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Is Radon Released from Granite Countertops in Homes Cause for Health Concerns?

IAQ Index™ provides easy to use test kits to help identify radon levels and other potential indoor hazards in schools, homes and offices.


Back in 2008, The New York Times and a number of other media outlets published reports about possible concerns over radon and radiation coming from granite countertops and other granite building materials.  The articles caused concern for many people who began to wonder if their expensive granite counters were causing harm to their families.
The durability and decorative appearance of granite have made it a popular building material in many homes and buildings.  Granite, like virtually any type of rock may contain naturally occurring radioactive elements such as radium, uranium and thorium. One piece of granite may contain more of these elements than another piece of granite from a different quarry.  Over time these radioactive elements will decay into radon and other natural radioactive materials.
Although these media reports caused concern for many, government agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were quick to respond.  The EPA has stated, “It’s important to know that radon originating in the soil beneath homes is a more common problem and a far larger public health risk than radon from granite building materials.”
Bruce Jacobs, CIH, President of IAQ Index, a leading radon and indoor air quality (IAQ) test kit provider, thinks the media attention at least helped raise awareness of the entire issue of radon with the public.  “Exposure to radon in the home is responsible for an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year,” stated Mr. Jacobs.  “Radon is a real health hazard, but there are solutions to the problem.  Building science professionals, the EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General urge all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools and other buildings for radon.  A simple test is all it takes to know if there is a problem.  IAQ Index provides these radon tests that anyone can use.  In the event that a problem is found, there are established mitigation techniques that can usually resolve any health threats posed by radon.” 
IAQ Index has sponsored an online video about granite countertops and possible concerns over radon and radiation that can be viewed at:
To learn more about testing for radon or other indoor air quality concerns, please visit IAQ Index at, email or call (888) 259-3883.
About IAQ Index
IAQ Index was developed by a Certified Industrial Hygienist with decades of experience dealing with indoor air quality issues.  IAQ Index was developed as a health-based, easy-to-understand, air quality index that is calculated from data generated for various parameters commonly measured during IAQ surveys.  The approach is similar to the EPA’s Air Quality Index that has been used historically to communicate the risks posed by common pollutants in the ambient air.


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