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Don't get stuck on duct tape saving you

The Dusseldorf Connection

NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 2-14-03, By MICHAEL C. FITZPATRICK, Morning Journal Writer

``Fearing terrorism, demand grows for duct tape

AVON -- A local company has stepped to the forefront to provide peace of mind for jittery Americans preparing themselves for a possible terrorist attack.

Earlier this week, Henkel Consumer Adhesives, which manufactures Duck brand duct tape, went to an around-the-clock production schedule to meet the mounting demand for its product.

''We've seen an increased demand, particularly in the last couple of days,'' said Melanie Amato, a spokeswoman for Henkel.

Henkel typically produces the tape five days a week, 24 hours a day.

But the demand for duct tape surged after federal officials on Monday announced every household should stock three days' worth of water and food as well as duct tape and heavy plastic sheeting in case of a terrorist attack.

The plastic and sticky gray tape would be used for sealing up a safe room to protect against chemical or biological weapons ...

Tom Kelley, director of the Lorain County Emergency Management Agency, said duct tape has long been recommended as a necessity for any survival package.

''I've been here 13 years and we've always had it listed on the handouts we provide,'' said Kelley.

Kelley said in the case of a chemical or biological attack citizens are encouraged to move to a safe room inside their residence, turn off heating and air conditioning units and then use the duct tape, along with plastic sheeting, to seal off windows and vents.

''Duct taping and sealing yourself in a safe room in your house for 15 to 20 minutes is probably more prudent than trying to get in your car and driving away,'' said Kelley.

Kelley also said to keep a battery-powered radio on hand so you can monitor events and what you should do via the emergency broadcast system.''

NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 2-14-03, By Brad Dicken

``Tape maker's sales surge after terror alert level rises

AVON -- Henkel Consumer Adhesives Inc. isn't certain its widely used Duck Tape is the anti-terrorism device the federal government claims it is.

"We have never tested it against biological warfare," said company spokeswoman Heather Sefcik.

Of all the government's suggestions for protecting against a terrorist attack, it is duct tape that seems to have seized the public's attention. But terrorism experts are skeptical about how much good it would do.

The idea is that tape and plastic sheets could provide a sealed-off room in case of chemical or biological attack. The government recommends keeping duct tape and scissors on hand, as well as pre-cut sheets of plastic for sealing the doors, windows and vents of an internal room at home ...

The tape isn't made in Avon. Henkel buys it from Shurtape in North Carolina, which ships massive rolls to the plant. Henkel then re-rolls it onto small spools, which are then cut, packaged and labeled as Duck Tape.

Duct tape has its origins in the defense of America, dating to when Johnson & Johnson designed it during World War II to seal ammunition cases that leaked when they got wet, Sefcik said.

Veterans brought extra back with them and found all sorts of uses for it, including ductwork. Despite the name that most brands are sold under, the tape is no longer recommended for use on ducts, she said.

Some terrorism experts are wary of the tape-and-plastic strategy.

"It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me," said Greg Evans, director of the Center for the Study of Bioterrorism and Emerging Infections at the St. Louis University School of Public Health.

One problem, he said, is that people wouldn't know when to seal themselves in, because terrorists would release germs or chemical agents without warning.

"We re only going to know about it when we start coming down sick, and that's too late to go into a safe room," he said. For a biological attack, the first symptoms might not appear for days, he noted.

What's more, he said he doubts a room could be completely sealed, meaning tiny amounts of potent chemical or biological weapons could still seep in.

Even though the tape is recommended by the Department of Homeland Security for use in sealing rooms to protect against biological, chemical and radiological attacks, the company isn't talking much about it to callers ...''

Contact Brad Dicken at bdicken@chronicletelegram.com.

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 2-14-03, By Malcolm Ritter, Associated Press

``Don't get stuck on duct tape saving you

New York - Of all the government's tips for protecting yourself against a terrorist attack, it is duct tape that seems to have seized the public's attention. But terrorism experts are skeptical about how much good it would do.

The idea is that tape and plastic sheets could provide a sealed-off room in case of chemical or biological attack.

The government recommends keeping duct tape and scissors on hand, as well as pre-cut sheets of plastic for sealing doors, windows and vents of an internal room at home.

