as established by the microR. A
radon canister is placed under a plastic cover (1 cu ft) which is sealed to
the counter. In addition we conduct a canister test on top of the cover,
about 6" from the surface. We also place a radon canister in another room on
the same floor to determine if levels between the two rooms are similar. The
most important test we place is in the lowest level suitable for occupancy
(most frequently the basement). Some of these scans were in condos that were
as high as the 3rd floor. Those units only had radon canisters within the
units living space. The results of the microR meter is never expressed in
any units other than what they read. We use the Health Physics Letter to the
New York Times as part of our deliverables to help explain these units to
the home owner. I am pleased to say that all of the microR readings were
between 8 & 25 microR. The canisters deliver the real information. The radon
canister under the plastic cover usually ranged .4 to 7 pCi/L. None of the
parallel test in the same room were over 1 pCi/L so this was easy to explain
to the home owner. When testing soil outside under an air tight cover we
frequently find 200 to 1000 pCi/L in the soil so these granite levels are
considered acceptable in comparison. Once these concentrated amounts trapped
in the collector are allowed to be influenced by the volume of air in the
room & house the levels quickly reduce to acceptable levels as demonstrated
by the can in a close room.
The most important thing I want to tell this group is we found 1 house with
elevated levels of radon from the soil that would have gone undetected. This
house has since been fixed & the home owner is grateful to the NY Times &
our company. This is what we are supposed to be looking for. The risk
reduction for this family gives me great comfort that I did not take the
money of the other 36 without benefit. We will continue to offer this
service & will follow updates and ideas how to do our jobs better.
It is my opinion that testers should not try to convert radon concentrations
from granite scans and should always conduct real radon tests in the lowest
level of each home along with any other areas they feel appropriate. The
NJDEP requires that the radon canister test under the cover be labeled as "
This is a diagnostic test only, not to be used when considering the radon
levels for the home. 
Radon test should be conducted in the lowest level suitable for occupancy".
Good Job All!
David Grammer

RAdata, Inc.
27 Ironia Road, Unit 2
Flanders, New Jersey  07836
973-927-7303   973-927-4980 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: International Web Resource for Radon Professionals
[mailto:RADONPROFESSIONALS at LIST.UIOWA.EDU] On Behalf Of Phil Jalbert
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 1:22 PM

If you haven't visited EPA's website in the wake of the granite story, you
might want to take a look at the FAQs we've posted and continually update.

As you'll see from the FAQs, we remain on message with recommending people
test their home's indoor air (not countertops/kitchens) for radon.  Our most
recent additions to the FAQ website address radiation in the workplace per
the current OSHA standard; prompted by calls from fabricators.

The senior staff level consensus here is that a protocol on screening
building materials generally for radiation is needed most.  Its the critical
first step in estimating risk based on exposure and dose (short of wearing a
personal dosimeter).  Ray Johnson's reply is briefly eloquent in pointing
out the source of much of the confusion currently reigning in the media and
elsewhere, i.e., a poor understanding of radiation health physics and in
selecting and using equipment.  In fact, we are working up an FAQ on
devices, to address public fears being prompted by visuals of the "clicking
Geiger counter."

FYI, the ANSI N13 Committee that has jurisdiction for standards pertaining
to radiation protection.
See you all in Vegas!

Philip P. Jalbert
Radon/SIRG Team Leader

Executive Secretary, Federal Interagency Committee on Indoor Air Quality
Subscribe to the CIAQ Listserve! for meeting notices/minutes/presentations
Send an email w/a blank 'subject' line to  ciaq-subscribe at lists.epa.gov

Indoor Environments Division (IED)(6609-J) U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20460-0001

[DELIVERY Address]
Room 431
1310 L Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20005-4113

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