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Stainless Steel Safety Overview

The following safety overview applies to stainless steel in sheet and coil formats from which Rimex supplies its stainless-steel products:

  • Under REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) stainless-steel products are considered to be ‘Articles’ and therefore do not require a safety data sheet.
  • Stainless steel is harmless in solid form and is non-hazardous. For this reason it is utilised where safety and hygiene are of key importance such as for medical, food preparation and drinking water applications.
  • Stainless steel is odourless.
  • Solid stainless steel is insoluble and does not leach into soil or ground water. Therefore, ‘Articles’ produced from solid stainless steel are not considered to be an ecological hazard.
  • Stainless steel is 100% recyclable and the recycled content of stainless is as high as 85% from some European mill sources (source: outokumpo.com) and consequently has limited impact when disposed of.
  • A low percentage of stainless steel is not recycled and such materials are classified as a non-hazardous waste. As much as 94% is recovered from UK building sites (source: ’Stainless Steel and Sustainable Construction’, BSSA 2004).
  • Solid state stainless steels are stable and non-reactive under normal ambient atmospheric conditions as all alloy elements are firmly bound in the metallic structure. Due to this bonding and the presence of a passive and naturally forming oxide film, the release of the alloying constituents is negligible when used appropriately.
  • Solid stainless steel does not contain Cr(vi) compounds.
  • There are no occupational exposure limits for solid stainless steel.

Note: During the additional processing of stainless steel through cutting grinding or welding, dust and fumes may be generated and if inhaled over an extended time frame, it may affect your health. Of course, the process of welding should be performed with appropriate PPE - if more information is required on this or on stainless steel dust and alloying elements, please refer to the mill safety information sheet available from the Outokumpu website at www.outokumpu.com or request a copy from the sales team.

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