Fact or Fiction: Granite Countertops Are Harmful to Us

Despite rumors to the contrary, research has debunked the claims that granite countertops are hazardous to your health. Radon gas and radiation have not been found to be a hazardous from granite and yet despite the bounty of scientific information proving this, rumors persist in advancing to prove otherwise. This myth has been the subject of news broadcasts and has convinced a few people that having granite countertops installed in their home can be a dangerous choice.

Where Do These Rumors Come from?

While getting to the origin of the rumors is difficult, some believe they are started and perpetuated by those selling other types of countertop materials to make their products seem better and safer than granite and other natural stones. In reality, with thousands of granite and stone countertops installed, there has been nothing found that presents any type of health risk.

What About Radon Exposure?

There has been some concern about radon and there is evidence that lung cancer can be contracted from it but only after long exposure to high concentrations of the gas. As a naturally occurring gas it is often found in the ground and in rocks under and around some homes. On rare occasions it has been found to seep into a home’s basement and collect there. It is an easy remedy to vent the gas from the home and allow it to dissipate into the atmosphere as it normally does. There is no evidence that shows radon gas is brought into a home through a granite countertop.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has stated that the typical source of radon gas is the soil surrounding the home, and it has been found in basements of homes in the Midwest and eastern regions of the United States. The easiest way to eliminate radon gas in a home is by increasing airflow in the home, especially in the basement.

Other Granite Myths Debunked

Radiation

Some of the myths that have proliferated include photos of a Geiger counter indicating the presence of radon along with the warning that it is present in granite countertops. This is pure fiction since radon gas cannot be detected by a Geiger counter. This instrument measures radioactive materials and is not capable of identifying the type of material to which it is exposed.

As for radiation, the number one natural source of radiation is the sun and simply by being outside exposes everyone to radiation. While it may be the case that certain types of radioactive elements can be found in certain types of granite, studies have shown the amount of radiation found is insignificant. Actually, there are many devices in the home that leak more radiation than a granite slab such as television sets, smoke detectors and even Brazil nuts.

Putting an End to the Myth

While there may be a presence of some radioactive materials in granite and other natural stones, the amount of radioactive material is too insignificant to be of concern. Scientific studies have confirmed that the threat of exposure to radon gas or other radioactive materials is overstated and have found no proof that countertops made of granite, marble or other natural stones present any health risk.

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Comments 3 comments

shai77 profile image

shai77 4 years ago

This is a great relief to know, it's amazing how rumors get spread on the internet and you just hear them so much you start to accept them as fact. We should all check these kinds of claims more deeply.

I even wrote a hub about how to make faux painted granite, I guess it's good to have in the mean time for those saving up for the real thing. Nice job with this hub! Thumbs up!


Better Yourself profile image

Better Yourself 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Yes, and rumors sure do spread fast. I will head over and check out your hub on faux painted granite - sounds interesting! Thanks shai77!


Elias 3 years ago

Did you know that Carrera Marble is the stone that Michaelangelo used to sculpt many of his mtseerpiaces? The quarry was located nearby (in Italy) and plentiful so it provided him with limitless resources for his work...plus the white stone is often flawless so it was a perfect choice.I totally agree that this is a great material to show off with. There is nothing more fantastic than a countertop with an integral sink carved out of the same material. And marble is the perfect product for this application.If the Masters used it during the Renaissance, shouldn't we use it for...uh...the new millenium?!

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