The next volley in the battle about radon and granite countertops has been fired, this time by the Marble Institute of America. According to the Marble Institute of America the EPA has stated that “granite countertops pose no significant health risk.”
However, if you really read what the EPA wrote you might come to a different conclusion as to what it seems to be saying. I have lifted the parts of the statement that deal directly with radon and granite. There were other statements included about testing a home’s air for radon and the advisability of that.
While natural minerals such as granite may occasionally emit radon gas, the levels of radon attributable to such sources are not typically high. EPA believes the principal source of radon in homes is soil gas that is drawn indoors through a natural suction process. While radon levels attributable to granite are not typically high, there are simply too many variables to generalize about the potential health risks inside a particular home that has granite countertops. It is prudent to limit your family’s exposure to radon whenever possible. Granite is a natural mineral formed by earth’s geology. It is mined and used to produce commercial products such as countertops. It is possible for any granite sample to contain varying concentrations of uranium that can produce radon gas. Some granite used in countertops may contribute variably to indoor radon levels. However, EPA has no reliable data to conclude that types of granite used in countertops are significantly increasing indoor radon levels. EPA is aware of a few studies that have conducted limited research on radon in granite countertops. EPA will continue to review this research. EPA will continue to monitor and analyze the evolving research on this issue and will update its recommendations as appropriate.
I don’t know about you but what I get from that is that granite could emit radon gas and contribute to indoor radon levels, but in reality the EPA has no reliable data on the subject. So, who knows why it bothered to make a statement.