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National Gypsum, otherwise known as National Gypsum Company or NGC, has been in business since 1925. In 1990, NGC filed for bankruptcy, to then emerge from bankruptcy in 1993 and establish an asbestos trust fund in 2000. 

National Gypsum began by producing an innovative form of wallboard, and then expanded their product line to include various other construction products, many of which included asbestos. As a result, their employees and consumers faced asbestos exposure and a series of asbestos-related illnesses. NGC was faced with a growing number of asbestos cases, leading to their bankruptcy and trust fund establishment.


National Gypsum History of Asbestos Use

Quick Facts
  • Years in Operation: 1925 – present
  • Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Production: Construction materials
  • Asbestos Trust: Yes

National Gypsum was founded in 1925 and remains in business today. The company’s primary focus began with gypsum wallboard. They claimed that their wallboard was lighter, more flexible and higher performing than any other wallboard brand, even stamping their products with a “Gold Bond,” offering $5,000 to anyone who could prove otherwise. Their Gold Bond strategy was trademarked by 1926 and became an alternative brand name for their products. 

National Gypsum continued to thrive throughout the next few decades, successfully navigating several patent-infringement lawsuits and emerging from the Great Depression. The asbestos company continued to expand its product line and acquired several other large companies to grow its presence and set of resources.

National Gypsum Acquisitions
  • Abestone Corporation
  • Allentown Portland Cement Company
  • America Encaustic Tile
  • Atlantic Gypsum
  • Huron Portland Cement Company
  • Keene’s Cement
  • Murray Tile
  • National Mortar and Supply Company
  • The Austin Company
  • Universal Gypsum
  • Wesco
  • Windsor Paper Mills Inc.

Universal Gypsum was one of the largest and most important acquisitions, as the company was one of their main competitors and twice the size of NGC. National Gypsum Company gained gypsum plants in Texas, Iowa, Pennsylvania and New York, along with several other mines and a strong presence in the Midwest. Though NGC did experience some losses, particularly during the Great Depression, they continued to borrow and raise money, exchange stocks and strategically target different products to maintain their role as a major construction product supplier.

National Gypsum Asbestos Products

Construction products produced from the 1920s – 1970s are known to have likely contained asbestos. The inexpensive mineral offered resistance to fire, chemicals and heat, while also offering durability; all of which are conditions ideal for building materials.

National Gypsum Products

Specific brand-name products from National Gypsum that have been linked to asbestos include Gold Bond Gypsum Board, Gold Bond Abestone, Gold Bond Sprayolite, ProForm Drywall Finishing Products and PermaBase Cement Board. Many NGC asbestos products fall under the brand name Gold Bond, which was popular during the time when asbestos was most commonly used.

