Granite Countertops and Radon

Readers,
Some Realtors have reported that they are getting questions from their clients about the safety of granite countertops. This is due to some information that has recently circulated regarding its potential for radioactivity. The American Association for Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) has released a statement on radon and granite counter tops.  This statement is directly in line with previous posts at www.HeyMark.info on that subject.

Read more at: http://www.aarst.org/images/AARST_Granite_Position_Statement_8-04-2008.pdf

Mark Nahrgang is the owner of Kingdom Inspection Network Group – St. Louis and is a professional NACHI certified building inspector in the St. Louis metro area. Mark performs home inspections as well as commercial inspections throughout St. Louis and St. Charles County.

Q. Should I Be Worried About My Granite Countertops?

Q. Hey Mark,

I’ve been hearing that Granite counter tops might be dangerous. I’m concerned because we just spent a lot money putting some in our new home. I don’t understand it all and just need to know if I should have the granite removed.

Thanks,

Tammy

A. Hey Tammy,

I’ve been reading and hearing a lot about granite too, both positive and negative. It is possible that those in the composite counter top industry have been capitalizing on some research showing that some granite does emit radiation. On the other hand, those in the granite industry are saying that granite is perfectly safe. If you Google this, you are going to find articles that support both sides.

I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle.  That is, while granite does have the potential to emit radiation, I suspect that in most cases a counter top is not going to contain enough radon producing materials to affect your exposure levels significantly. Yes, I have heard that if you hold a Geiger counter next to a granite counter top it may go off, but I’ve also been told that if you hold one next to a banana it will go off due to the potassium. Knowing what to believe is hard to discern.

The first thing I would suggest is  having a radon test ran in your home. This is something that every homeowner should have done anyway, and it will help you determine whether you have anything to worry about. Continue reading