Are your granite countertops killing you?

granite-countertop-issuesIt’s true, some granite counter tops are emitting concerning levels of Radon, a radioactive gas which is the second leading cause of lung cancer, claims about 20,000 lives per year and is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.  Granite which leans toward the red, pink and purple variety tend to emit higher levels than other types of granite, but homeowners are encouraged to get a radon testing kit just to make sure. 

Radon levels of less than 4 picoCuries per litre of air (pCi/L)is considered “safe” with 4 pCi/L have the same risk factor of smoking a half pack of cigarettes per day.  I’m wondering, would a number higher than 4 pCi/L require some sort of Surgeon General’s label on the counter…or maybe a protective suit to wear around the house?

Marble manufacturers flat out deny there’s any problem with radiation in granite (isn’t that like tobacco growers saying cigarettes are safe?), however the Marble Institute of America is planning to develop a testing protocol for granite which will hopefully eliminate “hot” granites from entering the marketplace.  Hmmm…. call me crazy, but that doesn’t sound to me like there is no problem.

Health officials and radiation experts agree that most granite counter tops emit very low levels of radiation  which is nothing compared to the amount of “background” radiation we absorb from cell phones, x-rays, luminous watches and smoke detectors…not to mention the radiation that rains down from outerspace and seeps out of the earth’s surface daily.

I guess the jury’s still out as to whether granite counter tops are truly a health issue.  I mean, it takes time for the powers that be to determine just what exactly IS bad for us.  Just like the good ‘ol days when your doctor could endorse his favorite cigarette brand, our homes and offices were filled with lead based paint & asbestos…oh, and don’t forget the joy of chicken fried in bacon grease.  Ahhhh yes…the good ‘ol days.

Let’s just hope that selling a home in the future does not involve ripping out those radioactive granite counter tops and signing a Radon Disclosure Notice.  Maybe Formica really isn’t so bad.

Trackbacks

  1. […] all the top upgrades that buyers are looking for today?  Granite is a biggie (unless we find out granite is killing us), tile floors, neutral colors, nicely landscaped, etc.  If so, lucky you!  Your chances of […]

  2. […] all the top upgrades that buyers are looking for today?  Granite is a biggie (unless we find out granite is killing us), tile floors, neutral colors, nicely landscaped, etc.  If so, lucky you!  Your chances of […]