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Material Collection

Countertops

Health concerns in countertops vary wildly depending on the type of surface. They range from resins used to make engineered quartz products or composite wood substrates used in a laminate surface.

Natural stone is benign unless it is sealed with coatings containing PFAS (per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) or petroleum products. These chemicals are linked to cancer and developmental problems. Given the range of hazardous substances potentially found in countertops, it is best to look for products assessed for emissions and product contents.

 https://pfascentral.org/pfas-b...

Countertops

5 products
How to Use This List

About Our Collections

The goal of our collections is to help promote transparency in the material ingredients of building products by fostering knowledge and awareness of products and materials for which life-cycle information is available, and that have environmentally, economically, and socially preferable life-cycle impacts.

Keep an eye out for the following symbols:
A Healthier Affordable Building Product

Products with the designation of "Healthier & Affordable" were specified and installed in at least one of our Case Studies of healthier affordable housing.

Available at the Donghia healthier Materials Library

The Donghia healthier Materials Library library is open to Parsons student and faculty. Learn more about access and opening hours here.

Low Embodied Carbon

“Embodied Carbon” is the total amount of carbon emitted during the process of making a material. *HML refers to a manufacturer's EPD to determine whether a product's A1-A3 carbon emissions falls within HML's threshold for Low Embodied Carbon.

New Product

This product has been added to the collection within the past six months.

Ingredient Disclosures

There are several ways of evaluating a material’s health that we include with product information. Disclosures are reports by manufacturers about product ingredients, impacts, or other attributes.

Key Disclosures include:
Health Product Declaration (HPD)

A voluntary technical specification for reporting information on product contents and associated health information, intended to be the health-analogue to Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).

Declare Label

Declare is a transparency platform and product database that answers three questions: 
  1. Where does a product come from?
  2. What is it made of?
  3. Where does it go at the end of its life?

Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)

A standardized format for communicating the environmental effects associated with a product’s raw materials extraction, energy use, chemical makeup, waste generation, and emissions to air, soil, and water.

Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

A reporting format that provides basic information about a material’s chemical ingredients, the potential safety hazards to installers, and recommended practices for installation.

Other
Learn More
Category Sub-category Manufacturer Product Ingredient Disclosures

Sintered Stone Slabs

A Healthier Affordable Building Product
Low-Embodied Carbon Material

Lapitec is an alternative to marble made from natural minerals using vacuum vibro-compression, drying, and sintering (joining the mineral grains together through heat and pressure only). Despite smaller amounts of initially hazardous materials (see HPD for further information), the process of sintering effects a physical change in the material that renders these ingredients benign and inert. Lapitec's product life cycle is reversible meaning it could be converted back into raw minerals and reused; production is fueled by mostly renewable energy. It is available in the form of slabs, tiles, and any other cut-to-size product and is suitable for interior or exterior cladding, paving, flooring, curtain walling, and ventilated facades.

According to Lapitec's EPD, this product meets HML's criteria for low embodied carbon.


Category
Dimensional Surface, Engineered Stone
Manufacturer
Lapitec
Product Website

Material composition*

Ceramic materials and wares, Frits, Feldspar, Water, Undisclosed (4.80-6%), Kaolin clay, Quartz, Zircon, Undisclosed (1-3%), Undisclosed (.09-3%), Silica, Undisclosed (0-0.18%), Undisclosed Chemical #1 (0-4%), Undisclosed Chemical #2 (0-1%)

*as reported by the manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

Variable

COLORS

Variable

Granite Countertop

A Healthier Affordable Building Product

Coldspring Granite Countertops are made from 100% natural granite. Stone is one of the most durable materials that you can use for any application - when specified and detailed correctly, these countertops can last for hundreds of years. Their long life results in granite countertops’ very low embodied energy levels. Coldspring is also committed to sustainable manufacturing practices that maximize the utilization of resources while minimizing energy use.


Category
Dimensional Surface, Solid Stone
Manufacturer
Coldspring
Product Website

Material composition*

Granite 100%

*as reported by the manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

Custom Sizes - available in 3/4” thickness

COLORS

Available in a variety of granite types

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
Other
Declare | Red List Free
NSF/ANSI 51 Certification
Last Updated

September 26, 2016

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Quartz Classic Collection

A Healthier Affordable Building Product

Caesarstone's premium quartz can be used in both commercial and residential projects. Quartz provides a durable, low-maintenance surface for kitchens and bathrooms. This product also is Greenguard Gold Certified.


Category
Dimensional Surface, Engineered Stone
Manufacturer
Caesarstone
Product Website

Material composition*

Crystalline Silica and other natural Stone <85%, Cristobalite <50%, Polymeric Resin 7-15%, Additives 0-8%

*as reported by the manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

Custom Sizes - available in 3/4” or 1-1/4” thickness

COLORS

Available in a variety of colors

IceStone

Available At the Donghia Materials Library

IceStone manufactures their countertops in Brooklyn, NY out of just three core ingredients: 100% recycled glass, Portland cement, and non-toxic pigments. Their product is free of petrochemical & plastic resins, and thirteen of their colors carry Cradle to Cradle Silver or Gold Certifications.


Category
Dimensional Surface, Engineered Stone
Manufacturer
IceStone
Product Website

Material composition*

100% recycled glass, Portland cement, and non-toxic pigments

*as reported by the manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

IceStone slabs are 52.5" wide by 96.5" long, and 1.25" thick (nominal)

COLORS

Multiple Colors Available

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
Other
NSF/ANSI 51 Certification
Cradle to Cradle | Silver icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Cradle to Cradle Material Health Certification icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Last Updated

February 27, 2018

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces

DalTile's Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces are comprised of silica, quartz, mullite, and feldspar. Raw materials are extracted from quarries with environmental recovery plans according to EU Directive 92/43 / EEC. Due to their production process and material composition, these products require no additional sealants which often contain toxic materials. Their surfaces mimic the appearance of natural stone slabs and concrete and can be used for floors, walls, and countertops.


Category
Tile, Porcelain
Manufacturer
Daltile
Product Website

Material composition*

Silica 75-85%, Quartz 10-15%, Mullite 2.5-5%, Feldspar 0-5%

*as reported by the manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

varies across collections

COLORS

varies across collections

COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE

The products in this collection have all been evaluated holistically for their contents and performance. To be considered, a product must disclose at least 75% of its ingredients by weight. It should avoid the biggest health concerns (such as those indicated in the HML Spec guidance for this product category) or be third-party certified.

Spec Guidance

Be cautious about surface sealants as these coatings often contain per-fluorinated chemicals (PFACsS), which have been linked to reproductive disorders and developmental disabilities (HomeFree).

Prefer solid granite countertops. Granite can be a healthy option if it is mechanically polished rather than chemically sealed. Look for solid granite that has low absorption rates (indicated by ASTM C97).

Specify large-format products. There can be concerns with grouts and mortars. Some manufacturers now offer slabs up to 5'x10' that eliminate the majority of grout joints.

Updated March 13, 2018
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