A.P. Green Industries began in 1910 as a small brick making plant in Mexico, Missouri. Named after its owner Allen Percival Green, the business grew rapidly, doubling Green’s initial investment in just five years. Green eventually bought a larger plant and began specializing in refractory products, which can withstand the searing temperatures of metal melting furnaces, boilers and ladles.
In 1998, A.P. Green merged with Global Industrial Technologies, another refractory products manufacturer. The high percentage of these companies’ market shares and the similarity of their products caused the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to file a complaint against the merger, claiming it would violate antitrust laws. A.P. Green and Global addressed the FTC’s concerns, agreeing to its demand that Global sell a division of its company to a third party. In 1999, Austria-based RHI Refractories stepped in and brokered a friendly merger with Global Industries to form RHI Refractories America.
In 2002, three RHI subsidiaries – A.P. Green, Harbison-Walker and North American Refractories Co. – departed from RHI and formed ANH Refractories Co. ANH still exists today and continues to manufacture and distribute refractory products.ment of Energy National Laboratories such as the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Idaho National Laboratory.
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Because of A.P. Green‘s widespread use of asbestos products, the company has faced thousands of asbestos-related lawsuits. From 1995 to 2007, workers filed 357,000 asbestos claims against A. P. Green. The company and two of its affiliates, Global Industrial Technologies, Inc. and Harbison-Walker, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy In February 2002. Although RHI Refractories, the parent company, cited the economic recession as a reason for the Chapter 11 filing, asbestos-related litigation was the primary cause.
Courts often require companies that file asbestos-related Chapter 11 bankruptcies to create a trust. The only mention of A.P. Green in an asbestos trust is on the website for the United States Gypsum (USG) Asbestos Personal Injury Trust. USG acquired A. P. Green in 1967. According to the bankruptcy filing instructions, this website was created to handle both USG and A.P. Green claims.
Because A.P. Green manufactured products intended to withstand high heat, most of them contained asbestos. Everything from adhesives to cements contained at least some level of asbestos. Plant workers and product installers were routinely exposed to potentially harmful levels of the material. It is estimated that A.P. Green products contained an average of three to five percent asbestos, though some contained as much as 15 percent.
The real danger, however, was not caused by the amount of asbestos that was used, but rather by the degree of exposure. Plant employees regularly worked in an environment polluted with airborne asbestos fibers. This, combined with long hours and many years of dedication to their respective plants, put workers at very high risk for inhaling asbestos and developing an asbestos-related disease.
Out of 1,200 products manufactured by A. P. Green, 22 contained asbestos. A. P. Green removed asbestos from all but one product, Green PC, by 1973.In 1976 A. P. Green discontinued production of Green PC.
Some of the known asbestos-containing products include A. P. Green Insulating Cement, SK-7 Insulating Castables, Green PC, Kast-O-Lite and Greencast.
In resolution of 203,000 claims relating to asbestos that were made prior to 2005, A. P. Green has paid $448 million in indemnity costs.
Matt Mauney is an award-winning journalist with nearly a decade of professional writing experience. He joined Asbestos.com in 2016, and he spends much of his time reading, analyzing and reporting on mesothelioma research articles to ensure people in the mesothelioma community know the latest medical advancements. Prior to joining Asbestos.com, Matt was a reporter at the Orlando Sentinel. Matt also edits some of the pages on the website.
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