Facts About Granite, Radon & Radiation

Is Granite Deadly?

Scared by misleading facts about granite countertops, radon & radiation? Confused by all of the conflicting misinformation? Is this a marketing gimmick? Or is it a scare tactic to persuade you to buy a different countertop surface? You decide.

Ivory Fantasy Granite

The Marble Institute of America (MIA) investigates this myth and discovers the real truth about radon, radiation and granite tops.

Radiation in Granite is Not Dangerous

"Numerous scientific studies conclude that there are two ways in which countertops, tiles and other finishes made of granite might emit any level of radiation. The first is by the release of tiny amounts of the radioactive gas, radon. The second is by direct radiation from the surface itself to the homeowner.

In both cases, the radiation emitted is from the same process - natural radioactive decay of one element into another.

Compared to other radiation sources in the home and outside, the risk to the homeowner from radioactivity or radon gas emitted from a granite countertop or tiles is practically non-existent. The U.S. EPA reports, "Based on existing studies, most types of granite used in countertops and other aspects of home construction are not typically known to be major contributors of radiation and radon in the average home." Marble Institute of America

December 2011
Environmental Health & Engineering uses a Monte Carlo simulation of 1 MILLION granite tops to examine the probability of granite countertops causing elevated levels of radon in your home. Probability? Extremely low. Read more on predicted indoor radon concentrations here.

August 2009
Two independent studies were published by the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology to assess exposure to radon & radiation via granite countertops. They concluded that granite poses no radon or radiation threat to consumers.

July 2009
A publication by the Health Physics Society Professional Development School discusses radioactivity in granite countertops including:

  • Misinformation and misunderstanding of radioactivity in granite.
  • Granite measurements & radioactivity.
  • Testing protocols.

PDF Document - Radioactivity In Granite Counter Tops

April 30 2009 - Updated Report
Environmental Health & Engineering reassess exposure to radon and radiation from granite countertops. This report includes additional sample results and updated analysis from the original report noted below and dated November 2008.

November 2008 - Original Report
Environmental Health & Engineering reassess exposure to radon and radiation from granite countertops and conclude that:

  • Radiation emitted from granite counter tops are well below levels that would pose a health concern.
  • Radon levels in homes are lower than background levels of radon exposure typically found outdoors and indoors.

Read the Updated 2009 Report:
Assessing Exposure To Radon & Radiation From Granite Countertops

September 2008
Environmental Health & Engineering discuss how much natural stone countertops contribute to the amount of radon inside U.S. homes in comparison to concrete, gypsum, brick, outdoor air and indoor air. The answer? Very little. Natural Stone Countertop & Radon

August 2008
Video - Facts About Granite Counter Tops, Radon & Radiation.
The Truth About Granite and Radon/Radiation

According to scientific facts, radon gas emissions are more harmful from the soils surrounding our home, the outdoor air we breathe, well water and other building material such as concrete, cement and gypsum.

Still have questions on radon?

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