A few days ago I made a lengthy post about toy recalls and our general mania about dangerous materials – See Lead Paint Mania – Are we going overboard?. Such mania has become so ingrained in our younger generation as to be completely ridiculous.
This delightful cartoon from B.C., created by Johnny Hart and published by Creators Syndicate, Inc. can be found on Creators.com. Sadly Johnny Hart passed away this year. Looks like the work is being carried on by capable hands.
Today there is yet another story about a toy recall, this one due to asbestos supposedly found in a Planet Toys CSI toy, a fingerprinting kit. This comes after traces of asbestos were alledgely found in some samples of the fingerprinting dust.
Now here is the rub: Fingerprinting dust is just that, a very finely ground powder. The problem with asbestos is in the fiber. People who get asbestosis have usually been exposed to high levels of asbestos fibers for a long time. Once it is ground so fine that it becomes a dust, it no longer is a fiber is it?
Now consider this: Asbestos is in virtually every sample of dirt and dust you can find on this planet. We have asbestos dust on and alongside of every road in America from the constant wearing of asbestos pads on our automotive brakes. Virtually every car had them for throughout their lifetime. They all wore out somewhere along our highways, mostly in the cities. No wonder it might show up in fingerprinting dust. You can very likely find traces of it on your dining room table if you haven’t dusted lately.
Here are common sources of asbestos dust on our planet, not even considering that it is a natural mineral sometimes blasted into the atmosphere by natural sources (I even have a large sample of it in my rock collection):
STEAM PIPES, BOILERS, and FURNACE DUCTS insulated with an asbestos blanket or asbestos paper tape.
RESILIENT FLOOR TILES (vinyl asbestos, asphalt, and rubber)
The backing on VINYL SHEET FLOORING, and ADHESIVES used for installing floor tile.
CEMENT SHEET, MILLBOARD, and PAPER used as insulation around furnaces and woodburning stoves.
DOOR GASKETS in furnaces, wood stoves, and coal stoves.
SOUNDPROOFING OR DECORATIVE MATERIAL sprayed on walls and ceilings.
PATCHING AND JOINT COMPOUNDS for walls and ceilings, and TEXTURED PAINTS.
ASBESTOS CEMENT ROOFING, SHINGLES, and SIDING.
ARTIFICIAL ASHES AND EMBERS sold for use in gas-fired fireplaces.
Older FIREPROOF GLOVES, STOVE-TOP PADS, IRONING BOARD COVERS, and certain HAIRDRYERS.
AUTOMOBILE BRAKE PADS AND LININGS, CLUTCH FACINGS, and GASKETS.
Most of the above were found in a listing here: Asbestos Dangers:
A Homeowner’s Field Guide.
The list is for the homeowner, but the greatest uses were military and industrial, particularly shipyard and any industrial furnace and boiler application.
There have been tens of thousands, perhaps many millions of homes and buildings with these materials demolished over the last 100 years without any consideration for the potential danger. It was an unknown danger.
Here is another rub. When these products were introduced, no one knew they were dangerous. As we replace these products with new ones, we have no idea if the new products will someday turn out to be even worse. Some of these things take 40 or more years of exposure to show harmful effects.
Anyway, this may be my last post on dangerous material mania. There is too big of an industry built around “protecting” us from mold, mildew, various “deadly” medicines, mercury, asbestos, lead, silica poisoning, and fake stucco. Too many testing labs and kit manufacturers, too many repair and recovery businesses. Too many lawyers doing class actions, too many activists going after the toy industry.
Our veterans have been fighting for years about the damage caused by Agent Orange, depleted uranium bullets and other wartime generated dangers. These are REAL dangers, not imagined ones. We should be developing industries around correcting those problems which plague our veterans, our heroes.
It is downright discouraging how too many of us overreact to the household things. The truth is, most of this mania is manufactured by lecherous industries and lawyers. It is also discoraging that not enough of us are reacting to our homeless plight, particularly our homeless heroes plight.
PS: I wore a face mask filter to finish sanding today. Was coughing up white dust so I decided to not fight it any longer. Who knows? I might not live another 70 years if I keep abusing myself!