The New York Times has an interesting article about the possibility of granite countertops containing uranium and emitting cancer-causing radon. According to the article, "health physicists and radiation experts agree that most granite countertops emit radiation and radon at extremely low levels. They say these emissions are insignificant compared with so-called background radiation that is constantly raining down from outer space or seeping up from the Earth’s crust, not to mention emanating from man-made sources like X-rays, luminous watches and smoke detectors." At the same time, the EPA "has been receiving calls from radon inspectors as well as from concerned homeowners about granite countertops with radiation measurements several times above background levels."
With the growing popularity of granite countertops in recent years, this is sure to be a hot topic, one in which everyone agrees more research is necessary. In the meantime, here's what to do now. From the article: "To find a certified technician to determine whether radiation or radon is emanating from a granite countertop, homeowners can contact the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (aarst.org). Testing costs between $100 and $300. Information on certified technicians and do-it-yourself radon testing kits is available from the Environmental Protection Agency's Web site at epa.gov/radon, as well as from state or regional indoor air environment offices, which can be found at epa.gov/iaq/whereyoulive.html. Kits test for radon, not radiation, and cost $20 to $30. They are sold at hardware stores and online."
I heard if you go outside during the day, it is not safe because of this huge ball of radiation in the sky that apparently the earth orbits. It gives off more radiation in our solar system than anything else. Not only that it causes temperature changes on earth creating weather. And you know what that means, the sun causes hurricanes. Lets start a petition to block the sun.
ITS BEEN A MAJOR PROBLEM FOR YEARS,AS WELL AS TAINTED GROUT SEALER
07/29/2008 09:04 PM
I don't want to toot my own horn ,but I have been an expert in the feild of General Construction for 30 years and family owned and opertated for 150 years in TRI State area....I have never suggested to a client to put granite in or use grout sealers because of these reasons that are coming to a head now.......
I am a wholesale distributor of both engineered and natural stone for countertops. There is some public concern about radiation in granite since the NY Times article. I have been researching the topic and found resources for anyone is concerned here:
I think the Radiation testing is here to stay, We perform testing in the Seattle area and our test are showing that 1 in 25 have a reading to be concerned about. Now with testing available I still prefer Granite over the man made stuff..how long does the man made tops off gas? That itself may be a concern.
Radon gas in your countertops largely depend on where your granite came from. Also, whether or not your countertops emit radon gas largely depends on ow you seal your countertops. Most people only seal the top of the counter, which plugs all the pores, but is not effective because it pushes any gas down through your cabinets. The right way to seal your tops is to spend a little more money and buy a better sealant, which seals the walls of your pores instead of the pores themselves.
Sealing granite does not prevent radon emanation, to say that without proof is criminally irresposible. The MIA (stone lobby group) says that a complete seal will damage the stone, that only miniscule amounts of sealer is left in the pitts and cracks of the granite.
Countertops in Orlando knows this very well, and they are attempting to mislead consumers with their post.
Dr. Kitto tested granite by laying a very dense stone on top of a known high Radon producing stone. The radon went right through the dense stone, so sealer, even in a thick coating would not prevent the Radon gas atoms from emitting.
Also, anti radon coatings have been tested extensively by the Radon industry. Only very, very thick coatings have any effect.
Here is a link to our granite Radon test. 10 pCi/L has been the highest level so far. Like smoking 1 1/2 packs a day.
This issue came up again in Toronto, Canada. There is a news report on CTV regarding to granite radioactivity. I have see many conflicting reports online. It's very hard to get a definite answer. Our company is debating whether to offer our customers an affordable and fast testing. So each granite we offer will be safe. If you have more information on this topic please send it me. firstname.lastname@example.org