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GAF Corporation

Company Background

In 1886 the Standard Paint Company was established in New York City, and by 1928 the name had been changed to the Ruberoid Company. Later in 1928, Ruberoid had purchased and taken over the H.F. Watson Company and all of its production facilities. H.F. Watson manufactured an industrial grade insulation that was made out of a naturally occurring material known as asbestos. This was a popular base for insulation and other materials because it has the ability to withstand very high temperatures and it is a fire resistant material. The Ruberoid Company continued production on this and other asbestos based products.

During the 1970's researcher had realized that asbestos was not safe for humans. It can break apart into miniscule particles and be inhaled, then cause massive damage to the respiratory system and induce diseases such as the asbestos cancer called mesothelioma. Shortly before this discovery, the GAF Corporation had purchased Ruberoid and all of their manufacturing facilities. GAF took over as the number one supplier of asbestos in Virginia as they assumed control over a local mine that contained large quantities of the mineral. As of 1975, GAF executives declared the mine to no longer be a worthwhile asset, and decided to close it down. Miners who worked at the site protested this decision, and formed the Vermont Asbestos Group. They purchased the mine and continued to operate inside it for the next five years.

GAF Corporation Asbestos Containing Products

A variety of products were manufactured by GAF such as insulating cement, pipe covering, wallboard plaster and vinyl floor tile (under the brand names Sure-Stik, Bright Future, Luran Airtred and Fashioncraft). When GAF merged with Ruberoid, manufacturing expanded to include roof shingles, floor tiles and siding products.

Provided below is a complete list of GAF/Ruberoid asbestos containing products. Where available, we have also indicated the years of manufacture.

Product Years Manufactured
"115" and "214" Cements - insulation cement 1937 - 1975
"313" Mineral Wool Insulation Cement Rebranded by GAF from 1960-71
"412" Single Coat Insulation Cement Rebranded by GAF from 1960-71
Anti-Sweat Pipecovering - woolfelt and asbestos paper 1928 - 1958
Aristo Insulation 1928 - 1940
Asbestos Cement Roofing Shingles 1930 - 1978
Asbestos Cement Siding 1930 - 1978
Asbestos Millboard (ie., Foundriboard) 1928 - 1981
Asbestos Rollboard 1928 - 1981
Asphalt Tile 1959 - 1971
Calsilite Insulation Cement 1951 - 1960
Calsilite Pipecovering and Block Production for US Navy only - 1944 -1947; Commercial production 1949 - 1971
Calsilite SS - pipecovering and block Beginning in mid to late 1960s (exact dates unknown)
Calsilite-Hi - pipecovering and block Commercial production 1949 - 1971
Chrysotile Asbestos Fiber Feb. 1936 - March 1975
Corrugated Asbestos Paper 1928 - 1981
Flat Asbestos Paper 1928 - 1981
Frost-Proof Pipecovering 1928 - 1958
Imperial Insulation 1928 - 1960
Range Boiler Jacket 1938
Roofing Felts 1928 - 1981
Roofing Paint Products start date unknown - 1981
Ruberoid Air Cell 1928 - 1958
Sheet Vinyl Flooring: LURAN AIRTRED 1965 - Sept. 1981
Sheet Vinyl Flooring: LURAN IMPERIAL 1965 - Sept. 1981
Sheet Vinyl Flooring: LURAN REGENCY 1965 - Sept. 1981
Sponge Felt 1936 - 1960
Supercell 1935 - 1942
Supercell pipecovering Late 1930s
T/NA 100 - asbestos paper and plastic film 1962 - 1971
T/NA 200 - asbestos paper and plastic film 1962 - 1972
Vinyl Asbestos Floor Tile (VAT) - square tiles 1959 - Sept. 1981
Watcocel 1928 - 1934
Watcocell 1942 - 1960
Woolfelt 1928 - 1959

The Effects of Asbestos Exposure from GAF/Ruberoid Products

Workers from a variety of industries were potentially exposed to asbestos as a result of working with the products listed above. Construction workers and those responsible for installing floors or performing roofing and siding work were most likely to work with GAF and/or Ruberoid asbestos products. As a result, the chances of these workers being exposed to asbestos while on the job are great.

As indicated above, the primary cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure but it has also been shown that smoking combined with asbestos exposure can increase the chances of developing the disease. Fortunately there are leading doctors like Dr. Raphael Bueno at mesothelioma clinics throughout the country that offer treatment that can help increase a mesothelioma patient’s life expectancy. Treatment can involve surgery (i.e. mesothelioma pneumonectomy or extrapleural pneumonectomy) and/or chemotherapy with Alimta®, Navelbine or Onconase. Our treatment guide for mesothelioma and mesothelioma resources section both provide more information about dealing with this cancer.

GAF Bankruptcy and the Establishment of an Asbestos Trust Fund

By the time that the harmful effects of asbestos had been well documented, and companies across the nation who created products with it were being sued by thousands of people, GAF was hit hard. To help manage the claims they helped to start up the Asbestos Claims Facility (ACF) in which several companies that faced asbestos-related personal injury claims would work together to resolve all of the cases as a group entity. It was not long before this group began to fall apart, but GAF remained committed to the organization, which later changed its name to the Center for Claims Resolution (CCR). The CCR members would work together from a financial and legal point of view to settle all ongoing cases.

GAF decided to declare bankruptcy in 2001, however, and filed for a Chapter 11 procedure. This allowed the company to restructure and gain protection from the thousands of asbestos lawsuits that were still unresolved. A trust fund was developed to handle the investigations of these claims and to pay off those that were considered to be valid cases. GAF still operates today as a manufacturer of roofing and decking materials, specialty fabrics and iron ductwork. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and believe that you may have been exposed to asbestos from GAF/Ruberoid products a mesothelioma lawyer may be able to help. Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney and Meisenkothen is currently filing claims with the GAF Asbestos Trust on behalf of mesothelioma victims. Simply fill out the form on this page to receive a free information guide and to learn more.

Author: Tara Strand

Senior Content Writer

Tara Strand

Reviewer: Jennifer R. Lucarelli

Lawyer for Mesothelioma Victims and Their Families

Jennifer R. Lucarelli
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