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BuildClean Testing for Radon Emitted From Natural Building Materials Like Stone Benchtops

BuildClean, a not-for-profit organization seeking to educate consumers and the building industry about the health, safety and environmental risks and benefits of indoor building products, announced today it is offering free in-home radon tests in the Greater Houston area to determine whether using natural stone products, such as granite, in indoor applications may emit harmful levels of radon over time. A licensed, bonded technician who specializes in radon measurement is conducting the home tests.

Radon (Rn) is an inert gas that results from the decay of uranium in natural stone. Both the Surgeon General of the United States and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have identified radon as the chief cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

“It has long been known that granite, an igneous rock, emits radon,” says Sara Speer Selber, president of BuildClean™. “And as a consequence of that, it is widely accepted practice in many parts of the country to test basements and other indoors areas if a home has been constructed on a rock formation known to contain radon.”

“What we don’t have adequate data on is whether the popular consumer colors of commercial/residential granite being used for indoor applications, such as countertops, wall covering and floors, may emit levels of radon that can be harmful to health,” she added. “With the cost of natural stone products such as granite coming down and their popularity increasing among builders, designers and consumers, it is critical that we ascertain whether these products are safe and healthy.”

Speer Selber added that obtaining this knowledge will require investment in both scientific-based testing of natural stone products by independent, respected laboratories and in-home testing of natural stone surfaces to see how factors such as room size and air circulation effect radon levels.

“Bottom line - every home is different, and the only way for homeowners to ensure their house is safe and healthy is to conduct a radon test,” said Speer Selber. “They are inexpensive and easy to administer, so there is no reason that each and every homeowner shouldn’t test.”

Houstonians interested in participating in the pilot study should visit to apply.

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