Made in USA, Part I:
Products from the Heartland

As concern over off-shore outsourcing sets off new alarms during the recession, some companies continue to boast of their American roots – from a manufacturing and employment perspective, and also the raw materials used to create their final products. As it happens, most products eligible for the LEED 5.1 500-mile credit are made in the USA.

For most of America's history, American builders used American nails. But today, at least 90% of nails used in the U.S. come from overseas and Canada. And that may not be a good thing, according to Roelif Loveland, president of 162-year-old Maze Nails, whose company employs about 100 workers in its U.S. manufacturing plants. “From a larger, global perspective, the more nails that are made in the United States – following strict EPA guidelines – the healthier our planet will be,” he stated. “Mills in the Pacific rim often operate without stringent air and water regulations - resulting in environmental pollution that eventually finds its way to American shores.”

Loveland also points to questions about product quality. “The repeated complaints about imported nails are several-fold,” he said. “The steel used is often not the proper grade for the application. For example, a short roofing nail can be made from low carbon steel and it will still drive without bending. However, when that same ‘soft' steel is used to make a fiber cement siding nail or a thin wood siding nail, it will cause repeated bending and snapping headaches for the builder. Additionally, off-center or missing heads are often a problem, along with premature rusting caused by inferior coatings,” he continued. “These scenarios are occurring all over the United States on a daily basis.” According to Loveland, buying from a domestic manufacturer alleviates those concerns.

Every Maze Nail box is marked as Made in the USA and the company is also listed on many “Made in USA” websites. “We pride ourselves on never straying from our core principles - manufacturing a superior product here in the United States - in the most environmentally friendly way possible,” Loveland concludes.


Spray lubricant brands manufactured in the U.S. are typically formulated with petrochemicals from overseas, but someone preferring a product using U.S. sourced materials can check out Missouri-based Tom's Secret Formula. Their solvent-free products are made from an agri-technology blend of vegetable oils and selective additives, according to the company's sales manager, Mike Polizzi. “They are biodegradable, and they've ranked as the number-one rated product in their class – and I'm talking about WD-40, Liquid Wrench, Gunk, or any brand name you can think of,” he boasted. The company makes two building-oriented products under the Tom's Secret brand: B-404, an all-purpose lubricant; and Garage Door Lubricant, which is designed for the DIY market. Both products state on the label that they are ‘Grown in America' and ‘Made in America.'


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