Are your Granite Countertops “HOT”?
Granite Countertops are one of the top selling points for homes and condos. In a recent article “Words that Sell Homes”, it was disclosed that the word Granite was one of the 7 top words that help sell a home. When thinking about a Long Beach Home Kitchen Remodel, it is the Granite counter-top that is the finishing touch. Will you go dark or light? A lot of texture or more sedate? Domestic or Imported? Almost everybody loves granite countertops.
Recently the NY Times published an article raising questions regarding harmful levels of radon gases being emited by the breadown of uranium in the many varieties of granite countertops. Radon is a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer.
Having read through many of the articles available on the internet most suggest that the countertops emitting the highest levels of radiation seem to be those imported from Brazil and Namibia.
The Marble Institute of America has said such claims are “ludicrous” because although granite is known to contain uranium and other radioactive materials like thorium and potassium, the amounts in countertops are not enough to pose a health threat.
If you have granite countertops and are concerned whether radon or radiation is a problem you can:
- Contact the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (aarst.org). Testing costs between $100 and $300.
- Find a certified technician at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site at epa.gov/radon, as well as from state or regional indoor air environment offices, which can be found at epa.gov/iaq/whereyoulive.html.
- Radon test kits are available from the National Safety Council (or call 1-800-SOS-RADON). Some home improvement stores sell test kits. To find a qualified testing or mitigation contractor, contact your state radon office or either of the national private radon programs.
Articles on the subject you might be interested in reading:
- What’s Lurking in Your Countertop? – NY Times
- Granite Countertops A Health Threat? – CBS News
- Radon in Granite
- Could your granite countertops be leaking radon gas?
- Granite Countertops & Radon Gas
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