Granite: Dispelling the Myths

Posted on 05 December 2012 by CRadmin2

by Frederick M. Hueston, Ph.D.

Recently, there have been newspaper articles and news on TV that are putting out false information about granite. “Do not use granite,” one outlet implored. “It is dangerous and can harm you,” stated another. “Granite emits radon, and it can also harbor bacteria,” said others.

These are some of the rumors that are being spread lately, but they are just not true. These reports and writers are misinformed, and it makes it difficult to dispel these myths without some good, sound evidence and information. The following will help you deal with these myths and rumors.


Myth #1 – Granite harbors harmful bacteria.
I contacted the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to find out how many cases they had on file where granite has caused any illness or disease as a result of bacteria. They could not find one case, which is strong evidence that granite does not harbor bacteria more than any other surfacing material. In addition, you would expect one to clean their countertop on a regular basis, which would further eliminate any bacterial problems.

Myth #2 – Granite emits harmful radon gases.
This claim was investigated by Donald Langmuir, Ph.D., professor emeritus of chemistry and geochemistry at the Colorado School of Mines and president of Hydrochemical Systems Corp. Mr Langmuir’s response can be found here. In addition, the Marble Institute of America also has several studies available that dispel this myth.

Myth #3 – Granite is difficult to clean.
Anyone who works with or owns granite countertops knows that they are very easy to take care of. Cleaning requires wiping with a good stone cleaner. There are even disinfectant cleaners now available for both granite and solid surfaces.

Myth #4 – Granite cannot be repaired.
If this were true then why are there numerous stone restoration companies that offer granite repairs? There are even seminars available that can teach tradesmen how to make these repairs.

Myth #5 – Granite will stain easily.
Granite does not stain easily, and as a matter of fact, many granite surfaces are now injected with resins, which in effect serve to further their stain resistance. That is not to say that granite cannot be stained, but in most cases granite fabricators will supply a finished product that is sealed to help prevent staining. In case your granite countertop is not pre-sealed, most of today’s sealers are excellent and will last for years.

So, the next time your customer is reluctant about using granite, find out why and then use this information to help dispell the myths.

Fred Hueston, Ph.D., is is a nationally known consultant and the founder of Stone Forensics. He also serves as the Chief Technical Director for Stone and Tile PROS, Inc.




 





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