The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health has surveyed the present state of knowledge in respect of the environmental and health characteristics of stainless steel.
Stainless steel contains alloys of several substances, primarily the metals iron and chromium as well as, in many cases, also nickel. The study below shows that the emission of nickel from stainless steel is much lower – in certain studies more than one thousand times lower – compared with the amounts that are emitted from pure nickel.
Report: "Review on toxicity of stainless steel" från Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (pdf)
The conclusions are:
- Stainless steel has very low toxicity
- Stainless steel is not carcinogenic
- Stainless steel does not cause allergies
On the basis of these conclusions, the quality assessments BASTA och BVB, both of which operate to ensure that the house building and construction industry makes a good material choice from an environmental and health viewpoint, have decided to approve stainless steel building materials.
The assessment takes place on the basis of the health and environmental characteristics of the alloy itself (instead of, as earlier, the characteristics of the separate metal constituents of the alloy).