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Radon in Granite Countertops

Radon in granite countertops is naturally occurring, in many cases. Trace amounts of radioactive material are normal in minerals, stones, brick, plastic and even in granite countertops. In many other instances, there is no radon or minimal amounts of the radioactive gas. If you do decide to test for the gas, it must be performed with a charcoal test, and not in the line of other items that emit the gas in high levels.

Though, because in certain degrees it can pose a particular health threat to you and your family. It is important to be armed with information to understand how to avoid or mitigate this situation should it present a problem within your home. Though, radon may pose a health risk, it is over all minimal.

Defining It

First, though, it is most important to understand what radon is when installing granite countertops. Radon is a radioactive gas. It depends upon the individual countertops what level of picocuries various countertops emit, though.

The only issue is that if you are one of the individual's affected from having dangerous levels of this gas being emitted anywhere in your home, it poses a risk. It is better to limit this kind of risk to the health of you and your family. It has been identified as the second leading cause of lung cancer, right behind smoking cigarettes, in particular. If radon emits more than 4 picocuries per liter of air, it poses this threat, according the Environmental Protection Agency. Beyond that level and it is harmful. It has been shown to reach far beyond those levels, particularly when trapped indoors, as in a home.

Responses to Levels

Then the particular matter of detail becomes whether you already have granite in place in your home. If you do, then you will probably want to have some form of remediation performed to remove the countertops and thus the gas. There are fairly inexpensive home testing kits to use to find out if you have granite countertops that have any levels of this gas being emitted.

The Marble Institute is working on ways to test radon in granite countertops. Once they have determined which versions of granite countertops release the greatest amount of radon in granite countertops, they will restrict from having those available for consumer use.

Normal Levels

Radon in granite countertops is normal. This is normally also occurring in and around a house. In particular it is also found in well water and within public water supplies. In addition, it is found within the soil surrounding a house. It is also found in outdoor air and in building materials.

For the most part, the greatest source of this gas in and around homes is within the soil. Though, it is still perhaps of interest for home owners to test the rate of radon in granite countertops.

It is important that if you do test for radon in granite countertops, that it needs to be far away from other materials that will lead to higher levels of the gas. Most tests work in the air, because the material is a gas. Though, many home owners have mis-used these kinds of tests. They put them near baking pans and on the granite. This can result in a great deal of inaccuracies.

Using this method to determine the radon that may be coming from your granite will be inaccurate and will likely result in a number that is very high. Instead, a charcoal device can more accurately measure the value of radon in granite countertops. Likewise, when testing for radon in granite countertops, it is important to test in a few areas. This will help detect whether there are hot spots or not.

There are Geiger counters, which some say are hyper-reactive to the air. The purpose of the test is to find Radium producing origins for this gas. Though, potassium and thorium also make the Geiger counter react, which creates a false positive for the gas. Instead it is important to perhaps use both a Geiger counter and also a calibrated charcoal test to determine whether levels of this gas are safe.

If it is not, then consider your options. But in the meantime understand that more likely than not, it will be a number that is within safe limits. Though, if it is not, consider how you will fix the problem. It may be that you will have to go out and purchase new tile in similar colors, and find an installation specialist to come in and replace the old product. It could cost a little in the long run, compared to what effect it could possibly have on you and your family.

Radon in granite countertops is naturally occurring. Recent concerns state that almost all of these gases are in too high levels. It is important to test properly.

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