MIA Launches ‘Home Approved Stone’ Program To Give Consumers Complete Reassurance That Granite Countertops Do Not Pose A Health Risk

January 5, 2009

CLEVELAND, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ — 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) today announced the Home Approved Stone program, a
national stone safety testing program.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090105/AQM016)

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 said.

“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 said. “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. The tests are designed to ensure granite used in 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-percent 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.

About the Marble Institute of America

For over 60 years the Marble Institute of America (MIA) has been the
world’s leading information resource and advocate for the natural dimension
stone industry. MIA members include marble, granite, limestone, sandstone, and
other natural stone producers and quarriers, fabricators, installers,
distributors, and contractors around the world.

SOURCE Marble Institute of America

Source: newswire

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