The government says in the event of an attack, people should turn off all ventilation, go to that room and seal it with the tape and sheeting. If the room has 10 square feet of floor space per person, it should provide enough air for up to five hours, the government says.

In 2001, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn., reported on tests to see if this strategy would help protect people living near stockpiles of chemical weapons.

Results showed that "in some cases, it might not buy you much protection, but in other cases it seemed to be buying a lot of protection," said Oak Ridge researcher John Sorensen.

It is not clear why results varied so much between the 10 or so homes where researchers measured how tightly such rooms were sealed against air flow, he said.

At best, it was "maybe providing up to 75 to 90 percent reduction in potential exposure," he said yesterday.

In any case, "we could not envision it being used for more than an hour or two," he said.

Some terrorism experts are wary of the tape-and-plastic strategy.

"It doesn't make a lot of sense to me," said Greg Evans, director of the Center for the Study of Bioterrorism and Emerging Infections at the St. Louis University School of Public Health.

One problem, he said, is that people wouldn't know when to seal themselves in, because terrorists would release germs or chemical agents without warning.

"We're only going to know about it when we start coming down sick, and that's too late to go into a safe room," he said.

For biological attack, the first symptoms might not appear for days, he noted.''

NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 2-15-03, By James F. Sweeney, Plain Dealer Reporter

``In times of terror, duct tape feels safe

If the country is going to erect a shield against terrorist attacks, it had better be strong.

And sticky.

And come in 18 colors (including four types of camouflage).

When the Department of Homeland Security this week included duct tape among the items it recommends that Americans stockpile to prepare for a possible terrorist attack, you could almost hear the collective sigh of relief.

Duct tape! We know duct tape. There's a roll in the garage and another in the basement. We used some last weekend to fix the cracked handle on the snowblower and patch that rip in the basement couch.

Duct tape is a lot less scary than gas masks, Cipro and smallpox immunizations. If the terrorist threat can be handled with something as familiar and all-around handy as duct tape, then maybe we're going to be OK after all.

Of course, it couldn't hurt to have another roll or two.

That's why the sticky stuff has been flying off the shelves, particularly on the East Coast, where the threats have been centered.

In some areas, sales of the most popular brand have jumped 3,000 percent in the past week, said Bill Kahl, executive vice president for corporate development at Henkel Consumer Adhesives (formerly Manco) in Avon ...

Going to war is nothing new for duct tape.

It was invented during World War II to protect ammunition boxes and nicknamed duck tape because it was waterproof. After the war, GIs brought the tape home and used it install heating systems during the suburban building boom. Switching the name from duck tape to duct tape barely required a change in pronunciation.

Duct tape has gone into battle with U.S. troops ever since. The Henkel Web site ( www.ducktapeclub.com) invites real-life stories about its product. One is from a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War who used duct tape to patch a bullet hole in a rotor and fly to safety.

A British soldier tells of rigging duct tape tripwires around his campsite during training exercises.

If history is an indicator, duct tape will prove to have many uses in the war on terrorism. If nothing else, people stuck in a safe room with a roll of tape can use it to fix that wobbly chair leg.''

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: jsweeney@plaind.com

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 3-29-03 By ALANA J. ROBERTS, Morning Journal Writer

``Business leaders face war of words, ideology

AVON -- With the war in Iraq, some local business people who travel the globe are finding themselves figuratively on the battlefield.

Bill Kahl, executive vice president of Henkel Consumer Adhesives, discovered that when he recently traveled to Germany on company business. His German colleagues weren't happy about U.S. actions on Iraq and said so in no uncertain terms, according to a published report.

''They didn't hesitate to say we shouldn't be there, and they wanted to know whether Americans supported President Bush,'' Kahl told The Wall Street Journal after a trip to Henkel Consumer Adhesives' parent company, The Henkel Group in Dusseldorf, Germany.

''I told them I support our soldiers there ... It is somewhat of a stigma being an American overseas these days,'' he said.

With all the publicity since the article, Kahl's tenor seems to have changed a bit.

''We have had no strain on internal relationships with Henkel or external relationships with vendors or suppliers,'' he said in a statement this week when asked about his experience in Germany.

The Henkel Group is a $10 billion company that specializes in consumer products and systems businesses, operating worldwide with affiliates in more than 75 countries ...''

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