Question

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

Asked by chris
Pinon Hills, CA

We are considering installing quartz in our kitchen.

Answer

Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS

Answered by Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS

Bainbridge Island, WA

A Kitchen That Works LLC

August 24, 2011

Dear Chris,

Quartz is a great material for kitchen countertops due to it’s high durability and low maintenance qualities.

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

Health risks

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

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

Maintenance

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

  • hydroxides (such as sodium or potassium) or hydrofluoric acid solutions to come in contact 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 not recommended that you cut directly on the counters (your knives will thank you too) or drag small appliances across the counter that to not have rubber or hard plastic bases that will minimize 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.

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