Protection of human health

The ease with which stainless steel surgical instruments and appliances can be kept clean and sterile provides an obvious illustration of the way the material helps to safeguard our health.  However, there are so many less obvious ways in which the contribution of stainless steel to our well-being is of growing importance.

The “hygienic” qualities that are so vital to medical equipment are equally valuable when used in the preparation of healthy foods and beverages (see also “Food and beverage industry”).  In the kitchen and bathroom, sinks and utensils made from stainless steel not only look attractive but are easy to keep clean and free from harmful bacteria.

In the field of transport, stainless steel catalytic converters help to reduce the pollutants from exhaust systems that have been a major concern for health in our towns and cities.

The generation of electricity provides further examples, such as the removal of poisonous fractions from waste gases being emitted from coal-fired power stations, and the safe storage of radio-active waste from nuclear facilities.

These are just some of the ways in which this versatile material helps us to tackle threats to human health from a variety of sources.

Disinfection of stainless steel in hospitals

The continuing safety of using stainless steel in hospital environments has been confirmed in a new study commissioned by Team Stainless. Researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University and AgroParisTech found that there was no discernible difference between the efficiency of disinfection across the range of grades and finishes, and whether or not the stainless steel was new or aged. This confirms the effectiveness of disinfecting stainless steel against bacteria associated with HAIs and its ongoing suitability as a material for use in clinical environments.

A summary brochure, ‘Disinfection of stainless steel in hospitals’ is available to download from the Team Stainless website. It can be downloaded in English or Spanish [clicking on the language will open the brochure].

Safe food preparation using stainless steel

The continuing safety of using stainless steel in food preparation has been confirmed in an independent study following the adoption of new test criteria across Europe. The Council of Europe’s (CoE) guidelines for metals and alloys in food contact materials defines specific release limits (SRLs) for metals and includes a new, more aggressive test to simulate use in food preparation.

The authors demonstrated that all of the grades passed the test for the relevant metallic elements prescribed in the CoE guidelines. A summary of the report can be downloaded in English, Chinese or Japanese.

A more detailed technical summary of the report can be downloaded from The full report is also available from

Stainless steel: your partner in hygiene


Over the last 100 years the notion of ‘making available to everybody’ a high level of hygiene in their personal environment, in safe food and drinks preparation, in medical services and in public infrastructure has been a big achievement. Stainless steels have played a significant role in this process. The bright and easy-to-clean surfaces make it quite obvious that stainless steel is a material for a healthier life. But what makes stainless steel your partner in hygiene? Discover it in the latest stainless steel webinar.

Watch a recording of the webinar here
Stainless steel - Benefits for elderly people

Life expectancy is increasing strongly. As more and more people are getting older and older, society must be prepared to cater for the specific needs of elderly people. Many of the applications discussed in this brochure in the context of old age are also attractive to other users to make living environments safer, more comfortable and attractive.

This brochure is available in English, Chinese and Portuguese.

Medical applications of stainless steel 304

By their very nature, devices designed for medical uses must meet extremely stringent design and fabrication criteria. In a world increasingly focused on lawsuits and retribution claims for injury or damage caused by medical malpractice anything that comes into contact with or surgically implanted within the human body must perform exactly as designed, without fail.

Read more here
Stainless steel - when health comes first

Decades of experience have shown that stainless steel is an exceptionally neutral and corrosion resistant material. For this reason, it is normal choice, e.g. in the food industry, in pharmaceutical production or for medical devices. Over the last few years, there has been extensive research into the behaviour of materials in applications that pertain to human health.

This brochure is available in English and German. Click on the language to download the brochure.

Stainless steel in hygienic applications

In this brochure it is explained why stainless steel is the best option in many hygiene demanding conditions. 

It is available in English and Chinese [clicking on the language will open a pdf]

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