Monday, February 2, 2009

Chinese, Anyone?

The great Chinese drywall debate rages on. And on. Link.

What amuses me is the vitriol demonstrated by the red, white and blue 'buy-American' crowd toward ALL foreign products, characterized as unsafe, unhealthy, and, by God, just plain un-American, dammit.

Stick that in the back of your made-in-America-by-real-Americans Toyota and drive it around for a while. Of course, you'll probably be driving it around for over 100,000 miles with far less repairs and considerably less gas and for a longer period of time than a GM/Ford/Dodge product, but you'll feel better. I promise.

Everybody points to all the products lately that inevitably lead to the foregone conclusion that those red bastards from China are poisoning us. But, here in Sarasota, that's not the worst of it--we're more incensed about their lousy pet food is trying to kill Muffy, our beloved labrador.


Now, don't get me wrong, I'm just as positive as the next guy that the Chinese are trying to kill us with drywall on their way to global domination, it's just that they seem to have a lot of help.


For the last several years, drywall (as well as concrete, asphalt and a host of other products made in the good ol' US of A) is being manufactured with fly ash. Fly ash is the stuff left over from the burning of coal in our electric power plants; you know, the stuff that power companies spend millions of dollars on scrubbers to keep from escaping from the tops of those humongous smoke stacks. Yeah, that's the stuff.

It's also the same stuff that the TVA collected in copious amounts that broke through a dam recently and flooded parts of Harriman, TN. Like, 2.6 million cubic yards worth.

Not that it was a problem, though. 'Scientists' have been telling us for years that fly ash isn't really a problem. So, why make the power companies keep it from spewing out their smoke stacks and collect it in big--I mean, BIG 2.6 million cubic yard--piles? Well, for one thing, it's determined to cause acid rain, don't ya know, which, among other things will eat the paint right off your car. Foreign OR domestic, it don't matter.

Also, it should not be used in aquariums:


According to Wikipedia, fly ash is known to contain arsenic, beryllium (a Tallevast favorite), boron, cadmium, chromium, chromium VI, cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, selenium, strontium, thallium, and vanadium, along with dioxins and PAH compounds.[1][2]--none of which sound good for you or your car's paint job.

So, who thinks it's a swell idea to stick this in your drywall? Well, these guys , these guys and others.

But, don't worry--it's all green, so how can that be bad for you? And, these are American companies, headquartered in New Mexico and California ('Sunnyvale', no less), not some shifty-eyed Chinaman, right?

What could possibly go wrong?

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