Washington, October 12 : Slabs made of polished granite do not emit such amounts of radiation as to be termed "silent killers", says an American expert.
Mike Brennan, a radiation health physicist with the Washington State Department of Health in Olympia, says that even a Geiger counter cannot detect radiation from a slab of granite from more than a few inches away.
"So in terms of direct radiation, you would have to spend a long time, at least hours per day, laying on the granite countertop, in order to receive very much exposure from it," Earth quoted him, as saying.
He even dismisses suggestions that granite worktops were likely to emit lots of radioactive radon gas, the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
"What we encourage people to do is to test their home for radon. The test kits are readily available and they're easy to use. And if you test your home for radon and you don't have a radon problem, you can be pretty certain that you don't have a problem in connection with your granite countertop," he says.
Andrew Karam, a radiation safety expert based in Rochester, New York, agrees.
He thinks that it will not be a good advice if people are asked to tear out pricey granite worktops.
"If anybody is thinking about doing that, I would advise them to give me a call, because my wife and I are looking to redo our kitchen," he says.