Health risks involving worktops and precautions
It becomes our moral obligation to educate potential customers about the health risks worktops. We need to know the materials being used to make these work surfaces and health risks associated with them, especially when dealing with kitchen worktops and bathroom countertops in UK. .
Levels of Radon emission in Granite and health risks in worktops
Experts have written extensively about level of radon gas emission in Granite counter tops. Radon Gas is a dangerous element when inhaled. Radon is produced in nature during the natural decay of uranium. This is not something that exists in granite, it exists in the ground and any area that has higher radon presence in the ground will have high radon content in almost everything that is associated with the ground.
The safety of granite therefore depends on the source of the Granite used in making the countertops. Recently, there were reports of high levels of radioactive material in Granite imported from China. Further investigation revealed that such grade of granite is not even allowed for domestic usage in mainland China. So choose your brand and verify the origin of the granite to be sure about the safety levels.
This question about safety of Granite usage pops up every 8-10 years. Granite industry has taken up this issue with many respected scientists around the globe whenever some news page fuels concerns among public with an article regarding alarming levels of radiations from granite or marble.
Safety assurance from granite industry regarding health risks in worktops
New York State Health Department research scientist Michael Kitto, PhD, says only a small fraction of the granite samples he has tested have emitted radon at levels that were over those considered safe. This was in 2008, since then the granite processing industry has improved and imported samples and quarry locations are tested regularly of possibly high presence of radioactive elements in Granite, Marble or other similar stones.
Testing actual levels of radioactive elements in your Granite counter top may be very complex and costly process, but you can easily test the levels of Radon in your house (radon in air) with Radon test kits available online or at retail stores in United Kingdom. However, if you do find alarming levels of radon in your home, the chances are high that they are being emitted from the ground than your worktop.
Probable health risks from Quartz worktops
Quartz is a rather safe material and is one of the popular choices in British homes because of its brilliant finishing and low maintenance. The only significant health risk associated with Quartz work-surfaces arises from Silica inhaling. But that does not happen easily unless you are present in the situation when quartz is being put or polished. Arlington Direct only chooses those manufacturers (if not fabricated on site) who have a trust green certification and a clean history to protect our customers.
For your general information, Quartz has a very high concentration of Silica, which is almost twice as much in Granite. During manufacturing and Installation process when quartz is cut or polished fine silica particles get air borne and inhaled by humans if they are working without proper protection from particle inhalation. A regular counter-top after installation will not release silica particles into the air.
Similarly one must not attempt to fabricate worktops at home without proper protection and professional guidance. Silica inhalation can lead to a condition called silicosis, a debilitating and potentially deadly lung disease. Silica inhalation has also been linked to some other severe medical conditions like kidney failure and lung cancer .
As a conclusion our prospective customer are alerted that using a Quartz worktop does not pose any alarming health issue but mishandling it and trying to make or repair a quartz worktop may be a potentially dangerous affair.