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Rohm and Haas
Rohm and Haas Company (NYSE: ROH), a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania based company, manufactures miscellaneous materials. A Fortune 500 Company, Rohm and Haas employs more than 17,000 people in 27 countries. The annual sales revenue of Rohm and Haas stands at about USD 8.2 billion.
The company was started by Dr. Otto Röhm and Mr. Otto Haas. Haas moved to Philadelphia and began the American side of the business on September 1, 1909, from an office on Front Street, while Otto Röhm remained in Germany to run a company that would eventually become Röhm GmbH. The American company grew rapidly as World War I approached, because of their initial invention, a synthetic substitute (brand name Oropon) for fermented dog dung, which was used for bating leather (part of the tanning process); leather was needed for the war in large quantities for belts and saddles.
The company again grew rapidly as World War II approached, as it manufactured Plexiglas® acrylic, a clear plastic which was needed for aircraft canopies. They sold this part of the business in 1998 to Elf Atochem (now Arkema).
In 1999 Rohm and Haas acquired the Morton Salt company, which operates as a division of Rohm and Haas today.
The main products of Rohm and Haas are specialty materials, advanced chemistry that allows end use products to have a particular characteristic — low-odor, water-based paints, sunscreens with greater SPF functionality, or more powerful semiconductor chips, for example.
The corporate headquarters built in 1964 sits at the corner of Market Street and South Independence Mall West. The landmark building was designed by Pietro Belluschi.
Rohm and Haas is one of five companies undergoing a class-action lawsuit filed by residents of McCullom Lake, Illinois located in McHenry County, Illinois. The plaintiffs claim these local manufacturing companies have a direct correlation to 21 out of 1,000 residents experiencing some type of brain or pituitary gland cancer. Several current and former residents have already died or experienced a relapse of their brain cancer. As early as 1980, Rohm and Haas' McCullom Lake factory has undergone investigation for contamination to the town's groundwater. Studies showed the groundwater never affected the town's well water.
Nineteen current and former McCullom Lake residents have filed the lawsuit with the help of Philadelphia attorney, Aaron Freiwald. Eighteen plaintiffs have suffered brain cancer, three have pituitary cancer and one cirrhosis of the liver. Rohm and Haas has taken an active role by hiring environmental consultants to help their cleanup efforts. They deny their factory has any correlation to the illnesses.
Two years ago, Freiwald sued the company on behalf of the thousands of workers in one of their Pennsylvania research facilities when 15 people were diagnosed with brain cancer. Lawsuits are still pending.
McHenry County's local newspaper, Northwest Herald, published a six-piece investigative story on the lawsuits and residents.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Rohm_and_Haas". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|