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Acoustical Plaster

Acoustical Plaster

Acoustical Plaster and its Uses

Acoustical plaster was an extremely popular product in homes and businesses for two primary reasons: style and function. This plaster is sprayed on walls and ceilings to give them a textured finished that was widely sought after for several decades. The most well known example of this is the "popcorn" style ceiling that topped off homes all across the United States. Besides the professional look a plaster coating provided, it also came with the huge benefit of absorbing sound and reducing the amount of echoes from any noise generated in a small room. People living in apartments or tightly packed track housing, or working in diminutive offices often requested this construction material for the way it looked and for its ability to control noise levels.

Acoustical Plaster and Asbestos

During the 1950's, acoustical plaster was made with a naturally occurring mineral known as asbestos. This was used in hundreds of items, and was very common because it was strong, pliable and able to endure extreme temperatures. Although the asbestos provided many benefits, it is also a toxic material that can cause diseases such as Mesothelioma. There are several different mesothelioma types that a person who was exposed to asbestos may be diagnosed with including peritoneal mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma. The fact that asbestos exposure is a primary risk factor is one of the main mesothelioma causes wasn't fully understood until sometime during the late 1970's, and by this point the hazardous mineral was a mixed into plaster coatings that were in use in thousands of locations.

Risk Factors

As long as the plaster is in one solid piece, it poses no threat to human health. However, over time the plaster coating becomes likely to crack or break apart, and that allows tiny particles of asbestos to be released into the air. Since they are too small to be seen by the human eye, people become subjected to inhaling them and that can be extremely dangerous or even deadly. Aside from this hazard, the workers who put the acoustical plaster on the ceiling or walls in the first place were put at great risk. They were responsible for mixing the plaster and spraying it on. At any point in this process they could have easily inhaled enough asbestos to develop potentially deadly diseases.

To make the situation even worse, in many cases the manufactures of the plaster product were aware that the asbestos inside of it was dangerous for several years. Instead of halting production, or developing a new mixture for the plaster, they greedily allowed it to be used until federal regulations finally banned the mineral completely. Workers who may have been affected because of this often band together and file class act lawsuits against their employers. Home owners and office workers who spent time around the hazardous material have also filed suit against the companies that were responsible.

Acoustical Plaster Products Containing Asbestos

The following partial list of acoustical plaster products were known to contain asbestos:

Product Name Start Year End Year
National Gypsum Gold Bond High Humidity Acoustical Plaster
National Gypsum Gold Bond Rockwall Acoustic Plaster
National Gypsum Gold Bond Sprayolite Acoustical Plaster 1956 1968
National Gypsum Gold Bond Spray-On Acoustical Plaster 1955 1956
National Gypsum Rockwall Acoustic Plaster
National Gypsum Thermacoustic 1949 1957
United States Gypsum Audicote Acoustical Plaster 1955 1973
United States Gypsum Hi-Lite Acoustical Plaster 1950 1975
United States Gypsum Sabinite Acoustical Plaster 1935 1965

Free Information Kit

If you spent time around acoustical plaster that contained asbestos, or worked for a company that installed it, additional mesothelioma information may be helpful. Contact us today for a free brochure about resources that are available to you and what steps you should take next.

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January 20, 2017
Emily Walsh

The Importance of Grief Counseling for Mesothelioma Patients and Families

“Mesothelioma is a disease that comes with a grim outlook with only an average of 8% of patients who survive five years after their diagnosis. Because it has such a poor prognosis, a big part of treating mesothelioma – or any form of cancer, really – includes addressing mental impact it has on patients and their family members.”