Physical Plant Services: Fire Proofing and Surfacing Material Synopsis

Flashing Barricade Please Note: This page is (1) under development, (2) is in rough-draft form, and (3) has not been peer-reviewed. This data is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as a comprehensive AHERA-quality inventory. Please call Physical Plant Services (414-229-4576) for additional information.

The following buildings have or had asbestos spray-on fireproofing or asbestos plaster/surfacing material. Contact Physical Plant Services for specific locations, or for building abatement history.

Building Year Built ACM Spray-on Fire Proofing: ACM Plaster, Acoustical Plaster or Surfacing Material:
Bolton 1964


Acoustical Plaster
Chapman 1937   Yes
Acoustical plaster
Chancellor's Residence 1925   Yes
Job-mixed plaster
Chemistry Building 1974   Yes
Cunningham Hall 1973


EMS 1970


Scratch-coat and acoustical plaster
GLRF 1966   Yes
acoustical plaster
Kenilworth 1941/1942   Yes (1914)
job-mixed plaster
Lapham Hall 1961/1993   Yes (1961)
acoustical plaster
Mitchell Hall-North Wing 1912  
See Mitchell Synopsis for clarification.
Library 1967/1974/1987   Yes (1967)
acoustical plaster
Sabin Hall 1928   Yes
any remaining 1928 job-mixed plaster
Sandburg Hall 1970


Union 1956/1963/1972/1988   Yes (1956)
acoustical plaster

Job-mixed Plaster Application
(year built)
Acoustical Plaster Application
(year built)
Scratch-coat Application
(year built)
Kenilworth (1914)
Chancellor's Residence (1925)
Sabin (1928)
Chapman (1937)
Union (1956)
Lapham (1961)
Bolton (1964)
GLRF (1966)
Library (1967)
EMS (1970)
EMS (1970)
Chemistry (1974)

In December 1995, the EPA published an interpretation in the Federal Register that required plaster to be analyzed for asbestos by layer rather than as a composite.

In a study by Yale University presented at the 2000 American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition in Orlando, bulk plaster samples were collected in more than 200 buildings built between 1850 and 1980. Individual plaster layers were classified with regards to gross characteristics (i.e., color, texture), cement, reinforcing fiber, and aggregate. According to the Yale study, the plaster was classified as: job-mixed, acoustical, and modern. Modern plasters were classified as post-WWII perlite-containing plasters. Acoustical plasters often range from 0% to 20%. The job-mixed plasters applied through approximately 1940 were found to contain between 0% and 0.8% asbestos.

The Yale study found that asbestos content in job-mixed plasters was unrelated to the plaster's color, aggregate, or content. However, it was related to the date of application. Their data indicated that plaster masons in this geographical area added approximately 0.5% asbestos to the brown- or scratch-coat layer of plaster as a replacement for horse or cattle hair between 1880 and 1940. Asbestos was used more frequently as the reinforcement fiber in the early 1900s and was used almost exclusively from the late 1920s through the 1930s. Our building survey results at UWM are somewhat similar with the Yale findings.

Source: Asbestos Content in Wall and Ceiling Plaster in Buildings Built Between 1850 and 1980. T. Oumet, R. Morse, presented at 2000 AIHCE.

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Asbestos Management Program Index Page

Updated August 15, 2007