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Independent Analysis Shows Granite Countertops Pose No Health Risk
Date:8/31/2009

CLEVELAND, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Two new studies published in the scientifically peer-reviewed Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology show that granite used in countertops poses no radon or radiation threat to consumers.

"Based on the results of our research, we did not identify any slabs of granite intended for sale as countertop that would produce exposures that exceed health-protective limits or background levels commonly found in the environment," said Dr. Joseph G. Allen, of Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc., a principal investigator in both studies.

The science behind the studies was rigorously reviewed by independent scientists at the request of the Journal to ensure the studies are valid and used appropriate scientific methodology. Statements made by critics of granite countertops have not undergone this peer-review process.

The studies, published in the August 26, 2009 online issue of the Journal, conclude:

  • The market share-weighted average concentration of radon in indoor air attributable to emissions from granite countertops was estimated to be about 400 times lower than the action level recommended by the EPA.
  • Typical granite stones are likely to be a minor source of radiation dose when used as a countertop material within the home and present a negligible risk to human health.

Critics of granite have suggested that granite countertops pose significant health risks. However, after a year of claiming to have scientific proof, no study has been published by a scientific, peer-reviewed journal that demonstrates a meaningful environmental exposure resulting from granite countertops.

"We have repeatedly asked critics to share their specific findings with us, so that we can determine if any real risk exists," said Guido Gliori, president of the Marble Institute of America, the nation's leading natural stone trade organization. "Some have simply rejected our requests, others have said they will share findings once their studies are published. In the meantime, Environmental Health & Engineering conducted an independent assessment of granite that went through rigorous scientific peer review and now has been published. Meanwhile, we're still waiting for critics to share any real information."

The abstracts of the two studies, "Assessing exposure to granite countertops - part 1: Radiation" (Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology [26 August 2009] doi:10.1038/jes.2009.44) and "Assessing exposure to granite countertops - part 2: Radon" (Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology [26 August 2009] doi:10.1038/jes.2009.43) are available at http://www.marble-institute.com/, the Marble Institute of America's website, with links to the Journal's website, http://www.nature.com/jes/index.html.

The Journal will publish the studies in its printed version later this year.

The Marble Institute of America is the nation's leading natural stone trade organization. It has been a leader in the industry's efforts to improve the safe handling and processing of stone.


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SOURCE The Marble Institute of America
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