You may have heard the rumours that granite contains radium, which releases the radioactive gas called radon. This radon in granite myth has created a lot of hype and needless concern that granite could be a cause of lung cancer. However, this idea is entirely unwarranted and should not deter people from purchasing granite for their home. If you’re not sure what to believe, in this article we will separate the myth from fact and set the record straight.
When it comes to radiation, there are many sources that already exist in your typical home. Everyday things include your TV, smoke detectors, fertilizers, antique ceramics and even some of the foods you enjoy eating emit radiation. However, the most common source is the soil beneath your home. Through the process of diffusion, radon moves through the concrete floors and walls, through cracks in the foundation, and even through the sump pump. All of which have more substantial radiation levels than granite countertops. In comparison, granite has been found to only give off low trace amounts that pose zero threat to homeowners.
The reason that granite is a concern is that it’s mined from the earth in which radium (the source of radon) is common. However, scientists have taken the necessary steps to determine where the regions with high levels of radium are precisely located to avoid digging in these areas. Additionally, scientific studies have also shown that granite does not pose a risk to homeowners. The Marble Institute of America, for instance, studied the levels of radon in granite and found that it does not contain measurable radon amounts in order to pose a health risk. The EPA also conducted a study concluding that the radon levels attributed to granite are not typically high and are not known to be a significant contributor of radiation and radon levels present in the average home.
So there you have it, the radon in granite myth is false. The only concern you should have with granite is whether or not the countertops are adequately sealed due to their porous surface. Without a proper sealant, they can absorb liquids and even bacteria, causing staining.
If you’re interested in a granite countertop, contact us at Granstone for exceptional service and expertise.