National Gypsum Products Containing Asbestos
Expand List of Products Containing Asbestos
Product Name Start Year End Year
National Gypsum 35 lb Asbestos Roofing Jacket
National Gypsum All Purpose Joint Cement 1935 1976
National Gypsum All Weather Caulking Compound 1953 1974
National Gypsum Asbestibel Panel
National Gypsum Asbesto-Grid Panel
National Gypsum Asbestone Cement Wallboard
National Gypsum Asbestone Roofing
National Gypsum Asbestos Ceiling Panels
National Gypsum Asbestos Cement Siding Shingles 1953 1981
National Gypsum Asbestos Cement Siding Shingles 1953 1981
National Gypsum Asbestos Fiber
National Gypsum Asbestos Jackets for Pipecovering
National Gypsum Asbestos Stripping Tape
National Gypsum Asbestos-Faced Mineral Wool Insulation Board
National Gypsum Chromashake Siding 1954 1968
National Gypsum Chromatex Siding 1954 1968
National Gypsum Chromatone Siding Shingles 1954 1968
National Gypsum Classic “32” Siding 1954 1968
National Gypsum Classic Shake Siding 1954 1968
National Gypsum Corrugated “400” Siding and Roofing Material
National Gypsum Craftco Cement Paint
National Gypsum Deeptex Siding 1954 1968
National Gypsum Dutch Lap Shingles 1954 1968
National Gypsum Exterior Foam Core Panels
National Gypsum FlexFelt
National Gypsum Gold Bond Acoustical Plaster
National Gypsum Gold Bond Adhesive 1953 1956
National Gypsum Gold Bond All Purpose Joint Compound
National Gypsum Gold Bond All-Purpose Joint Cement
National Gypsum Gold Bond Asbestone Panels
National Gypsum Gold Bond Asbestos Cement Board
National Gypsum Gold Bond Asbestos Fiber
National Gypsum Gold Bond Asbestos Panels
National Gypsum Gold Bond Asbestos Paper
National Gypsum Gold Bond Asbestos-Faced Mineral Board
National Gypsum Gold Bond Ceiling Tiles and Panels
National Gypsum Gold Bond Color Textures
National Gypsum Gold Bond Corrugated “Economy 250” Asbestos Cement Sheet
National Gypsum Gold Bond Cover Crete 1949 1965
National Gypsum Gold Bond Craftex 1930 1976
National Gypsum Gold Bond Crown Coat Cement 1935 1976
National Gypsum Gold Bond Decorite 1930 1976
National Gypsum Gold Bond E-Z Spray Texture
National Gypsum Gold Bond E-Z Tex 1930 1976
National Gypsum Gold Bond Exterior Stucco 1930 1949
National Gypsum Gold Bond Finisher
National Gypsum Gold Bond Fire-Shield Plaster 1958 1970
National Gypsum Gold Bond High Humidity Acoustical Plaster
National Gypsum Gold Bond Humiguard
National Gypsum Gold Bond Humiguard Asbestos Panels
National Gypsum Gold Bond Insul-Best Panels
National Gypsum Gold Bond Insulating Cement
National Gypsum Gold Bond Joint Compound
National Gypsum Gold Bond Laminating Adhesive A 1970 1974
National Gypsum Gold Bond Macoustic 1942 1947
National Gypsum Gold Bond Millboard
National Gypsum Gold Bond Mortar Mix 1954 1978
National Gypsum Gold Bond Natcor
National Gypsum Gold Bond No. 340 Insulating Cement 1944 1946
National Gypsum Gold Bond Panels
National Gypsum Gold Bond Patching Plaster
National Gypsum Gold Bond Perfo-Lyte Acoustical Plaster 1955 1972
National Gypsum Gold Bond Permaboard 1954 1981
National Gypsum Gold Bond Plasters
National Gypsum Gold Bond Plasticryllic Panels
National Gypsum Gold Bond Pliaboard 1954 1960
National Gypsum Gold Bond Q-W Compound
National Gypsum Gold Bond Quik-Treat Joint Compound
National Gypsum Gold Bond Ready Mixed Joint Cement 1935 1975
National Gypsum Gold Bond Ready Mixed Joint Compound
National Gypsum Gold Bond Ripple-Tone Plasticrylic Panels
National Gypsum Gold Bond Rockwall Acoustic Plaster
National Gypsum Gold Bond Siding
National Gypsum Gold Bond Spackling Paste
National Gypsum Gold Bond Spackling Plaster
National Gypsum Gold Bond Spray Quick
National Gypsum Gold Bond Spray Quick A
National Gypsum Gold Bond Spray-On Acoustical Plaster 1955 1956
National Gypsum Gold Bond Sprayolite
National Gypsum Gold Bond Sprayolite Acoustical Plaster 1956 1968
National Gypsum Gold Bond Sta-Smooth Compound
National Gypsum Gold Bond Super Westex 1930 1976
National Gypsum Gold Bond Tar Paper
National Gypsum Gold Bond Texas Texture
National Gypsum Gold Bond Texture
National Gypsum Gold Bond Texture Paint
National Gypsum Gold Bond Thermo Weld Compound
National Gypsum Gold Bond Thermotec Asbestos Cement Sheets
National Gypsum Gold Bond Topping Cement 1935 1976
National Gypsum Gold Bond Topping Compound
National Gypsum Gold Bond Tri-Treatment Joint Cement
National Gypsum Gold Bond Tri-Treatment Joint Compound
National Gypsum Gold Bond Two-in-One Joint Compound
National Gypsum Gold Bond Velvet Joint Compound
National Gypsum Gold Bond Velvet Spray Quick Texture
National Gypsum Gold Bond Velvet Texture A.R.
National Gypsum Gold Bond Velvet Topping Compound
National Gypsum Gold Bond Velvet Triple-T Compound
National Gypsum Gold Bond Velvet White Super Spray
National Gypsum Gold Bond Vinyl Texture
National Gypsum Gold Bond Vinyl Topping Compound
National Gypsum Gold Bond Wallboard
National Gypsum Gold Bond Wood Fibered Plaster
National Gypsum Hexagonal Shingles 1954 1965
National Gypsum Insul-Best Panels
National Gypsum Panelectric Groove Fill
National Gypsum Perfect Spray
National Gypsum Perforated Panel
National Gypsum Ranch-Style Shingles 1956 1969
National Gypsum Rockwall Acoustic Plaster
National Gypsum RockWool Insulating Cement
National Gypsum Soffit Panels
National Gypsum Sprayed “Limpet” Asbestos
National Gypsum Sussex “32” Siding 1954 1968
National Gypsum Thermacoustic 1949 1957
National Gypsum Thermo-Weld Compound
National Gypsum Thermotec 1960 1981
National Gypsum Two-in-One Compound
National Gypsum Unperforated Panel
National Gypsum Vinyl Topping Compound
National Gypsum Wesco Joint Treatment
National Gypsum Woodgrain Siding 1954 1968

