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Letter to the Editor: More can be done to be neighbourly

October 13, 2009

To the editor:

Re: 'Something smells finish-y in Alderwood', Article, The Etobicoke Guardian, Oct. 9 2009

Fleetwood Fine Furniture may meet environmental standards set in the last century, the residents of south Etobicoke want them to set a new standard for this century. We want to work with them and help Fleetwood not only become a good neighbour, we want Fleetwood to make the investments needed to become an environmental leader recognized around North America.

The president of Fleetwood, Reg Tiessen says that there isn't much more his company can do. We disagree. Fleetwood could start to be a better neighbour by agreeing to close their windows when they finish their furniture, they could switch from chemically based solvents to water based ones, they could install a closed loop drying system as some of their competitors have done, and so on.

This is about the health of our neighbourhood. On average, along with other chemicals, Fleetwood emits 25 tonnes of toluene per year. Toluene has the potential to impact our children's development, damage livers, kidneys, and central nervous systems. This is about asking a neighbour to think about our children's health. This is about neighbours working together to make the air we all breathe in south Etobicoke free of odour and free of toxins.

Residents of south Etobicoke are good neighbours. Our campaign, led by local residents, is about convincing Fleetwood Furniture to be a better neighbour. It is not about closing down a factory, nor is it about putting local jobs at risk. We are raising a stink about the stink the factory is making in our community.

Lina Cino
Good Neighbour Campaign Coordinator

As posted here: http://www.insidetoronto.com/opinion/letters/article/155578--more-can-be...