Radon and Granite Countertops

At Oregon First we have a gmail group called Haves and Wants. A recent discussion happened about the topic of radon and granite countertops.

Radon comes from granite. When you purchase a home, you should alway do a radon test to see if the radon levels in the house are higher than the EPA limit of 4.0 picocuries. (The World Health Organization recommends a level of not more than 2.7 picocuries.) Generally speaking the granite is in the form of boulders underneath the house, in the ground. You just don’t know whether the house is built over granite boulders or not, so you always test the radon levels.

So if radon comes from granite, what about granite countertops?

This subject came to my attention about 15 years ago. So I dialed up my favorite radon mitigation company and asked if I should be concerned. I was told that, generally speaking, the radon given off by granite countertops was not at a level high enough to be concerned.

Here is the offical EPA information. Click here.

White kitchen design features large bar style kitchen island with granite countertop illuminated by modern pendant lights. Northwest, USA

The bottom line is that you should be concerned about the possibility of radon in a house. Always get it measured. Even if you aren’t buying a house. If you live in a home where you have never measured it, get it measured. You can buy a do-it-yourself test at your local home improvement store, and there are numerous companies who perform this service. The cost to test is $60-$150. Cheap for the peace of mind. If radon is found, the cost to mitigate it is $1500-$3000, generally speaking. Again, cheap for the piece of mind.

I also think that when planning a remodel, don’t assume that just because it is available for purchase it has no issues. Do your research. There are alternatives to granite that are also gorgeous.

I hope that you find this useful. Thank you for reading the blotter.

Dianne

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