If you’re interested in granite countertops for your new home or renovation, you’ve probably spent a lot of time looking into your options online. And in that process, you’ve probably come across some concerning and alarmist articles linking granite to radon and radiation. The thought of radiation in your home, endangering your family and pets, is a scary one. How do you separate fact from myth? Are you at risk?

Does granite contain radon?

Yes. Granite does occasionally contain veins of radioactive elements that occur naturally since it’s a natural stone. Those radioactive elements can include thorium and uranium. The concentration of these elements varies, depending on the stone and the individual slab.

Radon is a radioactive gas that results from the decay of radium, uranium, and thorium. It’s colorless and odorless and has been shown to cause lung problems. Radon is released from granite.

Am I at risk?

That’s a big NO. (If you don’t believe us, maybe you’ll believe the EPA.) The radon emitted from the decay of radioactive elements in granite is extremely low, and unlikely to increase radiation above normal levels. Radiation is occurring around us all the time, unavoidably, and granite doesn’t add to that risk in any significant way. Good ventilation will dilute the radon, and any other radiation occurring from granite will decrease the farther you move away from it.

You’re at greater risk of radon exposure from the soil under your home than the radon that may or may not come from your countertops. In fact, the EPA recommends that everyone, even people without granite countertops, test their home for radon regularly. If you do test regularly, you’ll ensure that you stay safe, and it can ease your mind about your granite counters—the radon test kit will pick up dangerous levels, no matter where they originate.

Kowalski Granite and Quartz has a large selection of granite and granite alternatives to choose from. Contact us for more information or to visit our showroom.