Radon In Granite Countertops

Home Inspector with Liberty Home Inspections Inc.

You may have seen the July 25 Early Show with Harry Smith on CBS or a similar article in the New York Times that discussed radon in granite countertops.  The show and article warned viewers that, "radon might be lurking in their granite countertops."  The show as well as a recent New York Times article stated that, "a radon measurement contractor recorded a radon concentration in one house and reported it to be 100 pCi/L, he attributed this to the granite countertop." 


This has caused a growing concern among current homeowners and prospective homebuyers. 


My purpose today is to present information obtained from various professionals and noted agencies concerning radon in granite countertops.


In a letter to the editor of the New York Times, Richard Toohey, PhD, CHP and President of the Health Physics Society stated that, "what was missing from the article is that the measurement process is not valid for the determination of ambient radon air concentration in the kitchen."


David J. Brenner, director of the Center of Radiological Research at Columbia University states, "the cancer risk from granite countertops in on the order of one in a million." 


"At this time, the Environmental Protection Agency does not believe sufficient data exist to conclude that the types of granite commonly used in countertops are significantly increasing indoor radon levels."


In conclusion, it appears that national agencies and scientist agree that both the New York Times article and statements from the Early Show are inconclusive.


The above information was obtained from the Internet.

Patrick McCaffery

President, Liberty Home Inspections Inc.

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