Is it true that 316 stainless steel causes cancer?

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Is it true that 316 stainless steel causes cancer?

316 stainless steel carcinogenesis: Truth or misunderstanding?When it comes to stainless steel, we usually think of its wide application in tableware, medical equipment, building materials and other f···

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Is it true that 316 stainless steel causes cancer?

[ Data:2024-01-16 View:11Times ]

316 stainless steel carcinogenesis: Truth or misunderstanding?


When it comes to stainless steel, we usually think of its wide application in tableware, medical equipment, building materials and other fields, especially 316 stainless steel, known for its excellent corrosion resistance and high stability. However, in recent years, the argument that "316 stainless steel is carcinogenic" is common, which is a scientific fact or a misunderstanding? Today, let's find out.


316 stainless steel construction


First of all, understanding the composition of 316 stainless steel is the key to unlocking the mystery. 316 stainless steel is a kind of austenitic stainless steel containing chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni) and molybdenum (Mo). Among them, chromium is responsible for forming a passive film that gives stainless steel its corrosion-resistant properties. Nickel enhances its corrosion resistance, while the addition of molybdenum increases resistance to chlorides, such as seawater.


The source of the carcinogenic claim


The concern that stainless steel may cause cancer mainly comes from the nickel and chromium elements in it. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies nickel and its compounds as Group 1 carcinogens, while certain forms of chromium (hexavalent chromium compounds) are also placed in this category. This may sound scary, but the truth is more complicated than that.


Analyzing cancer risk


Under normal conditions, the chromium in 316 stainless steel mainly exists in the form of trivalent chromium, rather than carcinogenic hexavalent chromium. Moreover, trivalent chromium is actually an essential trace element for the human body and is involved in metabolism. As for nickel, it is only in certain industrial environments where long-term exposure to high concentrations of nickel dust or compounds may increase the risk of cancer.


In daily life, people use tableware or medical devices made of 316 stainless steel, and the dissolution amount of metal elements is extremely low, far below the international standard safety limit. Therefore, under normal use, 316 stainless steel does not lead to the intake of carcinogens.


Security in real-world applications


Due to the corrosion resistance of 316 stainless steel, it is often used in containers and equipment for handling and storing food. Food grade stainless steel (including model 316) must meet strict food safety standards. These standards ensure that even in the case of acidic or alkaline food contact, the amount of metal dissolves is well below the level that poses a threat to human health.


Combining the existing scientific research and data, we can conclude that 316 stainless steel is not carcinogenic under normal use. Its stability and corrosion resistance make it ideal for use in the kitchen and medical industries. Of course, any product needs to be properly used and properly maintained to ensure its safety and durability.

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