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Petro Chemical Products

Petro Chemical Products is located in Jacksonville, Florida. Petro Chemical Products produces a variety of private label aerosol and liquid products for the automotive industry. Petro Chemical manufactures carburetor, brake and fuel injector cleaners, as well as products that are used for a car's appearance such as car wash products, tire care and upholstery and vinyl cleaners.

Research and Development

Petro Chemical Products' research and development facility in Jacksonville develops a wide range of liquid and aerosol petrochemical products for the auto motive industry. Some of the products the facility develops include tire care products, lubricants, cleaners, additives and polishes. Petro Chemical Products developed the automotive industries' only patented aerosol fuel injector cleaner.

Product Distribution

Petro Chemical Products has four distribution centers: one in Jacksonville, one near Salt Lake City, Utah, and two satellite distribution centers along the east coast.

Marketing

Petro Chemical Products manufactures professional products under the name "Petro Chemical" that are sold to automotive repair shops and dealerships. Petro Chemical Products also manufactures a line called "C-Tech", which is intended for non-professional users. Private label services are also available to customers in the automotive industry. Petro Chemical will provide a customer with research and development services and labeling under a specific company or product name.

Chemical Plants and Asbestos

For most of the 20th century, when fire or extreme temperature was a concern, various forms of asbestos were selected as a building material. As a result, it was not uncommon for chemical plants like Petro Chemical Products to be made with materials that contained asbestos. In addition to being heat-proof and flame-proof, various kinds of amphibole asbestos are also especially impervious to reactive chemicals. Given the type of work that goes on in chemical plants, asbestos, therefore, was not only used in factory buildings, but also in safety garments, work surfaces and lab equipment. There is little question that asbestos was very good at safeguarding against combustion or heat. This strength, however, came with a significant price in terms of human health.

Most of the asbestos was the form called amosite. When it is mixed with chrysotile, which is resistant to heat and bases but not as resistant to acidic compounds, amosite creates products that are especially good at protecting against corrosive substances. This amosite, in the form of asbestos-containing transite, appeared in refineries, chemical plants and laboratories throughout the US for many years before being outlawed as a construction material in the 1970s.

As with cement, asbestos transite could be sprayed onto pipes and ductwork, molded into working surfaces and laminated. This form of asbestos did not offer a health hazard while it remained solid. Tiny particles of asbestos are released into the air, however, as this transite ages and becomes prone to crumbling. That is, such asbestos is friable, a term used to describe material that is easy to pulverize. In addition, laboratory and chemical plant ovens almost always contained friable asbestos in insulation linings.

The Dangers of Friable Asbestos

Asbestos particles, when friable, are easily dispersed in the air. When someone breathes these fibers, they can harm the lungs, resulting in asbestosis or cancer. In addition, exposure to asbestos is known to be the leading causal factor of pleural mesothelioma, a rare but frequently lethal cancer affecting the mesothelium, which is the tissue that lies between the lungs and the chest cavity. Ingestion of asbestos fibers, which happens if those microscopic fibers enter the air and land on food or in drinks, can result in pericardial or peritoneal mesothelioma.

Increased pressure from news media, concerned citizens and researchers resulted in rules controlling how to use asbestos. When chemical plants like Petro Chemical Products were first operating, however, asbestos was more prevalent. Any asbestos remaining from that time can still pose danger if people are not careful during remodeling projects.

The Time Bomb

In contrast to typical workplace injuries, which are easily observed and known about soon after the causing incident, mesothelioma disease may take many, many years to manifest. With such a long time between exposure to asbestos and the onset of symptoms, a worker may not even associate the current health problem with work done 10 or more years earlier. Accordingly, it is very important for all who worked in or resided around plants like Petro Chemical Products to notify their doctors about the possibility of exposure to asbestos. Such information can assist physicians make a timely diagnosis; the earlier it is diagnosed, the better the mesothelioma survival rate or at least of enjoying an improved quality of life.

Sources

Sources

Answers.com - Petro Chemicals
http://www.answers.com/topic/petrochemical

Business Week - Petro Chemical Products, Inc.,
http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=682433

The Canadian Encyclopedia - Petrochemical Industry
http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0006251

The Florida Times Union - Petro Chemical to expand distribution center 03/20/98,
http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/032098/bus_1c9Petro.html

University of Wisconsin - Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) - Laboratories and Shops
http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/EHSRM/ASB/acmimages3.html

University of Wisconsin - Asbestos Disposal
http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/EHSRM/HAZEXCEPTIONS/a.html

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