$39 Granite
Luxury For Less. 5719-E Hwy 74 West,
Indian Trail, NC 28079
(704) 842-2475
(704) 821-1139
800 Clanton Rd., Suite W
Charlotte, NC 28217
(704) 458-9944
(704) 523-3939


Recent articles have come out about the prevalence of radon in granite. According to the Marble Institute of America, this concern has been very overblown. "Calculations show that, for an average countertop, containing an average uranium concentration of 4 ppm, the concentration of radon that is given off by the countertop into household air is 0.00000074 pCi/L, an amount that is 270,000 times less than the level of radon in outside air! The granite countertop typically emits a radiation level of 5-10 ?R/hr. So the maximum contact radiation level that you would receive over one year if you were to sit on countertop all the time would be about one quarter of the annual radiation dose from all sources. If you were just a few inches away from the granite (e.g. when doing the dishes), then the dose would be too low to measure." 


"Granite can contain trace amounts of material that can produce measurable amounts of radon gas" according to Radon.com. We feel that this makes a lot of sense even if that amount is tiny. Granite comes out of the ground and the ground contains radon. However, we try to take a pragmatic approach to the issue. If we really think about this, we can see why there should be only the trace amounts of radon in granite countertops. Granite is quarried and is cut into 2 or 3cm slabs in the country where they are quarried. Of course, even at 3cm, we are talking about a slab that is quite thin (about 1 ¼"). That slab will emit radon from the time it is taken out of the ground until it is applied as your countertops. It emits what radon exists in the quarry warehouse until it is sold to a wholesaler, it will release radon on the container ship for the 3 month journey to the U. S., and while the slab sits at the local warehouse. By the time it reaches your house, the granite typically has been out of the ground for about one year. At that point, you can imagine that there will not be much radon left to emit in your home. 


But the key word to start with is "measurable." For example, if you light a match in your home, sure the match emits heat but you can't heat your house with just a match. The other is how studies have been conducted reporting results of radon. In a variety of stories, the reports involve Geiger Counters to measure radon results. Geiger Counters measure a variety of substances. A Geiger counter will measure radiation, potassium (got any bananas on your counters?) and thorium whose half life is 51 seconds. I'm sure that potassium (which can produce up to 80% of the clicking sound of a Geiger counter) does not produce any radon gas. Thorium is a very short lived gas that certainly is not a health hazard in the small quantities such as in your countertops. 

But let's think about the real problem with radon. Overwhelmingly, the problem with radon doesn't exist in your countertops. It exists under your house. Please have your house checked for the existence of radon. But if you are still not comfortable and you need the reassurance to know exactly, Air Chek sells a granite countertop test which can be bought at www.radon.com. Or, if you would like to pursue this issue farther, please call The Marble Institute of America at (440) 250-9222, or send an email to miainfo@marble-institute.com. 



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Granite Countertop


800 Clanton Rd. Charlotte, NC 28217