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Galvanized kitchen countertops

I have galvanized steel counter tops in the kitchen in my loft. The
galvanizing comes off or corrodes at the least thing. The rest of the
tenants in my building are ready to get together and make the complex
replace the existing counter tops. Anyone out there know the effects
of galvanizing on the body. I am sure it can’t be good for you. It
comes off onto my kitchen sponge. But I need something concrete to
present to the landlord.

Any help out there?

The galvinizing material is probably zinc. It’s probably about as
good for you as mercury. As for something concrete for your
landlord, maybe some boots for when he/she goes swimming.


The galvinizing material is probably zinc. It's probably about as
good for you as mercury. As for something concrete for your
landlord, maybe some boots for when he/she goes swimming.

Don’t do anything with heat or flame around Zinc Galvanizing. You
could destroy your self really quick.


I would bet it’s steel plated with zinc, (much cheaper than quality
stainless steel) and if I remember right when heated it gives off
toxic fumes, much less eating it. But google it first. It’s best to
be prepared before you complain. If you can take a counter to a
plating company and say “Here’s $25 bucks what is this?” Hopefully
the guy won’t say “You don’t eat off this thing do you?” :slight_smile:

Just an idea.

If it is galvanized, it likely is zinc. If it is zinc however, it is
not what I would consider toxic. The fact that it will rub off onto
your hands, clothes, etc is less than desirable and reason enough for
replacement though.

Material Safety Data Sheet for zinc:


Zinc was a traditional material for kitchen counter tops and
actually was the source for the term “sink”. It is having a
resurgence for use in high end kitchens. See:

Search zinc countertops for more

Galvanized steel will get corrosion protection from the zinc but it
will not be a high class job worthy of more than a cheap shop bench


Hello again,

Nothing wrong with galvanized countertops except that they are
neither the most durable noreasiest to maintain,nor good for knives
etc. The danger from zinc (which is the surface coating) comes
mainly from when it is heated to a point where it vaporizes. Even
then it is not chemically poisonous, as far as I know, but the zinc
oxide crystals form into very thin, very pointy crystals - I recall
they are elongated three-sided pyramidal shapes which emanate in
threes or fours from a centre point. If you have trouble
visualizing that, look up “caltrop” in the dictionary and you’ll
probably see picture. Anyway, these microscopic murderers get into
one’s lungs when zinc smoke is breathed and do in there what
caltrops do to horses’ feet. Bad news. So be careful braing or
silver soldering - it’s the white smoke that has the zinc crystals.

Marty in Victoria


In particular, note “Nowadays it typically means hot-dip galvanizing”

a chemical process that is used to coat steel or iron with zinc

As far as zinc being “poisonous”, it might be noted that all of us
using commercially prepared gold alloys inhale a certain amount of
vaporized zinc already. I make my own 14K yellow alloys with 6.6%
zinc. When old golds are repeatedly melted, it is the zinc that
becomes depleted and forces the metal to begin to turn pink. Besides
improving the color, the zinc helps to reduce oxidation of the
copper in these alloys. My concerns are much more centered around
the use of cadmium in solders. Cadmium is a carcenogen.


Zinc is an essential element in human beings, necessary for
sustaining life. Deficiencies of zinc have marked effects on weight
gain in animals. Zinc is found in insulin , zinc finger proteins, and
such enzymes as superoxide dismutase .

An over supply of zinc has been noted to result in “zinc shakes”,
but removal of the subject from the source will result in recovery.

Hard soldering or welding of galvanized iron will result in the
vaporization of the zinc. This means that the zinc plating can no
longer do the job of protecting the iron.

Bruce D. Holmgrain
JA Certified Master Benchjeweler, CAD/CAM Services