December 8, 2005
Kay over at The Liberty Papers has another story about the EPA. It seems that foam surfboard cores cause cancer. Of course, it hasn’t really been proven that they cause cancer, and surfboard cores are encapsulated in fiberglass when the board is finished, so the end product will never cause a danger anyway.
It came to my attention last night that Clark Foam, the producer of 90% of the polyurethane surfboard blanks used world-wide has been closed down by the 9th District of the EPA for a two-week period while they investigate the factory which they believe does not meet industry standards. At issue is the chemical toluene diioscyanate commonly known as TDI along with the fact that the technology inside the factory was designed and built by Gordon â€œGrubbyâ€ Clark in the 60â€™s.
In a fax which Clark sent out to shapers on Monday afternoon, he says that the citation issued him by the EPA could mean prison time for him or the fining of an â€œastronomicalâ€ amount of money. He also apologised to customers and employees saying â€œI should have seen this coming many years sooner and closed in a slower, more predictable manner . . . I waited far too long, being optimistic rather than realistic.â€
And, frankly, the research that Iâ€™ve done overnight on my own, I can understand why he would be optimistic. According to the EPA website, research on toluene diioscyanate has been rather inconclusive – a number of studies have been done over five-year periods and while it has been shown that inhaling TDI is a bad thing (thatâ€™s why they wear respirators, yanno?) the only link to increased cancer that has been shown was when they put to substance into the stomachs of rats! TDI is not only found in the manufacture of surfboard blanks, but also in sealants, adhesives, carpets, furniture, etc. – probably in items found in every home in the world!
Go check out the rest. I’m sure the miniscule reduction in TDI from the surfboard production process more than justifies destroying someone’s business and life.
The only thing I have to criticize is the fact that Kay and her hubby think they can surf in Florida… Gotta go out west for that, friends! Seems my old digs isn’t looking very rideable today… That is one of those things I miss from living in Cali.
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