National Gypsum and Occupational Exposure

As National Gypsum Company’s presence grew, so did their breadth of asbestos exposure. During World War II, NGC manufactured acoustic panels used on aircraft engines, metal landing strips and insulation for cargo ships, all of which were considered highly useful for the Korean and Vietnam wars. National Gypsum became a primary supplier of wallboard across the United States, even struggling to meet the growing demand.

With all of these major projects, asbestos products were exposing workers across various industries and trades. Whenever products were damaged, cut, trimmed, sanded, worn down or disturbed in any way, asbestos fibers could easily become airborne. Once airborne, fibers are then susceptible to inhalation or ingestion, putting individuals at risk of developing diseases like malignant mesothelioma.

Occupations Impacted by National Gypsum Company's Asbestos Use
  • Insulation installers
  • Pipefitters
  • Plasterers
  • Sheetrock hangers

National Gypsum was in control of 27% of the gypsum market by 1950 and was producing over 150 building materials during a time when construction was frequent. By the 1930s, the dangers of asbestos were acknowledged and safer alternatives were developed. However, asbestos was a much cheaper option and companies like National Gypsum did not cease asbestos production, continuing to benefit from growing profits. In 1950, NGC reported $75 million in sales.

Asbestos Litigation Against National Gypsum

In the 1960s, National Gypsum started to face a variety of financial hardships. They reached a $19 million settlement in 1973 in a civil suit regarding gypsum manufacturer pricing practices, which then led to further investigation and to a Supreme Court case where NGC was found guilty. The company took on other debts for expansions and had fluctuating profits throughout the next decade. In 1986, their profits reached an all-time low as their legal losses reached an all-time high.

200,000

asbestos victims filed lawsuits against NGC by the early 1990s and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

By the early 1990s, around 200,000 asbestos victims had filed lawsuits against asbestos manufacturers. National Gypsum faced around 45,000 of these cases in 1992, as the company continued to produce asbestos products until 1970 when they halted use of the mineral altogether. NGC employees, consumers and affected family members took legal action against the company to gain compensation for a diagnosis resulting from asbestos exposure from NGC products.

National Gypsum Asbestos Trust Fund

In 1990, National Gypsum Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but was able to create a plan to emerge from their debt. In July 1993, NGC emerged from the bankruptcy, was replaced by a new company with the same name and various financial institutions were made to determine the company’s total debt in bankruptcy court.

Like many other asbestos manufacturers, National Gypsum ended up creating an asbestos trust fund in 2000 to ensure that they could pay out existing property damage claims and future personal injury claims. Under the trust fund, the company has only had to pay out a certain percentage to ensure fair distribution of financial assistance to those affected by the asbestos in their products.

Both companies and individuals can file asbestos claims with the NGC trust. For example, in 1987, National Gypsum reached settlements with 155 schools across 19 different states when their asbestos products were found in the school buildings’ construction. Just two years earlier, NGC also lost to Mercer University after the school had to undergo costly renovations to replace National Gypsum’s asbestos construction materials.

By 2010, The NGC trust had paid out $203 million in property damage claims, personal injury claims and wrongful death claims. The trust continues to accept and pay claims today.

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