MONROVIA — After three years of manufacturing electric charcoal starters, William Brady expects his business to begin smoking.
Under a new rule mandated by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, lighter fluid and self-starting charcoal will be banned beginning in January, 1992, unless they can be reformulated to emit 80% less pollution. The AQMD ban will probably benefit Brady's Monrovia-based company, Meteor Inc., which he bought three years ago. The company, apparently the only manufacturer of electric lighters in the western United States, makes 225,000 each year. Meteor has also has started making metal chimneys for starting fires manually. Those should hit the market in early 1991.
The company employs about 20 people. Brady said he anticipated increased demand for both products with the AQMD rule, and probably will add more employees. But he said it is too soon to say how many or what other new marketing he might do.
When the company was formed 25 years ago, environmental issues were not a concern, Brady said. "We didn't get into the business to make the environment safe," he said. "It's the quickest, safest and cheapest way to start a barbecue. And it doesn't leave a (lighter) fluid taste."