Created in 1910, A.P. Green Industries was founded by a man who bore the same name. Located in Mexico, Missouri, the business started as a small brick and clay block manufacturer. The business was very successful and increased in size rather rapidly. Though the business would remain true to its roots, it would eventually expand into other related industries. The company would later go into the rare mineral and mineral product industry, with a specialty in dealing and creating products with limestone.
The process of creating bricks and other stone materials requires an extreme amount of heat. Smaller operation can generally get away with using less resistant material. Larger outfits usually have furnaces and other equipment that generate far greater temperatures. Safe operation requires the implementation of heat resistant material to protect both the equipment and workers. During the early and mid-20th century, asbestos was viewed as the ideal choice for such application. Virtually all similar industries used the material on a large scale to help make their businesses more productive, as well as efficient.
Today it is widely known that asbestos is a very dangerous and toxic material. During the time period when it was used by A.P. Green, asbestos was only known to be useful for resisting heat and helping in production. When handled and exposed to high heat, the material can give off dust. The inhaled particles are now known to be the major cause of diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis. Once the fibers are inhaled, a person’s body has no method of removing them. After years with fibers in their abdominal and chest cavities, these workers at a heightened risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.
These conditions can be treated, but life expectancy of those affected is almost always shortened. Early detection is the only known method of prolonging longevity for workers that do become sick. Unfortunately, many of these people are simply unaware that they even breathed in asbestos. The application in furnaces seemed innocuous at the time, but has proven fatal for a small percentage of these employees. Being able to inform doctors is an essential part of being properly diagnosed, but many people who were employed in such industries simply don’t know they were exposed to the material that causes mesothelioma and asbestosis.