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New Micro-climate Destroys Paint


By Harold Hower

Paint chemists from New York to Los Angeles have been buzzing this past week about two massive paint failures, both in Midwest capitol buildings and both reported by the Associated Press on the same day, Dec. 9.

In the Missouri House Chamber and the Illinois Capitol dome, peeling paint rains down from the ceiling and awaits urgent repairs, especially in the case of the Jefferson City edifice, where the paint is said to contain dangerous levels of lead paint.

What the paint chemists are talking about is the possible creation of a new and damaging microclimate that has the potential to destroy all the paintwork in every chamber at all levels of deliberative government, from local city halls to the U.S. Congress.

They speculate that the source of this microclimate is in the actual discourse of the legislators who populate these halls of government.

“We’re talking about very acidic and toxic verbal emissions,” one paint chemist said, “which are characterized by lies, personal attacks, and self-serving proclamations of the vilest kind. These house chambers often act as chimneys, carrying the hot, toxic emissions straight to the substrates in the ceiling, where they attack and destroy the paint.”
One prominent chemist who heads up research on coatings work in the Midwest said, “This microclimate bears similarity to the interior of a power-plant FGD unit, where abrasion from flying particles of combustion, high heat, and acidic condensation from hot gases combine to create a virtual hell of an exposure environment.”

A noted paint chemist at UMIST in Manchester, UK, compared the phenomenon to a similar event in Parliament in the 1960s. He observed that “It’s not since Ghostbusters that the relationship between morality and the physical environment has been so manifestly expressed.”


Harold Hower

Harold Hower, CEO and founder of Technology Publishing Company, likes to think about ways of improving conditions in the architectural coatings industry.



Tagged categories: Coatings Technology

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