The safety of granite as one of the materials used to build countertops has always been a concern. It is actually the presence of radon gas that makes home builders and owners second guess the safety of granite countertops as a building material.
How dangerous is radon?
Radon is an odorless and colorless radioactive gas; neither can you taste it.
It is naturally present in the environment: in the soil, water, air, and even rock.
That is why when materials such as granite are mined from the earth they come with the radioactive components that can emit the gas.
People’s major fear is that the gradual exposure to radon gas may ultimately lead to cancer. Therefore according to homeowners, if the gas is this dangerous, why have its source in homes in the first place?
The truth is, however, that radon is already all around us. If anything, more of it is emitted from our surrounding environment than in our granite countertops.
How harmful are granite countertops really?
As we have seen, radon gas is a possibility with granite. This has led to the rise of claims that hence granite countertops can emit dangerous levels of harmful gas. But this is not entirely true; granite countertops are safe. It has even been confirmed by various environmental experts such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Only very small amounts of radon gas can be emitted by your granite countertop. And in case that happens, the gas will most likely be insignificant and harmless as it will be diluted with the air in your home. This is another reason to keep your entire home well ventilated.
Moreover, you will be amazed to find out that it is not only the granite countertop that can emit radon.
Several other products in your household can also emit radon gas, but also at low and generally harmless levels.
These products include coal, non-plastic utensils, clay bricks, and other concrete products.
In summary, granite countertops are generally safe. If you are in doubt, just purchase a radon test kit and test the air in your home for the quantity of radon gas available.