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Last Edited: 10/8/2008

National Gypsum Facility, Long Beach - Public Health Activities

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), formerly the California Department of Health Services (CDHS), Environmental Health Investigations Branch, has prepared a health consultation under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. In the health consultation, CDPH evaluates the ways that people could be exposed to asbestos from this site now, or ways that people could have been exposed in the past. The evaluation includes review of cancer records and death certificate information in the area near the facility. This was done to see if cancers and deaths that could be related to asbestos were higher than expected.

The National Gypsum facility is located at 1850 B Street, Long Beach. National Gypsum produced wallboard at this location from 1964 until 1990, at which time it went bankrupt and the current owner, New National Gypsum, took over. National Gypsum used vermiculite to produce fire-resistant wallboard. About 516 tons of vermiculite from Libby, Montana were shipped to National Gypsum between July 1970 and August 1977. Vermiculite from Libby is known to contain 21-26% asbestos.

 The following summarizes the findings of the health consultation:

  • The health statistics review did not find any pattern of cancer or mortality consistent with asbestos exposure in the areas near the facility.
  • The primary concern for past exposure is the workers who directly worked with the Libby vermiculite, for instance the ones that filled the hopper.
  • Current operations at the facility do not pose a hazard to nearby residents.
  • A type of asbestos known as “chrysotile” was found at the facility. That type of asbestos is not associated with Libby vermiculite.
  • Current operations at the facility do not pose a hazard to the current workers, as long as the chrysotile that was found in the dust and soil is not disturbed. CDHS recommends that New National Gypsum address the chrysotile and see if some action should be taken.
  • CDHS will follow up with former workers to provide information about their past exposure.

Click here for the full Health Consultation National Gypsum Facility, Long Beach (March 27, 2006)

A Neighborhood Health Alert was mailed in May 2006 to inform residents of the nearby community of the Health Consultation and its findings.

Neighborhood Health Alert regarding National Gypsum Company

Alerta de Salud de la Vecindad con respecto a la compañía National Gypsum (En Español)

For more information about health statistics and vermiculite from Libby, Montana, visit the Vermiculite Health Statistics Review Project Page at

For information about astestos and health, visit the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s  Asbestos page at

For information about exposure asbestos and cancer risk, visit the National Cancer Institute’s Absbestos Exposure Fact Sheet at

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