July 27, 2008
There was a lot of activity this week both on line and in the press about radon and granite counter tops. It seems that some granite counter tops may contain enough uranium to elevate radon levels in a home.
As always, my suggestion would be to test your house for elevated radon levels. Having been in the mitigation business for twenty years, I have learned that you cannot make assumptions about radon. Having granite counter tops doesn't mean that your house does or doesn't have elevated radon. Not having granite counter tops doesn't mean that your house does or doesn't elevated radon. Do you get the picture? The only way to know if you do or don't have elevated radon levels is to conduct a radon test.
If you have granite counter tops and are conducting a test, my suggestion would be to place a test in the room where the counter tops are located, another test in a room on the same level of the house without granite counter tops, and a test in the lowest livable area of the house. This way, you can compare the radon levels in the room with the granite with the rooms that don't have granite.
If you don't have granite counter tops, you would want to test in accordance with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency recommendations for home testing. http://radon.illinois.gov/iema/radon/pdf/guidelinesforhomemeas.pdf
In Illinois, radon test kits are available on line at http://radon.illinois.gov/ or http://www.radon.com/sub/il/. If you are not in Illinois, test kits are generally available at home improvement stores or can be purchased on line.
I have assembled the following list of internet posts that appeared this week regarding granite counter tops and radon. As additional posts appear, I will update the list.
NY Times article 072408
Consumer Reports Blog 072508
CBS News 072508
CBS Morning Show 072508
AP Newswire – EPA Statement 072508
EPA Update 072508
Houston Chronicle 072508