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LETTER TO THE EDITOR -- RADON STUDY FINDS ZERO HEALTH RISK . . .

January 7, 2009
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To the Editor, Stone World Magazine:

It’s official. The most comprehensive scientific study of health threats from granite countertops did not find a single stone slab that poses a health risk. Quantities of radon and radiation emitted by stones included in the analysis all fell well below average background levels commonly found in the U.S.

Independent scientists conducted more than 400 tests of 115 different varieties of granite countertops, including stones cited in media reports as being potentially problematic. The stones tested included types of granite that comprise approximately 80% of the annual U.S. market share for granite countertops, based on the most recent market data available.

This study was made possible because the industry came together to finance it. It was underwritten by over 200 companies from around the world that have donated to the Truth About Granite Fund. Thanks to the generosity of these companies, our industry can now cite undisputable science to defend against unfair attacks based on questionable studies.

Everyone who sells granite should review the study’s executive summary, which is available for download at the Marble Institute of America Web site, www.marble-institute.com. And everyone in the industry should proudly share copies of this summary with any customer who raises questions about granite’s safety.

But do not assume that hard science alone will stop the smears. Attackers will continue efforts to undermine consumer confidence in granite because they stand to gain financially from any panic that drives people to question this beautiful, natural, safe stone. We’ve seen the attacks for more than 10 years; the only difference is the latest assault is better organized.

People who challenge the safety of granite rely on vagueness. They do not specify varieties or species. They do not provide detailed scientific data. Instead, they question the safety of “some kinds of granite” or “some colors” or “some source countries in Africa or South America.”

The scientific study just completed delivers specifics. It is designed to end the innuendo. But the attacks on our businesses will stop only when the attackers are exposed for what they are. Given the state of mainstream media today, which is attracted by sensational stories that focus on dangers that lurk where we never expected them, our communication challenges will last for some time to come.

That’s why the undersigned stone distributors who provided the stone for these tests believe it’s critical that the industry continue to support the Truth About Granite Fund. The science is critical to protecting our industry. But now we must continue our aggressive efforts to make sure the baseless accusations are permanently put to rest.


Sincerely,
Jack Seiders, President, Architectural Granite & Marble, Inc., Austin, TX
Roy Kunihiro, General Manager-Stone Division, Arizona Tile, Anaheim, CA
Robert Blastow, Vice President, G & L Marble, Atlanta, GA
Manu Shah, CEO, M S International, Inc., Orange, CA
Gian Luca Fiori, President, Marble and Granite, Inc., Westwood, MA
Saket Hans, VP Marketing, OHM International, Monroe Twp., NJ
Jim Janochoski, President, Stone Holding Company, Waite Park, MN

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