|Modern Construction Not Determined Safe?|
Industry is generally driven by profits. Rarely are the safety concerns of the consumers considered in the formula unless there are restrictions imposed by governments. For example, when I learned to drive, gasoline was filled with lead, dashboards had sharp knobs everywhere, bumpers were "decorative," and seat belts were for Nascar drivers only. Also, smoking was encouraged by medical doctors as "safe" and "healthy" forms of recreation.
Without effective government regulation this would still be the case today, I believe.
|Modern Industrial Woodworker vrs, Old Lady|
So this morning I read on the front page of the New York Times about "serious" efforts by lobbyists to stop regulations limiting the use of formaldehyde in household products. Since I am a woodworker and know a few things about chemistry, I support the ban on urea formaldehyde glues as well as other finishes and materials which contain hazardous chemicals.
These chemicals are not stable. They decay over time and "out gas" into the surrounding environment which expose consumers to hazardous fumes. It is amazing to me how many things modern consumers live with which are not healthy. Fabrics, carpet, glues, finishes, paint, and plastics all contribute to a cloud of chemicals unseen or undetected by the person living in their home.
The article mentions the argument by the industrial defenders of formaldehyde use that banning it would force "millions" of workers out of a job. How about the argument that directing these "millions" of workers to find safe alternatives would not only allow them to keep their jobs but improve the product?
I have done 45 years of research into the relationship between living with pre industrial furniture and cancer. So far my intensive research has found no link at all between cancer and sitting in a chair upholstered with cotton, silk or wool fabric, stuffed with cotton and horsehair, and finished with shellac. I also have found no relationship between putting my hands in animal protein glues or shellac finishes and cancer.
I will continue my research. I expect that I will be able to study this problem for several decades. In the meantime, my contribution to the solution remains available: Old Brown Glue.