Stone and air: Opposites attract?
The classical theory of the world had it that there were four elements that were the basic building blocks of everything worldly: Earth, water, fire and air. While these are considered separate, it turns out that two of these elements have a lot more in common than it might appear.
In this case, we're talking about earth and air. At first glance, they couldn't seem to be more different. One, of course, has the sky as its domain, while earth is planted firmly on, well, the ground. But as anyone who's used to working with natural stone surfaces knows, the two are intimately connected.
This is because the granite, slate and other stone that is mined from the earth has a direct effect on the quality of air.
Explaining particulate matter
Before we explain how this is, it's important to get a grasp of what's known as particulate matter.
Particulate matter is simply airborne particles. These can be both visible and microscopic, and are generated naturally as well as from human activity. These can include:
Their sources include anything from pollen and bushfires to industrial work and vehicle emissions. As well as this, they also happen to be a potential health hazard if they're toxic, as the Center for Disease Control outlines. Among the nasty things they can cause are skin and eye irritation, heart attacks, irregular heartbeat and asthma.
Where does stone come in?
Fortunately, choosing stone as a building material and surface for your home limits the presence of these particles. They tend to come from products like the adhesives used for carpet padding or chemical finishes for hardwood, as well as carpet binders. In addition to this, carpets tend to more easily harbor these nasty particles.
Stone, however, neither generates such particulates nor accumulates them. And unlike carpet, which is full of tiny fibers that trap such material, stone surfaces don't allow particulates to build up.