To find the most current information, please enter your topic of interest into our search box. July 30, -- They are beautiful and durable, but do those pricey granite kitchen countertops so popular with home builders and renovators also pose a health risk? At issue is whether some granite countertops emit dangerous levels of radiationespecially the gas radon, which is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Experts agree that most granite countertops emit some radon and even other types of radiation.
The question is whether they do so at levels that can impact cancer risk. New York State Health Department research scientist Michael Kitto, PhD, says only a small fraction of the granite samples he has tested have emitted radon at levels that were over those considered safe. The story mentioned the research of Rice University physics professor William Llope, granite and lung cancer, PhD, which found potentially dangerous granite and lung cancer of radiation in some tested samples of granite used in countertops.
Radon is an odorless, granite and lung cancer, tasteless, colorless radioactive gas that results from the natural decay of uranium in soil, rock, and water, granite and lung cancer. All agree that the biggest risk to granite and lung cancer is radon seeping into homes from the ground. Most people living in areas with high radon concentrations, such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and upstate New York, are very aware of the potential risk, Brenner says.
The risk from radon comes granite and lung cancer breathing it into your lungsand Brenner says any radon coming from granite countertops would quickly diffuse into the air. In a recently published review of radon tests conducted by others, Llope reported that 92 of 95 granite samples tested emitted no radon or very little radon. Two samples emitted levels that were elevated but still considered safe, and one emitted levels slightly above what is considered cause for concern by EPA.
Like Kitto, Llope has found elevated levels in a very small number of the granite samples he has personally tested. But he tells WebMD that if even a tiny percentage of the granite used to make countertops emits unsafe levels of radon or other radiation, that could represent a danger in thousands of homes. According to Marble Institute of America spokesman Jim Martinez, 2, different stones from quarries around the world are sold as granite in the United States.
At most, only a tiny percentage of them have been tested for radon or radiation levels, but a recent test of 13 types of granite typically used for countertops found no radon or very low levels of radon.
But Kitto says there is no way to know if all granite countertops are safe because so few samples have been tested. The EPA recommends that all homes be tested for radon in indoor air, and the researchers contacted by WebMD agreed that testing could provide peace of mind to homeowners worried about the safety of their granite countertops. Recommendations for using do-it-yourself radon testing kits, which can be purchased at hardware stores and online, include:.
The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists lists the names of qualified professionals who conduct radon and radiation testing on its web site, www. But he added that a few of his samples showed levels that were high enough to alarm him.
Countertop Concerns Not New Concerns about the safety of granite kitchen countertops are not new. He tests for gamma radiation emission using a special spectrometer. Llope agrees that more samples need to be tested. Continued Test for Radon, Experts Say The EPA recommends that all homes be tested for radon in indoor air, granite and lung cancer, and the researchers contacted by WebMD granite and lung cancer that testing could provide peace of mind to homeowners worried about the safety of their granite countertops.
Recommendations for using do-it-yourself radon testing kits, which can be purchased at hardware stores and online, include: Place one test in the basement or lowest area in the home to determine if radon is coming from the ground. Place another test in a motrin and hylands teething tablets to establish a background radon level.
Place one or two tests in the kitchen, with one nearby the granite surface and the other farther away, granite and lung cancer.