US Gypsum Company History
The US Gypsum Company has a long rich history as a building materials manufacturer. A subsidiary of United States Gypsum Corporation, USG has been producing gypsum based wall products, ceiling panels and floor systems for both residential and commercial use for over 100 years. The US Gypsum Company was formed in 1901 through the consolidation and merger of 30 independent gypsum product manufacturing companies that had operations across the country.
During the 1930's the Great Depression forced USG to look for opportunities to continue to grow during difficult economic times. As a result, the company introduced a new and expanded product line which included joint tapes, finishing products, insulation boards, exterior panels, acoustical ceiling panels and industrial molding plaster. In the 1960's USG saw a further need for product diversification and added cement, paint and mica to its product mix. The company has continued to grow and adapt to changing market conditions and economic fluctuations and today, USG is North America's largest manufacturer of gypsum based building materials and products.
Products Manufactured by the US Gypsum Company that Contained Asbestos
Between 1920 and 1978 the US Gypsum Company manufactured some of their products using asbestos. Before the extent of the negative impact on health that resulted from breathing in asbestos dust became widely known, manufacturers favored the use of asbestos in products that were required to be fireproof or insulating in nature. This is because asbestos, being a naturally occurring mineral in nature was extremely heat proof, fire resistant, and would not deteriorate under chemical or biological exposure.
USG primarily made plasters, paints, drywall (although none of their drywall products contained asbestos), ceiling tiles, joint compound, roofing material and pipe and block insulation used in the building trade and the most popular trademarked brands were Imperial, Durabond, Perf-A-Tape and Red Top. Provided below is a list of asbestos containing products manufactured by USG between 1920 and 1978.
Roofing, Shingles, Siding
- Glatex Asbestos Cement Siding - exterior siding product
- USG Siding Shingles
- USG Asbestos Fibre Covering - used as a roof coating in residential, commercial and industrial roofing projects
- Oriental Exterior Stucco Finish Coat - used in residential and commercial construction to finish exterior walls
- USG Roofing
Asbestos Paper, Rollboard, Millboard
- USG Asbestos Paper
Cements, Adhesives, Boiler Coatings
- Regular Cement Plaster
- USG Range Boiler Jackets Pipe Covering
- Perf-A-Tape Cement
Plasters, Protective Coatings, Fireproofing, Compounds, Paints
- Red Top Cement Plaster
- Red Top Patching Plaster
- Red Top Firecode Plaster
- Red Top Basecoat Plaster
- Imperial Gypsum Woodfibre Plaster
- Imperial Gypsum Cement Plaster
- Structolite Plaster
- Sabinite Acoustical Plaster - made from early 1930's to mid 60's. A dry plaster that was mixed with water and painted on walls, ceilings and floors for sound proofing
- Sabinite 38 Acoustical Plaster
- Hi-Lite Acoustical Plaster - made from mid 1950's to early 1970's. A sound-insulating plaster for floors, ceilings and walls
- Audicote Acoustical Plaster - made from mid 1950's to early 1970's. A sound-insulating plaster for walls, floors and ceilings
- Durabond Joint Compound - manufactured in powder form used to seal joints on interior walls, ceilings and floors
- Perf-A-Tape Joint System - System consisting of roll tape and compound
- Imperial Tape - used to tape wall joints and seams, floors and ceilings prior to finishing products
- USG Texture Paint
- USG Spraydon Fireproofing Plaster
- Texolite Spackling Putty
- “Sheetrock” Texture
- Pyrobar Mortar Mix
- USG Super Hard Spray
Pipe Covering & Block
- USG Pipecoverings
- Pyrobestos PC Board & Stack Lining
- USG Rigid Block
- USG Corrugated Wool Felt Air C. Covering
Door Cores and Ceiling Tiles
- USG Ceiling Tile
- USG Thermalux
Industries and Occupations Where Asbestos Exposure May Have Occurred
Although the asbestos containing products manufactured by US Gypsum were primarily used in the building and construction trades, individuals who developed or are at risk for developing asbestos-related diseases such as malignant pleural mesothelioma worked in a variety of industries and occupations. View our mesothelioma resources page and mesothelioma treatment guide for more useful links and information.
The industries where workers were mostly likely to be exposed to airborne asbestos dust generated from US Gypsum Company products include Asbestos Abatement, Asbestos Products Manufacturing, Chemical, Construction, Insulation, Iron & Steel, Longshore, Maritime, Military (learn more about how mesothelioma affects veterans), Petrochemical, Railroad, Shipyard Construction and Repair, Textile, Tire & Rubber and Utilities.
Resources for Mesothelioma Patients and Their Families
- Request a Free Mesothelioma Treatment Guide
- Connect with Top Mesothelioma Doctors
- Locate the Nearest Comprehensive Cancer Center
Within those industries, there were a number of occupations that may have put workers at risk for developing mesothelioma from asbestos exposure. These workers could be found in a variety of jobs from hands-on trade positions to supervisory positions including carpenters, boilermaker supervisors, electricians, HAVC installers, refractory insulators, pipefitters, welders, plumbers, Navy machinists, submarine engineer men and ship superintendents.
United States Gypsum Files for Bankruptcy
Due to the large numbers of workers and or family members who have developed mesothelioma due to occupational asbestos exposure either first hand while on the job or second hand from the clothes that workers came home in, a significant number of lawsuits had been filed with the US Gypsum Company. As a result, USG was forced to declare Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 2001.
A Joint Plan of Reorganization for emerging from bankruptcy was released in 2006 and out of that plan an Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust was established. The trust began accepting claims in February 2007. Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen is currently filing claims with the US Gypsum Asbestos Trust for individuals who have developed mesothelioma or who may have to potential to develop mesothelioma cancer due to asbestos exposure from US Gypsum products.