Do quartz countertops pose any health risks through contact with food or through airborne particles?

Question

Do quartz countertops pose any health risks through contact with food or through airborne particles?

Asked by chris

We are considering installing quartz in our kitchen.

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Answers

Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS's picture

Dear Chris,

Quartz is a great material for kitchen countertops due to it's high durability and lowmaintenance qualities.

Several quartz manufacturers have earned the third party Green Guardcertification and/or the NSF certification.

Health risks

As for health risks, a review of multiple quartzmanufacturers' Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), revealed that the primaryhealth risks associated with quartz come with the fabrication of the product and the potential to inhalesilica dust.

Therefore, unless you want to invest in the requisite fabrication equipmentincluding ventilators and dust masks, you would be well advised not to fabricate your owncounters and should be free from any hazardous exposure from this product.

Maintenance

In order to safely maintain your counters and minimize compromising the safety andintegrity of the material, never allow:

  • hydroxides (such as sodium or potassium)orhydrofluoric acid solutions to come incontact with the countertops
  • and if they do, wipe them up immediately.

Table salt will not eat your countertops but do wipe up spills.

Additionally, it is notrecommended that you cut directly on the counters (your knives will thank you too) or dragsmall appliances across the counter that to not have rubber or hard plastic bases that willminimize scratching or gauging the countertop.

For more information:

Read "Is quartz solid surfacing green?" a Q&A answered by Kati Curtis.

Also, check "Are engineered stone (quartz) countertops really green?" a Q&A answered by David Edwards.