Tuesday, January 27, 2009
HAZARDOUS, WATER DAMAGED COUNTERTOP!
This post is going to get more technical as we are going to look at what makes up a countertop. Countertops have always been considered disposable items, and few of us have stopped to consider the effects of replacing a countertop on our environment. Here are some of the toxic effects of disposing of an old countertop and manufacturing another one.
Danger # 1. Your existing laminate working surface is adhered to a Medium Density Fiberboard, also known as MDF. MDF is made by mixing wood fibers with Urea Formaldehyde Resin. By the time it reaches your home, the worst of the toxic fumes have flashed off, although the toxins take from 3 to 5 years to totally flash off. When MDF is sent to the landfill, the water breaks down the board and the Urea Formaldehyde Resin ends up polluting our groundwater. If your countertop has water damage, you should call us to assess the damage, and to see if it can be repaired. Formaldehyde is very toxic by inhalation, ingestion and through skin absorption. It is listed as a probable human carcinogen, mutagen and is very toxic by inhalation, ingestion and through skin absorption. It is very destructive of mucous membranes, upper respiratory tract, eyes and skin.
Danger # 2. The laminate is adhered to the MDF with a solvent based adhesive. The manufacturer claims that it is a necessary tool to use with melamine covered boards, also known as countertops. They claim that the adhesive they are using now has less VOC's, (Volatile Organic Compounds) and HAP's, (Hazardous Air Pollutants) that those they used a few years ago. They have also added filtering systems to capture some of the emission, but many poisons still end up in the atmosphere.
Danger # 3. The laminate sheet is made up of three layers. The bottom layer is a brown paper coated with phenolic resin, the second layer of paper has the decorative pattern on it, and the third layer is a clear protective sheet. The second and third layer is coated with melamine resin. Phenolic resin is readily absorbed through the skin, highly toxic by inhalation, and prolonged contact may lead to death. Melamine resin is similar in its hazardous rating to the other resins. The laminate manufacturer takes the waste resins, inks and paper and sends them to be used as substitute fuel to fire rotary kilns at cement plants, creating more HAP's.
We have a proven system giving the homeowner an opportunity to reuse their existing countertop. We are accepting applications for people who are eco-conscious to become dealers of our processes. To check out our worldwide dealer and distributor opportunities, go to http://www.sprayoncountertops.com/