All-important health aspects

Steel does not give off any hazardous or irritating substances. It can be used advantageously within those areas where demands are made that the material should have no effect on the surrounding medium or environment.

Iron is a nutritive substance essential to human beings. We all need to be provided with elemental iron in well-judged amounts in order to feel well. Cornflakes, for example, are iron-enriched (or fortified) with iron powder from Höganäs in Sweden. Photo: Höganäs.

Metals may occur in many different forms: as a pure metal; in an alloy; in a solution or bound to other substances in e.g. organo-mineral complexes. Depending on the particular form, the metal has different properties.

Steel is an alloy of mainly iron and carbon, but several other substances may also be included e.g. nickel, chromium, vanadium.

Iron – an indispensable substance for mankind

Many metals are examples of so-called micronutrients; substances that are essential to the well-being of mankind. Examples of such metals are iron, zinc, manganese and copper.

Iron is needed, for example, for the body’s production of red blood cells and it is possible to provide the body with an iron supplement in tablet form.

Stainless steel doesn’t cause nickel allergy

Stainless steel may contain nickel but it doesn’t normally bring about nickel allergy. This is due to the fact that the nickel does not leech out since it is so tightly bound in the steel.

Hygienic choice with stainless steel

Stainless steel is very widely used and is especially suited to products within the healthcare sector, food handling and households. These are areas where very high standards are set on hygiene and on the materials which must not affect the surrounding medium or environment.

Even in such demanding applications as implants, stainless steel is utilised. For example, hip replacement implants as well as implants for fractures such as plates, screws and nails must be made of biocompatible materials; in other words, that they are accepted by the body and not rejected. Naturally enough they must also possess high strength, great resistance to corrosion and be exceptionally clean.

Steel means healthier homes

A house made of inorganic materials – e.g. steel – runs much less risk of giving rise to so-called sick building syndrome. Joists and beams of steel do not absorb liquid and therefore do not constitute a breeding ground for mould. Steel does not give off any hazardous or irritating substances and resists attacks from e.g. vermin and dry rot fungus.

The two Swedish quality assessments BVB and BASTA operate to ensure that the house building and construction industry makes a good material choice from an environmental and health viewpoint. Several of common steel grades in the constructor sector meet BVB and BASTA criteria for non-toxic construction.
Learn more: Stainless steel approved in BASTA and BVB