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
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
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
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
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.
Jack Seiders, President, Architectural Granite & Marble, Inc., Austin,
Roy Kunihiro, General Manager-Stone Division, Arizona Tile, Anaheim,
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,
Saket Hans, VP Marketing, OHM International, Monroe Twp.,
Jim Janochoski, President, Stone Holding Company, Waite Park, MN
LETTER TO THE EDITOR -- RADON STUDY FINDS ZERO HEALTH RISK . . .
January 7, 2009