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GSBN:Re:Earthships and pollution

I've been asked to respond to a question by a Natural Home reader >>about whether the tires in Earthships cause problems to the indoor >>air or the surroundings.

have any of you heard of either meaningful anecdotal evidence
>or studies on this subject? Do you know anything about the >>composition or chemical stability of tires in general?

Carole and GeeBees;

Perhaps not "meaningful" but ...

Back in my misspent youth as a heepee carpenter, I once used various power tools in an attempt to make the task of cutting an old tire into a pair of sandals, a little less tedious.

This was back in the days when "offgassing" wasn't part of the everyday language as it is now.

Steenk ? Whoo-boy! I literally felt ill for a long time afterwards. This from a fellow with an iron constitution who (unknowingly) drank cat tea (ie well-aged dead cat stewed in a rainwater cistern) for a winter ... and worse.

Admittedly, EarthShippers are unlikely to go at their walls with reciprocating or circular saws but even so, breathing the air in a tire showroom isn't exactly a stroll though a rose garden either.

In the absence of data, a pretty reliable indicator is that if it steenks, it's probably not very healthy to be breathing it.

Aside from the issue of potential pollution, there is also the issue of possible contamination of the site by heavy metals (cadmium, lead, mercury) and toxins (dioxin). But to be fair, one would also have to slam fly ash (the use of which is promoted by more than a few Greenies and at least one Royal Member) because these same contaminants would be present in the fly ash produced by some (most ?) power generation facilities. Cadmium is probably the most prevalent of these since it is used as part of the tire hardening process.

Other than the above trivia that has somehow etched itself onto my memory, I don't have any factual info to provide but in this WWWonderful age of wwweb search engines, it shouldn't be very difficult to turn something up.

As to the claim that thirty years of living surrounded by tires is sufficient proof of their harmlessness, one notes that nicotine addicts make similar arguments to support their habit.

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Robert W. Tom
Kanata, Ontario, Canada

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