Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The 'Toxic' Bricks

The local German state-network (HR) did a report last night with a curious deal over toxic bricks.  They'd actually told the bulk of this story at least two years ago, but there's been some more information that they seem to have found.

So this story circles around Woolrec (the company).  Woolrec made bricks.....millions and millions of bricks.  Somewhere along the way.....they ended up putting carcinogenic material into the bricks.  Woolrec today?  Shutdown.  It was located in central Hessen......near Braunels (Lahn region).

The new info to the story is that the same brickworks added heavy metals-type material to the bricks as well.

As you kinda look over the story.....these are all homes built in the last couple of years....modern houses.  The owners?  Well.....one can only sit and pause over the story.   Woolrec made different kinds of bricks......so you don't really know the type used in the construction of your house unless the brick guy wrote the brand and model into this delivery report.  Or you end up having a brick carried off to the lab to confirm that it's "X".

Then what?

I mean.....so you got a toxic house with toxic bricks?  Well no.  The general feeling is that it's not a hazard, but then they kinda mention that you shouldn't be drilling holes in the walls (for hanging TV's for example).....the dust from the drilling would get into the air, and potentially trigger cancer years down the road.  Naturally, if you mention this hint to folks.....they get all freaked out and start talking to lawyers.  The fact that Woolrec is shut-down, and I'm assuming they are insolvent.....means you can sue all you want.....but it won't matter.

The toxic house?  Well.....I'm guessing that new neighborhoods where all the houses were built in a three-year period will be the cluster issue.  One guy will prove his place has the toxic bricks and the word will get out.  In a year's time-frame, I could see a quarter of the houses up for sale and everyone doing a fake grin and just hoping that no one asks stupid questions.

The German mentality for "fixing things" usually takes about a decade to unfold.  I'm guessing that someone will mandate a brick test on every house prior to a sell eventually, with a brick report, and it must be provided to the new purchaser.  All of this will condemn the owners to a miserable situation where the house is basically unsellable and even the kids in three or four decades who would inherit the house.....won't ever use it.

So, I'll predict this.....newly built neighborhoods in thirty years with these toxic bricks will be dead-zones as they sit empty and city councils are shaking their heads because they can't even tear the houses down because of the threat of toxic dust clouds moving around their fine town.  Kind of an odd problem, with no solution.

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