Don’t Take Your Countertops for Granite!

A few years ago, there was a flurry of news stories warning of the dangers of radioactive granite countertops. Often caused by misinterpreted data, these claims led to public outcry and prompted the EPA to put together an FAQ regarding radioactivity in granite countertops.

Richard Born of Northern Illinois University used the new Vernier Radiation Monitor to test the radiation counts above a wooden table and a granite countertop. The counts for the granite countertop were higher, but does that make them unsafe? There are currently no regulations concerning radiation emissions from granite countertops. How do your countertops compare to the ones tested by Dr. Born?

A comparative radiation histogram showing an average count of 13 counts/min for the wood tabletop (blue) and 19 counts/min for the granite countertop (red)