Thursday, February 14, 2008

Risky Chemical Found In US Hurricane Trailers

Tens of thousands of people lost homes in Katrina in 2005 and many have been living for about two years in trailers bought by the government for temporary housing. Some residents have attributed health problems to formaldehyde exposure.

The CDC conducted indoor air-quality tests for formaldehyde between Dec. 21 and Jan. 23, 2008 on a random sample of 519 travel trailers and mobile homes in Mississippi and Louisiana.

Formaldehyde is a chemical used widely in the manufacture of building materials. It also is used in embalming fluid. It can irritate the skin, eyes, nose and throat, and high levels of exposure may cause some types of cancers.

Not surreal enough for you? Try this:

Pentagon Plans To Shoot Down Disabled Satellite

The Pentagon plans to shoot down a disabled US spy satellite before it enters the atmosphere to prevent a potentially deadly leak of toxic gas from the vehicle's fuel tank, officials said on Thursday.

President George W. Bush decided to have the Navy shoot the 5,000-pound (2,270 kg) minivan-sized satellite with a modified tactical missile, after security advisers suggested its reentry could lead to a loss of life.


wintermuse x9 said...

In a strange way, the idea of the US using their Naval forces to launch a tactical missle at this dead $1 billion + spy satellite as it passes over the Pacific ocean during one of it's last 130 mile high orbits as it begins to descend into the atmosphere is oddly appealing.

Especially if it happens at night, when the streaking fireball explodes when and if hit--probably pretty spectacular fireworks, assuming it will be filmed.

This is smart for two reasons--it would be an effective test of our ship-borne ballistic missle shoot-down tech, and would pretty much eliminate the hazards of anyone being exposed to the ton of toxic hydrazine fuel on board, as it would burn up at speed within the upper atmosphere.

It would also guarantee the destruction of the spy hi-tech onboard that the DOD is concerned could land semi-intact in some foreign nation if we didn't try a shoot-down, not to mention the potential problem of something the size of a mini-bus coming down potentially in the US or elsewhere at 15,000+ mph and ripping through someone's house or impacting possibly in an urban area.

The idea is almost visually poetic, and rather Ballardian, reminding me of one of JGB's old Cape Canaveral fictions.

Heh! It would also be the world's most expensive YouTube video clip.

w said...

I agree. This sounds like one of the few cool things Bush has ordered done -- IF it works. (Note the "big if.") The man does like to blow up stuff....

Anonymous said...

Irony of ironies--if the missle missed, and came down and hit the HQ building of the National Reconnaisance Office (NRO--builders of the satellite) in suburban Chantilly, Virginia.

Talk about the Big Bopper and a rather bizarre negative feedback loop! Yow! That'll teach 'em to not spy on Americans!