Perspectives: Five Cents Please

  Fivecents.Onenickel.Charlie Brown's payment to Lucy for psychological services.


Fivecents.Onenickel.Charlie Brown's payment to Lucy for psychological services. It may not seem like much, but the sound of it clanking around in that tin can makes Lucy happy.

One nickel plating bath. Standard size tank. It is Schultz job shop's manual line for small runs and odd lots of parts. It is not a big line, but it can create big headaches for Schultz.

California, Washington and Europe are increasing regulatory threats to the use of soluble nickel in the plating industry. Because of this, finishers are drafting a comprehensive strategy to combat bad science and ill-informed regulatory decisions relating to the use of nickel in plating.

California's regulatory actions added all nickel compounds to the list of carcinogenic compounds subjectto new source review.

Federal regulatory activity is occurring at the Department of Health and Human Services, which is moving to finalize its ninth Report on Carcinogens that proposes to formally list all nickel compounds as carcinogenic. More information can be found on the Internet at

What is the cure for this headache? One remedy is FinishersPAC, a political action committee formed by the GAC. The Government Advisory Committee is made up of members of the American Electroplaters and Surface Finishers Society (AESF), the Metal Finishing Suppliers Association (MFSA) and the National Association of Metal Finishers (NAMF), who formed the pack to help support upcoming elections.

The Government Relations Staff in Washington, D.C. is working with the GAC to outline options for political, legal and technical strategy. The industry believes regulatory actions are not based on sound science, since the latest scientific work on nickel concludes that nickel's cancer-causing potential cannot be determined.

The effort will require considerable resources; and, therefore, has set a fundraising goal of $25,000 by July 2000. Would you contribute to the FinishersPAC? Would you donate directly to the Government Relations Fund?