SEATTLE (Aug. 7, 2008) – In response to recent erroneous reports, Peter Pental of Pental Granite & Marble, is working diligently to educate Pacific Northwest public and trades professional about the safety of granite. The granite and marble industries are currently facing claims that granite contains harmful radon levels, and ultimately radiation, despite the disputing information by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the federal level. Members of the granite industry are all focused on dispelling any myths about the safety of the natural countertop and surface product.
Pental has started an informational blog for the public to access accurate granite safety data, and is handing out educational information in his showrooms and online. Pental’s blog is called Safe Granite and is available at www.safegranite.blogspot.com or at www.pentalonline.com.
“The EPA says that granite poses no significant risk,” said Pental, president of Pental Granite & Marble. “We are sharing details to help our customers feel better about their choice. But, just to be on the safe side, we are also testing our products internally to confirm with our customers the safety of our products.”
According to the EPA, while natural minerals such as granite may occasionally emit radon gas, the levels of radon attributable to such sources are not typically high. The EPA believes the principal source of radon in homes is soil gas drawn indoors through a natural suction process.
Further, the EPA states that because granite is a natural mineral formed by earth’s geology, it is possible for any granite sample to contain varying concentrations of uranium that can produce radon gas. Because of this, some granite used in countertops may contribute variably to indoor radon levels. However, there is no reliable data concluding that types of granite used in countertops are significantly increasing indoor radon levels.
EPA also issued a recent statement on the findings of radiation in granite, saying that construction materials such as concrete, cinder blocks, bricks, and granite contain small amounts of radioactive materials found naturally in the materials used to make them.
Pental’s effort to educate people about the safety of granite focuses around scientific data and is supported by the work of the Marble Institute of America (MIA), a natural stone association. Noting recent studies by Consumer Reports and various university scientists, Jim Hogan, president of the MIA, said the recent EPA statement solidifies findings that have consistently illustrated granite countertops pose no health risk in the home.
“Every time researchers have applied rigorous scientific standards to testing, the results have found that granite countertops pose no risk,” Hogan said. Two recent studies by researchers at the University of Akron and Consumer Reports found no threat to the health and well-being of people who live or work in environments with granite countertops, floors or furniture. Dr. L.L. Chyi, who conducted the Akron study, said that there was no reason to be concerned. No radon was emitted from any of the granite countertops tested by the Consumer Reports.
The MIA is currently working with experts and scientists to develop universal standards for testing granite countertops for radon emissions. The objective is to establish a scientific consensus around testing protocols so that all research can be done consistently, to eliminate confusion resulting from inconsistent testing and science.
“We support testing protocols and a certification program for granite,” added Pental. “In the meantime, we are open to answering questions and sharing the actual data.”
About Pental Granite & Marble:
Pental Granite & Marble was founded in 1999 by brothers Peter and Ravi Pental and has since grown to become the Pacific Northwest’s largest importer and wholesale distributor of natural stone and tile. Pental provides architects, designers and fabricators with unique, innovative and luxurious custom solutions to their commercial and residential projects. Pental has three showroom and warehouse locations open to the public in Seattle, Wash., Fife, Wash., and Portland, Ore., showcasing a vast array of unique natural stone, porcelain, ceramic and eco- friendly tiles and slabs. For more information, visit www.pentalonline.com.
Erika Schmidt, APR or Laura Geese
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