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UK Housing News

Herringbone Is the First UK Kitchen Company to Ban the sale of High-Silica Quartz Following Disturbing Reports from America and Australia 

London, UK, 29 February, 2024 – In response to recent reports highlighting the health risks associated with high-silica quartz in engineered stone, Herringbone, the family run bespoke cabinet and furniture maker, is the first UK firm to announce it will be phasing out the sale of high-silica quartz worktops to its clients. This is the first company in the UK to take a stand against high-silica quartz, which is the dominant worktop material currently in the industry. While there appears to be no risks to clients or installers of this material, the risk comes when it is produced and cut by stonemasons. The decision comes in the wake of alarming findings from reputable sources, such as the report from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the announcement of Australia becoming the first country to ban high-silica engineered stone due to health concerns by July 2024. 


The UCSF report sheds light on the health risks posed by the use of high-silica quartz in engineered stone, linking it to serious respiratory illnesses amongst workers in California. This revelation prompted widespread concern, leading to increased scrutiny of materials used in worktop surfaces globally. Similarly, Australia's proactive decision to ban high-silica engineered stone by July 2024 underscores the urgency of addressing the potential risks associated with this material. Silica is naturally occurring in stone such as granite and marble at between 5-40%, however, in engineered quartz it can be as high as 97%. 

Being a progressive industry leader in their field, Herringbone cannot sit back and watch – the company’s owners William Durrant and Elly Simmons want to act with immediate effect. This family run business, based out of Canterbury in Kent, recognise the responsibility to priorities the health of all stonemasons by taking immediate action against the use of high-silica quartz in its products.  

Herringbone owners William Durrant & Elly Simmons.png
William Durrant and Elly Simmons

William Durrant, owner Herringbone, said “Our priority is to keep our staff, suppliers, and clients safe and so we will no longer be offering high-silica quartz options to new clients. Our stonemasons are confident that they have the strongest health and safety measures in place to protect their team and use water cutting to ensure this is safely done in their factory. However, for us these risks are not necessary when there are alternatives on the market. We apologise to our clients that this is quite a big change for us in a short period of time, however, we wanted to act quickly to prevent anyone from being harmed. We are the first company in the UK that we know of to ban the sale of high-silica quartz, but we hope that more companies follow suit in the coming months. We hope you can understand why we made this decision and can stand behind us in working to keep the industry safe and accountable.”

This stone is currently one of the dominant products in the market in the UK. While this product is not currently being considered for a ban in the UK, it will be banned in Australia from July 2024 and other countries are considering similar bans. Importantly, there are no risks to clients once this product is installed or installers of this material on-site, however the risk comes when it is produced and cut by stonemasons and dust is created. For us, these risks are just a little too close to home and not necessary when there are alternatives on the market. 

Herringbone is staying true to their ethos of using sustainable materials ethically sourced by asking their clients to pay slightly more for a worktop that is safer for stonemasons.  

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