Over the past several years there have been numerous media reports about possible health concerns regarding granite countertops emitting radiation and radon gas into people’s homes and businesses.
Granite’s durability and decorative appearance have made it a popular building material in many homes and buildings. Almost any type of rock could contain naturally occurring radioactive elements such as radium, uranium and thorium. Some pieces of granite contain more of these elements than others. If present, these radioactive elements will decay into radon, a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas which may be released from granite over time.
In addition to radon, the other natural radioactive materials in granite can also emit radiation. However, it is extremely unlikely that granite countertops in homes could increase the radiation dose above the natural background dose that comes from soil and rocks.
“Currently, there are no regulations that require radiation testing for imported or domestic granite products,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical. “For people concerned about radon and radiation from granite materials or due to other naturally occurring sources from the grounds surrounding a property, there are test kits and ways to determine if there is a reason for health concerns. With winter still upon us, most buildings are sealed up to keep the property heated and the closed environment can increase radon levels making it a perfect time to test.”
EMSL provides radon information from a dedicated website at www.RadonTestingLab.com. The company has also sponsored a public outreach video about granite countertops and concerns over radon and radiation that can be viewed at:
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.