IS THE METAL INDUSTRY BEHIND GREENPEACE?

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For the past 49 years I have been actively engaged in the manufacture and marketing of nonmetallic structural materials. I always felt it to be worthwhile because I saw the pollution, energy waste, destructive and dangerous mining operations and corrosion problems associated with steel and other metals.

In every nonsteel business there was opposition from some ``institute'' or ``association'' or ``society'' backed by the metal industry, or maybe a labor organization with workers in a metal industry.

I know there are a lot of people in Greenpeace who mean well, but with a lifetime of experience behind me, I have become a bit cynical. One can't help wondering if any of the contributors to Greenpeace are indirectly connected to the metals industries.

It seems strange to me that the billions of tons of fossil fuel used in the mining and transportation of iron ore and coal, and in the making of steel, have not aroused very much interest among these environmental activists. I would think that plastics might be a better choice even with the very-small potential concerns a few plastics may raise.

The biggest dioxin problem we had recently in Florida had nothing to do with PVC. It was a large pile of waste from a pressure-treated wood plant. A whole residential community had to be relocated at taxpayer expense. The media covered it daily but Greenpeace said nothing that I heard.

If Greenpeace is genuinely interested in protecting mankind against the careless use of potentially toxic chemicals, all they have to do is get the facts out and the public will react accordingly. It is another story if they are allowing themselves to be used by organizations that have a direct link to industries whose interest is to prevent the use of plastics.

One way Greenpeace can show how unbiased they are would be to spend as much time and effort on cleaning up the metal industries as they seem to be spending on discouraging the use of plastics.

Hartley Sandt

Ecrail of Florida Inc.

Orange Park, Fla.