Monday, June 8, 2009

Granite Countertops: Should You Be Using Them At Home?

Granite countertops add to the style quotient of the kitchens. However experts recommend that they should be tested to determine the amount of radon gas which the granite might give off. At times it is a health threat, if the amount is beyond the level which is considered safe. However according to marble manufacturers, the amount is negligible and granite radiation is not at all dangerous. They have conducted many studies in this issue. All the researches have clearly pointed out to the fact that in no situation the radiation emitted by granite is high; it is much below the threat level and cannot be said to be a cause of health hazard.

The Environmental Protection Agency says that the radon is a radio-active gas which has no smell or taste. However if it present at homes, they can affect the health of the family members. It has also been noted that radon is one of the contributory factors for lung cancer. This threat of health hazards however has in no way diminished the popularity of granite countertops. Granite is known to have a radon emission level which is much less than 4 picocuries and so it is not an issue at all. There are newspapers who have issued warning against the use of granite countertops. However all these allegations have been proved to be false as granite emits radon much below the level which is perceived to be health threat.

In fact the Marble institute of America has claimed that this demand is ludicrous, as the amount of life threatening materials is so less in granite, that there it can hardly cause any health threats. Moreover although the granite countertops have radioactive materials like potassium and thorium, the amount is negligible. The radiation level is low and is not at all dangerous for health. So the allegations against granite are baseless and they can be easily used at houses.

If you want to know about the radon levels in the granite, then it is better to conduct a test on them which will determine if the granite top is above the danger level or not. If you want to do it all by yourself, you can check it with the help of a qualified tester. After you have conducted the test, you can contact the state radon office and give them the test results. Apart from the do-it-yourself kit, you can also contact the private radon proficiency program which will inform you about a number of radon professionals who have the certifications which help them to conduct the test in your home.

Although most of the granite suppliers claim that the amount of radiation is negligible, yet health physicists suggest that one should be careful while checking the granite top. The emissions are indeed insignificant when compared to the background radiation from outer space. However one should be careful and checking the granite countertop can only ensure safety for your family. To sum up granite proves to be a wonderful choice for home décor and one can use it with comfortably to add value to the ambience of the house.

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