Fun_People Archive
23 Feb

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 99 14:31:47 -0800
To: Fun_People
Precedence: bulk
Subject: Sponges

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649

[A reminder that, irrespective of whatever the latest scare may be, you are
the person who really has a life-and-death interest in your life and death.
Read labels; ask questions; take risks, but know what they are.  The fact that
it's for sale in a store doesn't mean that it's good or even safe for you...
Yeah, yeah, yeah, you already knew this... I knew you did!  -psl]

Forwarded-by: "m.b.komor" <>
Forwarded-by: Thomas Krueger <>
Forwarded-by: "Sandy Kiraly" <>

Grim Note
On the issue of consumer protection and hazardous warnings, here's a new
one, I think. Those yellow sponges with the green plastic fibers on the back
for scrubbing pots -- "Pot Scrubbers" -- should be kept far away from our
birds, fish, reptiles, cats and dogs, hamsters and whatevers. Proctor &
Gamble, in its continuing search to make America look clean and smell great,
has a new "improved" version of the sponge on the market that kills
odor-causing fungi that get in the sponge after a few uses. They make a big
deal out of this innovation on the outside packaging.
    A friend of mine used one of these sponges to clean the glass on a
200-gallon aquarium. The abrasive backs are good for removing algae and
smutz that collect on the inside of the tank. He refilled the tank and after
the water had time to condition and rid itself of chlorine, he reintroduced
his tropical fish collection of some 30 fish. Within five hours of putting
the fish back in the tank, they were all dead! Some began to die after only
30 minutes. He removed the survivors to another tank but they all died.
Retracing his steps to clean the tank, the only thing that was different
was using that new kind of sponge -- he'd used the regular old Pot Scrubbers
for years. Lo and behold I discovered on the back of the packaging in about
the finest print you could put on plastic a description of the fungicide in
the sponge and the warning in tiny bold-face letters, "not for use in
aquariums.  keep away from other pets." Thanks for warning Proctor & Gamble.
    It seems the fungicide is a derivative of the systemic
pesticide-herbicide, 2-4-D, more popularly known as Agent Orange, the
chemical we sprayed all over Southeast Asian during the Vietnam War that
many veterans and war refugees say did permanent damage to their lungs and
nervous systems. The package warning goes on to say they fungicide cannot
be washed from the sponge even if it is placed in the dishwasher (in which
case Agent Orange is now all over your dishes and drinking glasses). And,
if you think its there to kill disease-causing bacteria like Salmonella from
contaminated chicken meat, think again -- it's not an affective enough
bactericide to kill those kind of bugs.
    I called P&G to register a complaint and told them I'd never use their
products again because I couldn't trust what they were putting in them. By
the way, the same chemical in the sponge is used now in many of those
popular anti-bacterial, anti-viral disinfectant liquid soaps and hand
cleaners that are flooding the market.  Don't buy that poison and warn your
friends as well.

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