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Asbestos in Rollboard Products and Other Building Materials

Rollboard, also known as "millboard," is a type of insulation used from the mid-to-late 20th century in home and building construction where flame or heat was likely to be a hazard. Rollboard is widely used in construction to make walls and ceilings flame resistant. Some rollboard products have been known to be comprised of as much as 85 percent asbestos.

In addition to walls and ceilings, asbestos rollboard was used around stoves and furnaces. The material also had automotive and machine applications; it might be found in gaskets, doors, trunk linings and around exhaust systems.

Rollboard, which is a thin and flexible material, was usually applied using contact cement. The most effective type of rollboard is able to withstand temperatures of up to 2300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Production of asbestos-based rollboard was discontinued in the United States in the 1980s, but may still be made overseas. Individuals using imported construction materials should exercise diligence to ensure that rollboard products do not contain asbestos fibers.

Rollboard Products Containing Asbestos

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

Product Name Start Year End Year
GAF Asbestos Rollboard
GAF Ruberoid Asbestos Rollbaord 1928 1981

Hazards Associated with Rollboard Products

Construction workers who worked with asbestos rollboard were at the greatest danger of exposure when cutting the material as part of the installation or construction process. When cut or broken, asbestos materials can become friable and release asbestos fibers into the environment. Of course, those who worked in the manufacture of these materials are also at risk for asbestos disease.

Homes and building constructed prior to the 1980s that have not been renovated are the most likely to contain asbestos rollboard. It may or may not pose a hazard, depending on its condition. If the material is intact and not friable, it may be best to leave it undisturbed. The condition of these materials should be monitored, however. Friable rollboard materials should be dealt with by licensed, qualified asbestos abatement personnel. These professionals can either remove the materials entirely, or encapsulate them with the use of a resin material.



Bowker, Michael. Fatal Deception: The Untold Story of Asbestos (New York: Touchstone, 2003)

Smidley, David. "The Presence of Materials of Asbestos Millboard in Your Home." Retrieved 2 January 2011.

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