They are appealing, durable and easy on the eyes. But do they, as expensive as they are, pose a health risk? Some researchers say they are carcinogenic. Some differ and go on to explain how kitchen granite countertops have nothing to do with cancer. So between the two factions that differ on opinion, who’s right? Are there other health and safety issues that one should keep in mind? Read on to find out.
The main issue of concern is whether granite countertops and other granite laced products at home such as floors emit dangerous levels of radiation. It does not end there. There is also the issue of radon, which unknown to many, is the second leading cause of lung cancer in humans, after smoking. Experts simply argue that granite countertops emit high radon levels. But like already hinted, there are two factions of experts that differ on opinion. The first faction claims granite is not safe because of radon. The second faction which claims that granite countertops are safe seem to carry the day. Their findings are backed by research studies conducted in different parts of the world in kitchens that feature granite countertops.
It is important to first understand what radon is before going further into other details on whether granite countertops are safe or not. Radon, in the simplest words possible, is a tasteless, odorless and colorless radioactive gas. It is formed as a result of natural decay of uranium in rock, soil and water. A brief examination into whether your granite countertop is laced with radon will convince you otherwise. That’s simply because radon comes from the ground and not in granite that has already been purified, tested and approved for home use.
This is yet another factor that makes granite countertops safer than other countertop materials. It undergoes a long purification process to get rid of impurities. That explains why granite whether used in the kitchen as a countertop material or elsewhere as a floor material, always looks ‘fine’. The purification process, is meant to diffuse any impurities in granite into the air.
The ultimate test of whether your granite countertop is laced with radon and other carcinogenic emissions should be considering a radon test. The results in recent years have proved that no granite countertops used at homes have radon or traces of radon. The results have always come out positive with 0% of homes recording worrying results. One good thing with radon tests is the fact that there are several do it yourself radon testing kits. You therefore do not need to spend or set aside some money to hire a radon testing service provider.
Other safety issues
There are of course other safety issues which boil down to how careful one is when using his or her granite countertop. Cleanliness stands out as major issue. Simply ensure that your countertop, whether made of granite or another material, is always clean. Wipe water and food debris as often as you can off your countertop, and then use the right granite countertop cleaning detergent.