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Myths About Radiation And Radon In Granite

Is Radon Found In Granite Countertops? Why You Should Not Worry

Is the radon in granite countertops harmful? This is a very good question that all homeowners, builders, and contractors should ask. First, lets start by getting into the basics. What is radon and is it any different than radioactivity? Radon can be described as an odorless and colorless radioactive gas that is created from decaying uranium. You can find radon in most soils. Extremely low levels of radon gas can also be found in the oxygen that we breathe. Just like other countertop materials, granite contains veins of thorium and uranium. Various countertop materials have traces of naturally occurring radioactive elements. The concentrations of these elements vary from stone to stone. BC Stone will walk you through the in and outs of radon in granite.

Will Granite Countertops Emit Radiation Or Is That A Myth?

Thorium, radium, or uranium will decay into the odorless, colorless, radioactive gas known as radon. Radon gas is released from the granite stone during its entire lifetime. However, radon is diluted through ventilation throughout time. Naturally occurring radioactive elements found in granite stone may emit amounts of gamma and beta radiation in small amounts. Radiation that is present will decrease faster with distance increasing from the source. It is not likely that the radiation coming from the granite kitchen counters will increase the radiation doses above the normal natural background levels.

Identify The Levels Of Radiation In Granite Countertops

You can identify the levels, presence, and concentration of the radioactive elements found in your granite countertops. This task will call for the use of specific instruments. The instruments used for the testing the radioactivity in your counters will require proper calibration & knowledge. You may want to ask your countertop provider about testing for levels of radiation. The radon that originates in soil underneath our homes is much larger and common problem that puts your health at a higher risk. This is an issue that is more harmful to us when compared to the radon found in granite countertop material. You can get the radon levels in your home tested by calling 1-800-SOS-RADON (767-7236). The EPA recommends testing your home even if you do not own granite countertops.

Are The Levels Of Radon In Granite Countertops Harmful?

Granite is not very porous & a large amount of it is not particularly used in many single family households, radon is not likely to escape in a large enough quantity to cause problems. Kitchens and bathrooms that have granite are normally rooms that are well ventilated. This lessens the risk of radon. According to a professional from the National Radon Program Services at KSU, the amounts of radon found in granite countertops is minuscule. In fact, the paint in your home may be more harmful because of the low-VOC compounds. Most countertop materials will have radon in them but the concentrations are not so large that there is a need to worry. The truth of the matter is that we live in a world where we are exposed to elements that are more harmful to our health. The food, air, and technology is a much larger problem.

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