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June 6, 2011

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Home » Metro » Environment

Radiation danger in decoration

FOUR of five newly decorated homes and offices in Shanghai have excessive levels of radiation, industry watchdogs claimed yesterday, World Environment Day.

More than 80 percent of buildings checked by the Shanghai Environmental Protection Industry Association showed excessive radiation - especially from granite, ceramic tiles and sanitary fittings. Radiation occurs naturally in substances such as granite.

The association has been offering free indoor radon radiation tests since April. These look for formaldehyde, benzene, volatile organic compounds, radon and other substances.

Among 117 family homes and office buildings checked in the past two months, more than 90 were found to have excessive radon radiation, association officials said.

During the test, about 20 percent of granite, 40 percent of wall and floor tiles and 70 percent of sanitary fittings - such as basins, toilets and bathtubs - were found to have radiation levels higher than Shanghai's standard.

"Granite may contain excessive radon, a major indoor radiative substance that increases the risk of lung cancer, while ceramic tiles and sanitary fittings may have too much glaze, which contains radium and thorium," said Li Wei from the association.

"The whiter and smoother sanitary fittings, the thicker the glaze the producers used. This could be more dangerous to people's health."

Experts said families should choose high-quality decorative materials and send samples for checks. They added that proper ventilation is a good way to reduce the density of radon indoors.

The free test is still available and interested householders can apply by calling 5115-7376 or visiting the association's website before August 31.


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