Are Granite Countertops Safe?

You may have read about granite countertop safety in the media. In this blog post we’ll break down the safety claims and most accurate reports we’ve found.

What is radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of stone and rock. Radon is also found in many other materials in your home.

Is radon a possibility with granite?
Like all types of stone, granite may contain decaying radioactive components like thorium, radium, and uranium. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that some stone can contain a greater amount of these components than others. These radioactive components are solids, but, after some time, they may decay into radon.

What are the levels of radon in granite countertops, is it harmful?
Claims that granite countertops may emit dangerous levels of radon and radiation have been raised periodically by competing countertop material manufacturers and distributors. The Marble Institute of America has said such claims are “ludicrous” because although granite is known to contain uranium and other radioactive materials like thorium and potassium, the amounts in countertops are not enough to pose a health threat. As happens in most cases, if your granite countertop surface emits a small amount of radon, it will generally be insignificant when diluted with the quantity of air in your entire home.

So if the risk from granite is ‘not enough to pose a health threat.’ How common is radon in U.S. homes?
In fact, radon is emitted by many of the products in your home at relatively low levels. This includes all concrete products, clay bricks, most non-plastic plates and dishes, coal and the flyash produced in coal-fired power plants, natural gas (contains radon), phosphate fertilizers used in your garden (ALL contain potassium and small amounts of uranium and thorium), and the vegetables grown using those fertilizers. All glass made using silica (even eye glasses, wine glasses, mirrors, windows, etc.), and granite too.

When should I take action on the radon in my home?
If you suspect radon gas in your home it’s important to understand when to take action. Radon gas levels in the home exceeding 4 picocuries per liter of air (a measure of radioactive emission) the E.P.A. recommends taking action. This level of radon poses about the same risk for cancer as smoking half a pack of cigarettes per day. If your radon levels are between 2 -4 picocuries per liter of air the EPA recommends reducing your radon levels.

Need some help deciding on granite? Talk to a Marble Granite World Designer.

About Marble Granite World
Marble Granite World is a family owned and operated business serving the Triad area since 1999. With over 40 years experience in the industry -- internationally and in the United States; we custom fabricate every granite, marble and quartz countertop at our factory in Kernersville.

Top quality products and complete customer satisfaction set us apart.

Sources:
CDC Radon Studies
Oregon State Chemistry - Latest News?

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Barbara K

Moving and renovating is not an easy task. Decisions too many to name. One investment, granite counter tops is a huge decision. Our experience with Marble Granite World was terrific. From our first introduction through installation this process was unhurried, thoughtful, and our kitchen could not be more beautiful. Many...

John & Sherry

We checked around with several Granite companies before going to Marble &Granite World. I could not have been more pleased than we were. Anise kept his appointment time with us, as another Granite company did not. He was right on time...and did an awesome job. My kitchen is beautiful..he even...

Cheryl

We had been wanting granite countertops for quite awhile. Had checked around for prices, drove past Marble Granite World one day when I was with my husband and asked him if he wanted to stop in there. Anise was there, we liked him alot from the beginning. He gave us...

Shari

We just had Marble Granite World replace our laminate counter tops with beautiful, exotic granite. It feels like we have a work of art from "Mother Nature" gracing our home. It has definitely improved the value of our home and made such a difference in the feel and function of...

The Christy‘s

We had our kitchen counter tops done with granite by Marble Granite World. Their estimate was very fair and with turn key installation,including sink, was unbeatable. The work done was excellent. Anise was very easy to work with and everything to do with the job was handled professionally. We are...