Just Plain “Old” Common Sense
Don’t be fooled by ecology buzzwords or the “we’re doing it for your good” rhetoric.
The Metal-Interlock Floor Finish Scare
High-performance metal-interlock floor finishes produce an extremely tough film with excellent resistance to soil penetration. The better a floor finish resists soil, the easier it is to remove the soil. If soil sits on top of a floor finish, dust mopping with a properly treated dust mop will remove loose soil particles. If a floor finish allows soil to easily penetrate it, traffic will cause the soil to become “sand paper” and grind the finish into a fine finish-and-soil dust-like mixture. The dust is charged with static electricity causing it to cling onto whatever surface it settles. In the dust are live and dormant (spores) microorganisms waiting to find a food- and water-abundant host—living and breathing bodies. It almost makes you want to stop breathing.
Today, environmentalists rebuke the metal interlock process whereby microscopic pieces of metal are connected at both ends to microscopic pieces of plastic or acrylic. There is a total disregard for the fact that pure and high quality raw materials ensure that a floor finish lasts longer without turning brown or become impregnated with soil. Some users of high quality metal-interlock floor finishes have gone over 10 years without having to strip their floors. Never acknowledged by the activists is that high quality metal-interlock floor finishes perform the best while using dramatically fewer applications. For example, over a span of many months, a floor prepared with a total of five or six coats of high quality floor finish no longer requires re-applications of floor finish for months or years down the road. On the contrary, zinc-free finishes get ground off the floor and require re-application many times throughout a year and need to be stripped frequently.
Metal interlock floor finish is being attacked as an “environmental issue” because it contains zinc. Of the metals from which to choose (copper, aluminum), zinc fosters maximum floor finish performance and clarity. Cynically, if aluminum were the interlock metal of choice, aluminum would most likely be targeted as the “metal to ban” from floor finish formulas. By the way, there are 25 mg of zinc in my daily multivitamin and Miracle-Gro has zinc in its plant food mixtures.
If a floor finish system can last for years with the fewest number of applications, what danger is there? Is it not more dangerous to have our bodies breathe in microorganism-packed dust caused by poorly-wearing floor finishes? Our earth is better equipped to deal with diluted metal-interlock floor finish than our bodies are equipped to deal with germ-infested dust from “environmentally friendly” zinc-free floor finishes!
If high-performance products and formal custodial education were every vendor’s legal responsibility, facility owners would use 70% less floor finish and cleaning chemicals. Instead, manufacturers have turned a blind eye to questionably funded, non-profit, self-proclaimed environmentalists who pitch government officials with scare tactics of metal-interlock floor finishes as being “unsafe”. Seeing increased sales and not wanting to be bothered with educating product users, manufacturers give token resistance and then back off graciously while gearing up to market a new line of “environmentally friendly” products.
It looks as though most government officials are failing to realize that sending 333% more “environmentally friendly” chemicals (basically, plastic which is very difficult to decompose) into the earth may be more dangerous than sending a trace of zinc that is a natural substance processed by our bodies every day. In addition to the increased floor finish going into the earth, the earth will have to process much more wax stripper. Presently, with zinc in the floor finish, 70% less total chemicals go into the earth. Our customers have been able to go up to 10 years without having to strip our Ultra Gloss "Wet Look" Floor Finish. Normal floor finishes are stripped 1, 2, and maybe even 3 times per year. Think how much more stripper and old floor finish has to go down the drain—10, 20, or 30 times more over a 10 year period. When our Ultra Gloss needs to be stripped, zinc will make up about 2/10 of 1% of the stripping solution going down the drain. The real challenge is to determine if the "environmentalists" opposing formulating floor finishes with zinc are imprudent or working with a secret or self-serving agenda.
Don’t all of the raw materials used to make chemicals come from the earth in the first place? Is it safe to assume that nature is well equipped to recycle what it originally loaned to us? Our government officials are misguided into thinking that it’s more important to “protect” the earth from the raw materials it gave to us than to protect our bodies from handling unlimited amounts of dangerous microorganism-infested dust for which we never asked and has the potential to kill us. When serving in the best interest of public health, placing the lives of others first makes your life most important... And, our ecology benefits just as much.
The Gabriel Ultra Gloss "Wet Look" Starter Kit has all the products for you to test America's longest wearing floor finish system and Audio-Video Training Library that will help you achieve floor care excellence for less than half of your present costs.
Gabe Zanche, Sr. – Co-Founder of Gabriel First Corp. Copyright © 2006 Gabriel First Corp.
Please feel free to contact the Gabriel team if you have any comments or questions on this material