There is a persistent rumor – some would even characterize it as an urban myth – that
granite countertops are harmful because they emit high levels of radon. It’s time to
clear up this misconception.
For years, scientists have worked to find facts behind this myth and they consistently
found that granite is completely safe. There have been hundreds of different types of
granite countertops studied and not once has any sort of significant radon risk been
found. However, this rumor continues to circulate and people still continue to believe it
Radon is a radioactive gas that, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), is created by the natural decay of uranium which is found in nearly all kinds of
soils. While it typically dissipates into the atmosphere, there are some instances where
it can enter a home through the basement, or through cracks in a home’s foundation and
become trapped. The EPA estimates nearly 1 out of 15 homes in the U.S. have elevated
levels of the gas.
Granite Countertops - Not a Significant Source of Radon
If a person is exposed to this odorless, invisible gas for a long time and in high enough
concentrations, radon can result in health issues including lung cancer. The EPA reviewed
substantial amounts of test data and stated there was not enough evidence to support claims that granite countertops are a significant source of radon.
In the video below from the Marble Institute of America, explains how the EPA states on
its website that radon in the soil is a far more serious health risk than radon from any building materials that contain granite.
What Does the EPA Say?
While the threat presented by radon is serious, it is very important to dispel the misinformation regarding the danger presented by granite countertops, and instead learn the facts about the safety of granite as a building material in your home.
For more information, visit the Marble Institute of America to learn more about the extensive research into this issue and the wealth of information they have compiled.
For additional information from the EPA about radon, be sure to review the Home Buyer's Guide to Radon.