Granite Countertops and Radiation

This morning as I was getting my son ready to go to grandma’s house, I heard on the news, that granite countertops are now considered a health threat due to the amount of radiation they give off. Not hearing the full news story, I decided to do a little research into this new finding and share the good, the bad and the ugly with you.

The Good– The Marble Institute of America told the New York Times the recent claims were “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.”
David J. Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University in New York, pointed out to the Times the cancer risk from granite countertops is “on the order of one in a million.”

The Bad-But Brenner also said, “If you can choose another counter that doesn’t elevate your risk, however slightly, why wouldn’t you?” (but granite is so pretty :( )
Health physicists and radiation experts agree that most granite countertops emit radiation and radon at extremely low levels.

The Ugly-The same health physicists and radiation experts, say these emissions are insignificant compared with so-called background radiation that is constantly raining down from outer space or seeping up from the earth’s crust, not to mention emanating from manmade sources like X-rays, luminous watches and smoke detectors.

The only way to know about radon levels from your granite countertops, and in your home in general, is to test for them.

If you are concerned about the radon levels in your home, feel free to contact us at Baby Bodyguards, and we will guide you through the testing process.