Of course, no one wants to come in contact with harmful substances, especially in your home. And the risk is particularly dangerous when you have repeated exposure over time. Nonetheless, it is normal for many building materials that are from the earth to come with some naturally occurring radioactive minerals, or NORMs. Granite is one of these materials, which normally includes some radioactive components and gives off some radon over time.
Granite Radon in Your Home
Since granite for your countertops comes from inside the earth, it can have radioactive elements within it that include radium and thorium. Over the course of time, various elements like these can turn into radon. Having granite countertops radioactive from radon in your home is not generally as big of a problem as radon underneath the home, and the radon in granite usually dissipates in the air without creating an unhealthy environment. Nonetheless, this can still be a concern that can expose families in some cases to levels of radon that are too high, so you might want to check your levels to be sure.
Checking Radon Levels for Safety
Being exposed to radon can give you an increased chance of developing lung cancer and seems to affect children more than adults, so it’s a good idea to check the radon and radiation levels in your home for your safety and peace of mind. This is especially the case since this gas has no odor or color that will alert you to its presence. In addition, you don’t get quick symptoms that show your exposure – instead, it tends to take a long time before you gain health problems from radon.
How to Detect Radiation and Radon
You can check radon and radiation levels with a test kit or radioactive meter, such as Geiger counters like the Geiger Counter Radiation Detector Dosimeter Defender. Guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency say that you should take steps to stop the problem if your radon reading is at 4 pCi/L (which is picocuries per liter of air) or higher, and you should attempt to reduce the amount of radon in your home if the reading is between 2 and 4 pCi/L. If you do discover a radon problem in your home from granite and/or other sources, you can get it under control yourself or by hiring a professional to do so.