David Grammer dg at radata.com
Fri Aug 29 08:30:30 CDT 2008

 Comments on my procedure from the Radon Professional Group.
David Grammer

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

-----Original Message-----
From: Geo>K0FF [mailto:GEOelectronics at netscape.com] 
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 5:35 PM

David, that sounds very reasonable and thanks for this report. Ludlum is a
great company to deal with, and if they will calibrate a meter such as the
Model 19 to radium, it seems to me that this alone would take the
uncertainly of readings away, as far as measuring radium is concerned. .

Your results of 8 to 25 microR are in line with what I had read with an
energy compensated microRem meter.
However as a caveat, unless a full scale spectrum analysis is done, the
isotope ratio remains unknown, so the reading may or may not be totally
correct. In other words, if ONLY K-40 is present, and the meter is
calibrated to radium, the readings are meaningless. Likewise if only thorium
is present.

Like I've posted before, these gamma levels are of scientific curiosity
only, and a proper radon survey will reveal the true situation one way or
the other.

George Dowell

New London Nucleonics Lab

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Grammer" <dg at RADATA.COM>
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 3:35 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 to 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
> 1-800-447-2366
> -----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.
> http://iaq.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/iaq.cfg/php/enduser/std_alp.php
> 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
> 202.343.9431
> Radon/SIRG Team Leader
> www.epa.gov/radon
> Executive Secretary, Federal Interagency Committee on Indoor Air Quality
> (CIAQ)
> www.epa.gov/iaq/ciaq/index.html
> 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
> ---------------------------       RADONPROFESSIONALS -
> http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/radonprofessionals.html
> ---------------------------
> ---------------------------       RADONPROFESSIONALS - 
> http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/radonprofessionals.html

More information about the RadSafe mailing list