Most people cringe when they hear that there are radioactive elements found in their granite countertops. The truth is that the amount of radiation that is in granite is not emitted at dangerous levels. Here’s what you need to know.
How is Granite Created?
When magma, a molten rock that is stored below the Earth’s crust, comes together and solidifies, it creates granite rock. Granite is mildly porous and made up of quartz, feldspar and other materials that give the rock its unique grainy color. Granite is igneous rock and is most popularly used to create countertops. It is also used for tiles, building veneer, monuments, paving stones and other interior and exterior applications.
Radon and Radiation
Radioactive elements, such as radium, thorium and uranium are naturally occurring in soils, igneous rocks and some well water. They emit radiation and slowly begin to decay. This decay creates radon, an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. This natural chemical surfaces from ground soil to the air and can enter your home through gaps in the pipes, cracks in the foundation and cavities inside the walls.
Radon and Granite Countertops
Some granite countertops may contain small amounts of radon. After all, radon can be found in almost all natural products, including clay pottery, paving stones, concrete floors, granite, coal, minerals and sandstone. It can also be found in natural gas items, such as furnaces, heaters, fireplaces, water heaters and stoves. If there is any radon in granite placed in areas that are well ventilated, like bathrooms and kitchens, it will be weak and not very effective.
What Can You Do?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “The radon gas may be released from the granite over time. However, since granite is generally not very porous, less radon is likely to escape from it than from a more porous stone such as sandstone. It’s important to know that radon originating in the soil beneath homes is a more common problem and a far larger public health risk than radon from granite building materials.”
What you should take away from this statement is that there is very little risk of danger to you or your family from radon in granite countertops. As the EPA said, the danger from radon mainly comes from dirt and soil that is found underneath houses, not from granite. If you are still uncertain, you can have your home and air levels tested for radon.
When it comes to granite countertops or any other tile or stone, Mees Distributors should be your go-to partner on commercial or residential projects. We provide ceramic tile and natural stone elements that create a dynamic style to create custom countertops and tiles for your home or business. Our well-trained staff uses a variety of material including granite, quartzite, limestone, ceramic, glass, stone and more. If you have any questions about our services or about the presence of radon in granite, we would be happy to answer them. Contact us today.
Mees Distributors, Inc., has been in business 79 years to serve all your ceramic tile, marble and granite needs. No job is too big or too small!