Morning Show Fuels Countertop Cancer Fears
Harry Smith, co-host of CBSâs âThe Early Show,â warned viewers on July 25 that radioactivity what might be âlurking insideâ their granite countertops despite the risk being close to âone in a million.â
âI mean some people have gone so far as to tear their kitchen counters out because of the concern,â Smith said to Stanley Liebert, the quality assurance director at CMT Laboratories. âThereâs 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.â
Accordign to Liebert, radon gas is a âcarcinogen gas that we inhale [that] causes lung cancer,â and it is emitted from certain types of granite and could be harmful.
Smith showed some skepticism, though, saying, âIâm having a difficult time getting my head around the idea that the countertops in your home might literally be dangerous.â
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, âmostly by makers and distributors of competing countertop materials.â
The Marble Institute of America told the Times the recent claims were âludicrousâ because although granite is known to âcontain uranium and other radioactive materials like thorium and potassium, the amounts in countertops are not enough to pose a health threat.â
David J. Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at
But Brenner also said, âIf you can choose another counter that doesnât elevate your risk, however slightly, why wouldnât you?â
The Times also talked to Liebert, the source CBS used for its story. He was quoted in the article saying, âItâs not that all granite is dangerous, but Iâve seen a few that might heat up your Cheerios a little.â