I have received numerous calls lately concerning the fading of dark granite countertops. The most common complaints seem to be on Absolute Black, Black Galaxy, Zimbabwe Black and a few others. I have heard many fabricators try to blame the fading on the misuse of cleaning chemicals, acids, etc. While one should not use inappropriate chemicals on granite surfaces, this is often not the reason for the increase in black granite fading.
More and more in the stone fabrication industry, companies are looking to take extra steps to ensure that the seam is as smooth as possible. Seam polishing is one technique, although many of the seams I polished were to fix someone else’s mistakes. You may also have to seam polish if you have a bowed slab.
Does your shop cut, grind or hone stone dry? If so, you should consider the fact that the dust created from cutting and grinding certain types of stone will emit silica in the air. If you or your workers are not using the proper respiratory protection, you could be exposing yourself and your workers to serious health problems - and potentially devastating lawsuits. Breathing silica dust can cause a disease known as silicosis. More than 250 people each year die from this disease, and over 1 million workers in the U.S. are exposed to silica dust.
In this issue of Stone World, read more about the new Silica Rule, which was recently announced by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and scheduled to go into effect on June 23, 2016.