When Health Becomes an Issue

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When does health become a factor in the making of money? This is a question Susan Taggert, who is the head technical writer and oversees product information at Diversified Construction, needs to ask herself concerning the safety of Diversified’s current new product. Susan Taggert lives in Acton, Ohio with the population of 6500. It’s a town that the youth leave to find better jobs. Diversified Construction Materials is a company that supplies over 1000 jobs. Even though Diversified is known for their high quality products the foreign and domestic manufactures’ moved their product to developing countries undercutting Diversified’s price and gaining market shares.(Markel, 2004, 6th ed.). The company came up with a new product of blown insulation that would be cheaper than but just as effective as fiberglass insulation to help with gaining back money they were losing. Susan Taggert was to gather all information for this product. As she compiled information she noticed that three of seven scientists, who developed the product contracted bronchial irritation of varying degrees of severity (Markel, 2004, 6th ed). Susan found that a compound in the insulation could have affected those technicians. Without knowing what that compound was it would take weeks maybe months for them to know if the long-term exposure in houses and offices would seriously affect consumer health. Susan went to the vice president of operations with this information to suggest that they find out if a compound in the insulation caused respiratory problems. He told Susan there is no time and the product meets federal guidelines. He tells her to finish writing the product literature. Here’s the question that Susan asked herself; what should I do with the information I have found? Susan had a tough decision to make. It was identified that there was a compound that gave those technicians the bronchial problem. Susan did the right thing by going to her superior and providing the evidence she discovered.


References: Markel, Mark (2004), Technical Communication (6th ed.) Boston, MA: Bedford St. Martins. Markel, Mark (2010), Technical Communication (9th ed.) Boston, MA: Bedford St. Martins. “Big Tobacco Guilty As Charged.” (2010, July 1). Retrieved from http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/what_we_do/industry_watch/doj_lawsuit/

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