Article in NY Times regarding findings that some granite counter tops emit dangerous levels of radon and radiation. Radon is a hazardous chemical element, a colorless gas, which is the second most frequent cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking. The article relates the story of a homeowner who had her granite counter tested and found levels over 25 times those considered safe. Radon exposure is especially dangerous to smokers, whose lungs are already in a compromised position, as well as young children.
There are several resources on-line to help determine if you have a problem. The EPA has a Radon website with links to information on testing your home for radon. The AARST (American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists) website also has information on technicians qualified to test your home for radon.
An EPA spokesman is quoted in the story as saying “there is no known safe level of radon or radiation” exposure and that “any exposure (to radon) increases your health risk”.