National Gypsum Facility Public Health Assessment

Timeframe: 2004 to 2006

The National Gypsum facility in Long Beach, California, began producing wallboard in 1964. National Gypsum used vermiculite from Libby, Montana, to produce fire-resistant wallboard. Approximately 516 tons of vermiculite were shipped to National Gypsum between July 1970 and August 1977. Vermiculite from Libby is known to contain 21-26% asbestos. In a collaborative agreement with the California Department of Public Health, IAI conducted a health consultation for the community of Long Beach.

IAI’s investigation did not find any pattern of cancer or mortality consistent with asbestos exposure in the areas near the facility. In addition, the current operations at the facility did not pose a health risk to workers, as long as the chrysotile found in site soil is not disturbed. However, former workers at the plant may have been exposed to unhealthy levels of asbestos in the past.