Great Lakes : Great Decision

Topics: Great Lakes, Gasoline, Lake Superior Pages: 3 (745 words) Published: March 16, 2011
Great Lakes was originally founded in the 1930’s as a gas exploration company. It was originally called McClanahan Oil Company. The company bought Great Lakes Chemical Corporation in 1948. Discovering large bromine deposits in Arkansas, the company climbed to the top of the bromine business. The company spent a lot of time developing and producing chemicals used for water treatment, household cleaners, flame retardants, fire suppressants, and performance. This was the company’s main source of revenue until they acquired a company named Octel Associates in 1989.

Octel Associates specialized in TEL (tetraethyl lead). Although Great Lakes wasn’t originally into producing a lead additive, it soon accounted for half of their operating profit. Octel provided them Great Lakes with large amounts of bromine, so they decided to take on the negative affect’s dealing with the negative feedback from Lead Addatives. Growing into a multinational presence, Great Lakes slowed interest in bromine when they discovered the large amounts of profits coming from TEL.

By the 21’s century, lead gasoline was banned in most developing countries. Negative side effects were beginning to bring much attention to the company. TEL from gasoline was being used, then entered the atmosphere from exhaust. This allowed large amounts of lead to be absorbed by citizens. Side effects from TEL are, adverse effects of the neurological system, kidneys, and cardiovascular system; hypertension in adults, increase blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Children were affected even more than adults because their bodies absorbed 40 to 50% of TEL, compared to 10 to 15% as adults. Although TEL was banned in developed countries, there was still a large market available.

By 1994 59% of Great Lake’s Operating profit was secured from Octel (TEL). This was a large problem because over half of their OP was coming from an area that was becoming an environmental, socioeconomic issue. This problem was...
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