The Chinese Paint Syndrome
By Lin Stone
Since 1995 I have been warning the American public about China's impatience
with our prejudices for cleanliness and purity in the manufacturing process.
I warned the public that China was not complying with our environmental
restrictions in the manufacture of dishes and other products which touch the
"What difference does it make if they sometimes mix the different kinds of plastic?"
Since 1953 the scientists in the United States have known that certain kinds of plastic should not be used for handling foodstuffs. Strict, rigid, ENFORCED laws have been enacted to protect the public from inadvertently consuming foods contaminated with these kinds of plastic.
I am one of those poor individuals who have a violent reaction to this type
of plastic. Just let it touch my lips and I fall immediately to the
floor, writhing in agony, and spurting substances from both ends of my
It is my theory that even while others do not react so violently to this type of plastic as I do that their constitutions are nonetheless being injured or upset by it.
Depending upon the contributing amount of plastic when this type of plastic is MIXED with the "good" kinds there is a corresponding degree of toxicity in the composition. UNFORTUNATELY, the mixing is seldom uniform. Some of the products will have more concentrated particulates and some will have less. Consequently, a preponderance check will not ensure that the product YOU (or I) pick up will not contain a toxic concentration.Now, suddenly, it is thrust upon the public consciousness that China has been exporting contaminated products to the United States (and the world). Lead based paints, high concentrates of other metals, formaldehyde in foods, etc., have been spotted.
I exculpate the Chinese Government in this matter. Even in
manufacturing plants inside the United States I have seen similar acts
of contamination done deliberately, or more usually, because nobody was
watching. Admittedly these were isolated instances. In China
the instances need not be isolated and may even be condoned in certain
After Gordon (of and for England) conquered China, the poor people of that nation were not treated with the respect given to "human beings". Their laws and their customs were trampled upon with impunity. Nor were the poor people shipped overseas by the boatload to labor for little or nothing in the United States treated any better. In fact, it is only a recent development that the word "chinese" wrung enough respect from the American public that it was spelled with a Capital "C" in English.
Over in China during the last part of the nineteenth century and on into the twentieth century, household servants were bragging to each other that they had contaminated the "dainty" drinking water demanded by their euro-masters with the plain (and polluted) water that THEY had to drink. Foodstuffs were also contaminated in a similar fashion.
This is a human response. In U.S. prisons the Euromerican cooks and servers would go so far as to ejaculate into the plates of food they knew was destined to be consumed by Muslims and Native Americans. These in turn would find ways of tormenting those of lingering prejudices.
It is also an expected human response for the poor people of the world (and China) to resent the wealth of Americans. They feel cheated. Why, even the poor people of the United States resent the wealth and license of the rich strata of society. But, over in China THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH THEIR ACTS OF CONTAMINATION. These are mass produced products. Quite often the faulty products can't even be traced back to the right factory, much less to the right line where the contamination occurred. In short, the government of China will have a hard time of eliminating these manifestations of contempt and scorn by some of their laborers, especially if it is anyone in a position of some authority performing the acts.
American politicians are to blame for initiating this sad state of affairs. Taiwan, a nation of FRIENDLY Chinese peoples, was booted out the back door and Communist China was feted and crowned with trade concessions our friends had not (and still don't) received.
It is time for that 22% of Americans that vote to tell our Government to get on OUR side for a while. With just a little bit of help the citizens of Mexico could be supplying the United States with superior goods, and cleaner goods, at cheaper prices. Other countries in Latin America and even South America would gladly have made significant contributions to the Flow of World Trade as well.
The point where Chinese plastics are most hazardous to the public is with heating foods in the microwave. Microwaves work on the principle of vibrating the molecules in your food so violently that they bang together, thus creating friction, which produces heat. It therefore stands to reason that those things that get hotter in the microwave have more free molecules to create heat.
Just because your utensil is labeled "Microwave Safe" doesn't mean that every product in your set has the same degree of safety. Right in the same batch of cups that are designated as microwavable you may find one or two cups that are hazardous. You can identify them because they will get warmer faster and more intensely than the others. Any utensils are suspect that do get hotter.
One at a time, place the plastic container in the microwave with water inside almost all the way to the top. Heat on high just long enough so that it is almost boiling. If the plastic is almost as hot to the touch as the liquid is you may have bad plastic. The less obvious the extra utensil heat is, the less hazardous you can believe it to be.
Some regular (coffee-type) cups will not pass the microwave test either and should be disposed of -- or never used in the microwave again even though they are labeled "Microwave Safe." The chemical composition of those cups can be so altered by the microwave heating process that just touching the handle can raise a blister on the unwary. Compare this high temperature to those cups that are MUCH cooler than the liquid they contain until after they are taken from the microwave at which point the heat has a chance to soak in. The microwave rule is, if it gets hot, use it not. Remember, you -- or some member of your family -- may have a sensitivity to plastic and not even know it.