Granite Countertops Emit Radon

August 2, 2008


Remember those really cool (and super-expensive) granite countertops that were ALL the fad a year ago? (Actually, they are still very popular, but concrete countertops is what is filling the wealthy homes now). A NY news story says these granite countertops have been known to emit radon and, most likely, radioactive material.

Karl Konarzik is testing this East Amherst kitchen for Radon. While the homeowner’s worry is possible Radon in the granite countertops, Karl puts his testing device in a cabinet.

While some other radon tests have been conducted on the surface of the granite counter tops, Karl told us, putting the testing machine at face level is a more accurate way of testing the radon’s effect on your health

Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that emits radiation that is found in granite, marble, and other rock formations.

Oopsie! Who came up with granite countertops, anyway?? Always seemed extravagant and inefficient to me. But then again, I’m a dish-dropper. Hehe.

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10 Responses to “Granite Countertops Emit Radon”

  1. Theresa Says:

    Mrs. M., concrete countertops? Wouldn’t that be difficult to sanitize because of the pores? Oh, I’m way, way behind in household upgrades…

  2. Mrs. Mecomber Says:

    Theresa, the concrete countertops are sealed after they are installed. Some people like them because they can be etched or stamped with designs, and tinted with pigment.

    I don’t like them. I’d rather have solid surface or just plain old, durable laminate.

  3. heidi Says:

    Well I guess it is a good thing that we put stone tile countertops in instead. I have always admired the granite though and it is very scary that they might be so dangerous!

  4. Ethan Nobles Says:

    We went with stone tile, too.

    After reading this warning about granite, I’m glad we kept away from that stuff!

  5. Allison Says:

    We understand why people are alarmed by this story, but the Marble Institute of America wants to assure people that the granite most commonly used in U.S. countertops is safe. In fact, the highest radon emissions ever reported in scientific studies are still lower than the EPA’s guidelines. Unfortunately, much of the confusion is being created by inconsistent methodologies used in measuring radon emissions from granite countertops. The MIA is working to help develop testing standards to eliminate the inconsistencies.

    Allison Robino, Cohn & Wolfe on behalf of the Marble Institute of America

  6. Mrs. Mecomber Says:

    Hello Allison, and thanks for taking the time to comment. Just for your information, this is not a sensationalist blogger news scoop- I found this story from the Buffalo news, WIVB-TV. So maybe they should be informed also?

    As a homeowner and mom, I will honestly say that I don’t give one whit for EPA guidelines and the lowest possible rate for human safety. I’m a mom and there is NO WAY I would ever knowingly install anything that gave off any toxic gases. I’m pretty angry about all the lead paint, asbestos, formaldehyde, and other junk dumped into my home in the past, by dufuses who probably followed EPA guidelines but not their consciences. Just my two cents.

  7. Allison Says:

    Thanks, Mrs. Mecomber. I certainly understand and respect that you will make your own decisions when it comes to your family and your home. The MIA just wants people to have all of the available information on this issue. We’ll share this with WIVB-TV also.

  8. S. Hart Says:

    Thanks for this important information. Several years ago a friend re-designed her kitchen and tore up the laminate. Instead of laying granite or formica, she used tile pieces to create a mosaic pattern in the surface. It was beautiful, but not everyone would have the patience to do something like this.

    I’ve been thinking about doing a post about mosaics on my blog, The Artist’s Muse, at perhaps this is just the impulse to get me writing! Thanks!

  9. Granite Says:

    Very interesting post you wrote. Glad I have stumbled upon it. Cheers!


  1. New York Renovator - November 18, 2008

    […] was a flurry of news reports in July and August, claiming that granite countertops emit radon. I blogged about it, too. Besides, granite is THE most expensive countertop you can buy (unless you want gold plate). I […]