Is Radon From Granite Countertops Dangerous?

Is Radon From Granite Countertops Dangerous?

Read this article about granite and radiation at Inhabitat.

Is it true, radon from granite countertops can make you sick?

Here are the facts about granite countertops along with the myths and rumors . . . I deal with these half-truths and the misinformation about granite and marble every week.

Much of it comes from those companies that compete with the natural stone market.

Surface material manufacturers are typically very large corporations with the ability and resources to send negative press freely through the industry.

Much of my time is spent educating (or re-educating) customers about granite. For marketing reasons, I produce countertops from both natural stone and manmade surfaces such as quartz.

I see benefits in both, yet I don’t have a vested interest in either. Because of this, I’m willing to share facts with customers and let them decide which they prefer.

For the record, every top in my own home is made of natural stone because I know how it performs and love interesting patterns and the rich look.

Radon in granite

Does granite emit radon gas? Is there radon in granite countertops? The EPA says, “While natural minerals such as granite may occasionally emit radon gas, the levels of radon attributable to such sources are not typically high.”

Actually, findings consistently show that granite poses no health risk in the home.

Consumer Reports, America’s protection watch dog, conducted its own tests on radon emission.

Again, they found no evidence that granite counter tops pose a health risk. None of their samples showed any radon from granite tops at all.

granite care pro


An article by Maurizio Bertoli, the founder of the “marble cleaning” company.

Check out the EPA’s findings and decide for yourself.  Here’s their statement:

“While natural minerals such as granite may occasionally emit radon gas, the levels of radon attributable to such sources are not typically high,” the EPA statement said. “EPA believes the principal source of radon in homes is soil gas that is drawn indoors through a natural suction process.”

“Granite is a natural mineral formed by earth’s geology,” the statement continues. “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.”

Here’s the EPA’s publication Consumers Guide to Radon Reduction.  For the complete source, here is the entire coverage by the EPA on What About Radon in Granite Countertops.

Bacteria and granite

Does natural granite harbor dangerous bacteria that will make you sick?  Granite bacteria has received much attention. Again, nothing supports this claim except tests conducted by competitors of natural stone.

I have seen test results that compare various surfaces including stainless steel and granite was shown to be cleaner than stainless. Rest assured you have no risk of getting sick from bacteria in your granite countertop.

You do need to wipe up spills and clean your granite with non-acidic cleaner. You can even use window cleaner if you want. It will not hurt granite. See more on bacteria in granite.

Now I am a fan of cleaning with ultraviolet light for any countertop surface, kitchens and bath.  Not because granite harbors bacteria, but because all surfaces have germs and bacteria on them.  I actually use my travel UV light wand on beds, furniture, computer keyboards, even shoes.

UV-C light not only kills germs, viruses, and even bed bugs, but it also eliminates odors since they are often caused by those little microscopic invaders.  They’re cheap.  Get one.  Here are the two UV light wands I recommend.

Will granite crack?

Our customers regularly place hot pans on their granite. It does not hurt it or crack it. Granite withstands heat better than almost any surface. It can crack from from objects hitting it. But granite crack repair is possible – Click Granite Repair to see how.

best granite sealer

Sealing Granite

Do I need to seal my natural granite tops every 6 months with chemicals?

Years ago, stone countertop fabricators used cheap sealers and told customers to reapply every 6 months. Instead of helping, this actually created a build up on the stone. Today sealers are so much better that many offer 10 year, 15 year, or lifetime sealing warranty from one application.

You do not have to reseal your granite for years to come. Also, keep in mind that some granite is so dense that it won’t even absorb sealer and it is not needed. Many black stones have this density. For more on sealing granite, see Expert Granite Sealing.

Other Granite Resources

Learn more from the experts at these sites: Marble Institute of America and   And don’t worry about radon from granite countertops.  It’s unfounded.

Return from Radon From Granite Countertops to Granite Buyers Guide

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