The New York Times has a story about the-horrors-lurking-in-your-home, in this case, granite countertops.

As is pro-forma, around the middle of the article, they bring in the expert to pontificate and, in this case, it was especially, infuriatingly, stupid.

David J. Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University in New York, said the cancer risk from granite countertops, even those emitting radiation above background levels, is “on the order of one in a million.” Being struck by lightning is more likely. Nonetheless, Dr. Brenner said, “It makes sense. If you can choose another counter that doesn’t elevate your risk, however slightly, why wouldn’t you?”

The chances are tiny but why take the risk? Well, precisely because the chances are tiny.

“Walking in an open field increases your chances of being struck by lightning. If you can walk anywhere else, why would anyone walk through fields?”

Because we don’t care about the risk of being struck by lightning, it’s such an insignificant factor in our lives and so are these “deadly” radioactive countertops…