Talkin' City

Talkin' City Message Boards => Off topic => Topic started by: wasp on 25 November 2008, 11:52:05 PM

Title: "What's wrong with Lissapol"
Post by: wasp on 25 November 2008, 11:52:05 PM
My father worked as a lab technician and manager for ICI, boy and man, including six years trying to undermine Mr Churchill's efforts.Though he was well paid, me mum and me saw little of the fruits of his endeavour compared to the bookmakers at White City and Manchester racecourse. Money was always tight.However, one commodity was always in generous supply. Lissapol.Nicked from work in clear bottles with black screw caps.A jar on every shelf in our house.

As I recall, lissapol was the basic detergent in a huge number of ICI's products. It was almost certainly the reason for the huge heads of foam to be found on the River Irk as it bubbled poisonously through Blackley ensuring the stunted population from which I believe Skint may be descended.

In the sixties personal incomes began to creep upwards and more and more luxury goods were bought by ordinary families.Dansette record players with power ratings of as much as  2 watts could be owned by those with the gamblers courage to take on hp debts of up to  3 shillings and sixpence a week.The ludicrously underpowered  wheeled deathtraps to which Mick still aspires were seen on more and more front drives.Fashion concious teenagers opted  for mohair and cashmere, though this secret was apparently not shared with  Ged.Personal grooming products found there way on to the family grocery list as women determined to look a little lovelier each day with Fabulous Pink Camay.

Not in the Wasp household however.There was an unlimited supply of lissapol, which was obtained at no cost and(so my father explained) had no disadvantages compared to branded washing up liquid, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, floor or toilet cleaner, etc., and woe betides me and me mum if the inferior branded goods were purchased. "what's wrong with Lissapol?" became the misers constant nagging refrain.

Forty five years on, "what's wrong with Lissapol" is abundantly clear as the Wasp barnet waves a sad fairwell, his shrunken gums recoil from crumbling teeth and his fundamentals itch and ooze.The Irk may no longer foam, ICI may be no more, but the damage has been done.And all for what? The saving of a few shillings later to be surrendered to the bookmaker. I bet he didn't make his family use Lissapol!
Title: Re: "What's wrong with Lissapol"
Post by: Ged on 26 November 2008, 07:26:03 AM
C19H32O3 according to t'interweb, and its IUPAC name is 2-[2-(4-nonylphenoxy)ethoxy]ethanol
Title: Re: "What's wrong with Lissapol"
Post by: canadablue on 26 November 2008, 09:19:39 AM
I clearly recall my first shocked view of the river, behind Deansgate, fresh from living by the sea and clearish rivers of North Yorkshire. It was jet black, stank of something dubious, and had these huge puffy white foamy things all over the surface.

Couple of years earlier, there had been a fire in a hotel down there and the father of a childhood friend of mine had been killed, trying to escape by jumping out a back window into the Irk, poor sod.

I hadn't thought of that foam for years until this thread. Sounds sinister. The other striking thing for me were the number of bomb raters and desolate bombed out buildings with purple willow-herb growing wild in and around them even right in town and the stink of the canal under Oxford Rd. up towards the Palace.
Title: Re: "What's wrong with Lissapol"
Post by: Droylsden Blue on 27 November 2008, 04:23:08 AM
Lissapol.... by 'eck not heard it called that for many years.

It wasn't the worse compound to come out of ICI at Blackely. They used to make several chemicals for the rubber industry, notably a material called Agerite white. AW was an antioxidant derived from beta-naphthol and phenylamine. Of itself it isn't particularly nasty, but the process produces a by-product called beta-naphthylamine. Look it up on t'internet, but in short its one of the nastiest organics you can find, right up there with dioxins and P.C.B.s. It produces a very specific type of bladder cancer at very low exposure limits.

Non of the above is secret, its all in the public domain if you look carefully enough, but was one of the main reasons that so many people who worked at places like Greengates and British Vita had extraordinary high rates of papilloma.

Once the evidence got a bit too hot to handle ICI sold the business... to the company I worked for along with another loveless antioxidant called dinaphthylparaphenylenediamine (DNPD for short). DNPD suffered from the same by-product and it was my job to test for the level of naphthylamines in the finished product...

I shudder today to think what it could have done to me, but thankfully regular screening keeps the demons away.
Title: Re: "What's wrong with Lissapol"
Post by: wasp on 28 November 2008, 04:51:48 PM
Scary. And ICI was one of the most progressive employers  at the time, atleast if you were staff!