Granite Concerns

In no way are we trying to scare people away from using granite in their homes, we are just sharing information we have found. If you already have granite or plan on purchasing it in the future and find this offensive please don’t read our findings.

Research scientists at Rice University in Houston and at the New York State Department of Health have conducted studies of granite widely used in kitchen counters. William J. Llope, a professor of physics at Rice, said his preliminary results show that of the 55 samples he has collected from nearby fabricators and wholesalers, all of which emit radiation at higher-than-background levels, a handful has tested at levels 100 times or more above background.

I think David J. Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University said it best  “It makes sense. If you can choose another counter that doesn’t elevate your risk, however slightly, why wouldn’t you?”

Our intent is not to spread rumors or give out false information, but rather to share information we have found on this topic. In our research, we have found studies measuring radon in granite slabs with alarming findings. We have also found that “The Marble Institute of America” has been working very hard to downplay anything negative about the findings. We feel the truth lies somewhere in the middle.  Check out the video below, this is an old news story that you probably never heard about. Also, read what the National Cancer Institute has said about radon gas in regards to rocks (granite is a rock).

Granite Countertops A Health Threat?

CBS News Report

Radon and Cancer

Key Points

  • Radon is a radioactive gas released from the normal decay of the elements uranium, thorium, and radium in rocks and soil.
  • Radioactive particles from radon can damage cells that line the lungs and lead to lung cancer.
  • Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and is associated with 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year.
  • Testing is the only way to know if your home has elevated radon levels. Health authorities recommend radon testing and encourage corrective action when necessary.
  1. What is radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas released from the normal decay of the elements uranium, thorium, and radium in rocks and soil. It is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that seeps up through the ground and diffuses into the air. In a few areas, depending on local geology, radon dissolves into groundwater and can be released into the air when the water is used. Radon gas usually exists at very low levels outdoors. However, in areas without adequate ventilation, such as underground mines, radon can accumulate to levels that substantially increase the risk of lung cancer.

  1. How is the general population exposed to radon?

Radon is present in nearly all air. Everyone breathes in radon every day, usually at very low levels. However, people who inhale high levels of radon are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer.

Radon can enter homes through cracks in floors, walls, or foundations, and collect indoors. It can also be released from building materials, or from water obtained from wells that contain radon. Radon levels can be higher in homes that are well insulated, tightly sealed, and/or built on soil rich in the elements uranium, thorium, and radium. Basement and first floors typically have the highest radon levels because of their closeness to the ground.