Dr. Hal McVey

I found an article by Dr. Hal McVey that described the everyday occurances of minerals that we incounter on regular days of our lives.  The person he describes is someone who is considered your everyday average middleclass businessman.  This article provided a step by step layout of the average person’s day and the minerals they come across without even realizing that they are there.  The article begins with a person getting out of bed and stepping out onto the carpet; it then describes the carpet as being composed of Calcium Carbonate.  This person would then make their way into the kitchen with the ceramic tile made from silica sand, limestone, and clays.  Then they may throw on a pot of coffee (the glass is made from industrial minerals such as: silica sand, limestone, talc, lithium, borates, and feldspar), butter up a piece of toast (gypsum), and use a plate (feldspar, limestone, and clay) to eat the toast on (McVey).  Then when it’s time to go to work, that person may brush their teeth with a type of tooth paste made from calcium carbonate, sodium carbonate, and fluorite, and then proceed to use the bathroom or take a shower in what is most likely a toilet and bathtub made from fiberglass (silica sand, colemanite, limestone, feldspar, and soda ash).  When they’re all ready for work, they will then leave their house with the roof made up of talc, silica sand, and limestone, and will get in their car with the clay, calcium-carbonate, and sulfur tires wrapped around the magnesium containing steel wheels (McVey).  They will then drive off to an office building made from thousands of more minerals and will begin their everyday routine. Also from the article “Modern transportation is generally reliant upon industrial minerals and this does not just stop with the car.Gasoline and lubricants depend on industrial minerals since the drill bit used to drill into the earth in the search for oil was very likely faced with industrial diamonds or tungsten carbide. Drilling fluids, when injected into an oil well, will help to prevent the well from caving and will help to cool the drill bit. The drilling fluids or muds are made almost exclusively of barite, bentonite, attapulgite, mica, perlite, and may contain other minerals, as well. It is necessary to employ clays or zeolites in the catalytic cracking process which will turn crude oil into products such as gasoline and lubricants.”

He also describes later on in the article that we use thousands of more minerals just in the workplace alone, including the simple everyday pencil made from graphite.  Bottom line is, we take so many minerals for granted everyday, and we need to start appreciating what has been given to us by mother nature.  I never really thought much of minerals myself until after I did my final paper on this topic.  I learned so many different types of mineral usage.  It now makes me really think about how everything I use on an everyday basis came to be. 

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