Pewtone (pyu tone’) – n. (chemical symbol: Pu) A major atmospheric component of towns with paper mills.
If your are unlucky enough to live in the eastern part of Bay County, Florida, or in Dayton, Ohio, then you know that when the wind blows in that unfortunate direction towards town, you are going to have to deal with pewtone. Be it the Stone Paper Company or the Mead plant, they deal in the meshing of wood pulp into paper products, and that binding of woody sour mash is a very sour smell indeed. Sometimes you might be passing by a water treatment plant, but then, the pewtone stays with you for miles as you drive. Nope, the water treatment plant was 10 miles southwest of you. That’s the nasty paper pewtone invading your olfactory nerves and making your little drive not so pleasant. Perhaps those who are around the pewtone enough have grown used to it, and their senses have been dulled a bit. Those of us who are just visiting or driving through these paper mill cities are not so lucky. The smell is sharp and strong, and we wonder if we are driving through a salt marsh. Maybe the baby riding in the backseat needs a visit from the diaper patrol. Nope, kid is clean. Pewtone can make you question its origins, but its own origins can’t be mistaken. Pure and simply put, wood pulp processing never smells pure, but more like, putrid.