Stone World

MIA LAUNCHES “HOME APPROVED STONE” PROGRAM

January 23, 2009
Home Approved Stone


CLEVELAND, OH - To reassure consumers about the safety, beauty and durability of granite countertops for their homes, and put an end to baseless claims that granite countertops can pose a health risk, the Marble Institute of America (MIA) has announced the “Home Approved Stone” program, a national stone safety testing program.

All products that pass the uniform test will be labeled with a “Home Approved Stone” logo, clearly showing they have been screened and approved for interior use.

“We want to reassure consumers once and for all that the granite countertops they buy for their homes pose no health risk to their families,” said MIA President Guido Gliori. “No credible research conducted to date, including the most comprehensive scientific study of granite countertops, completed just weeks ago, has ever found a single stone slab that poses a health risk.”

Gliori said that over the past several months, manufacturers of products that compete with granite countertops have purposely misled consumers about granite’s safety by promoting questionable science as fact. The claims have stemmed from the fact that no single, universal standard has existed to measure radon and radiation emanations from stone. The situation has been compounded by inaccurate stories in the media about the issue, he explained.

“The lack of a universal standard enabled some organizations with questionable motives to promote the results of research based on testing that was at best inconsistent and at worst, completely flawed,” Gliori said. “Those days are over. That’s great news for consumers because we now have a universal consistent testing protocol that allows consumers to be completely confident that the granite countertops they choose for their homes are every bit as safe as they are durable, practical and beautiful.

“Over the past several months, there’s been a lot of innuendo promoted by our competitors about the safety of granite,” Gliori continued. “It’s time for the ridiculous claims to stop - and that’s exactly what the ‘Home Approved Stone’ program will do.”

The MIA has begun distributing stringent testing protocols across the nation, which granite distributors and fabricators can use to test granite for the presence of radon and radiation. Details of the program’s implementation are still being finalized with scientific consultants and will be in place before any stone is labeled with the “Home Approved” sticker.

The testing protocols were developed by independent scientists and researchers following the most comprehensive study of granite countertops ever undertaken, reports the MIA. The tests are designed to ensure granite used for home countertops poses no health risk to consumers.

The protocols have been submitted for peer review to scientific organizations involved in radon and radiation testing. Since the process of creating a universally accepted scientific standard may take years, the industry chose to deploy its protocols to educate and protect the public. If the peer review process changes the test protocols to make them more protective, the MIA will adopt the changes.

“Though all the rigorous scientific studies have yet to find a single stone that poses a health risk, consumers who want to be absolutely, positively, 100% confident about their granite countertops need only to look for the ‘Home Approved Stone’ logo,” said Gliori.

Gliori said granite slabs bearing the “Home Approved Stone” logo should start appearing in showrooms in the coming months. If ongoing testing identifies specific types of stone that pose a health risk, the MIA will issue an industry warning to its members, to make them aware of the potential problem. The goal is to prevent stones that pose any risk at all from being used indoors.