More Info: Granite is an increasingly popular choice for countertops due to its classy yet natural look as well as its durability. Concern has been raised over the levels of radon gas emitted by granite and its potential harm to homeowners with granite countertops.
What Is Radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can only be detected by special testing. Radon is radioactive and if exposed to in large quantities, may cause cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
Radon is emitted by the earth’s crust and fills the air at relatively harmless levels. Overall radon levels can be reduced in the home by installing a venting system that continually pumps fresh air into the house. Tests have shown that the level of radon emitted by granite is insignificant and does not pose a threat to health.
Some Emit More than Others
Granite countertops made out of red, pink, or purple shades of granite have shown slightly higher levels of radon. These findings have led some people to rip out their newly installed granite countertops altogether. While such a dramatic measure may not be necessary, if there is concern, simple do-it-yourself home testing kits are available for purchase at many hardware stores as well as online. If that is not enough to quell your fears, a professional tester can be hired to perform a more extensive test on your countertops.
“A Citizen’s Guide to Radon | Radon | US EPA.” US Environmental Protection Agency. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 May 2010. http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html.
Kitto, Michael , and John Green. “Emanation from Granite Countertops.” Pennsylvania Radon Mitigation Company. 2005 Radon Symposium, San Diego, CA, n.d. Web. 21 May 2010. www.wpb-radon.com/Radon_research_papers/2005 San Diego, CA/2005_04_Emanation From Granite Countertops.pdf.