ACME Metals Incorporated
In 1918, a company called ACME Metals was founded in Riverdale, Illinois. The company's major product was a combination of carbon and iron, which is better known as carbon steel.
ACME Metals was actually made up of 2 individual companies. ACME Steel dealt primarily with iron ore and was involved with the manufacture of fabricated steel products. ACME Packaging produced large strips or rolls of steel which were typically purchased by other manufacturers for their own use. Soon after its inception, ACME Metals was a profitable company that supplied goods to a variety of industries throughout the United States. It was not uncommon for the work site to have more than 1,000 employees at any given time to meet the demands of the business. Sadly, all of the people who went to work at this Riverdale based facility were subjected to spending time around the poisonous mineral known as asbestos.
Of course, the workers at ACME Metals did not know that asbestos was toxic. The mineral was used in hundreds of different products for nearly a century before most people learned about the dangers it held. Manufacturers used large amounts of the material in everything from insulation to protective clothing because it was strong, durable and resistant to fire. Millions of people were exposed to the hazardous substance while working with or around it on the job.
The danger from asbestos comes after people inhale the material. This happens without their knowledge because microscopic bits of the mineral can float in the air where they may be breathed in by unsuspecting victims. Unfortunate individuals who inhale the asbestos particles then have a harmful intruder that latches on to their respiratory system and does large amounts of tissue damage. This destruction often results in breathing disorders and asbestos cancer, also known as mesothelioma. These conditions are painful, incurable and sometimes deadly.
By 1998, ACME Metals had suffered from a loss of business and many lawsuits from employees who had been made ill by the asbestos based products that were on site. The company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, and in 2002 it was purchased by International Steel Group. Within 2 years another sale ended with the steel mills being taken over by Mittal Steel USA.