Drywall is one of the most common building supplies used in commercial and residential construction. Unfortunately, many drywall manufacturers have been using asbestos-based additives which has exposed workers, building occupants and homeowners to toxic levels of this substance.
Until the 1980s, all drywall building components had asbestos in them. They put it there to make the drywall lighter, stronger and more fire-resistant. That turned into a problem when people got too much exposure to asbestos.
Thousands of American construction workers were exposed to asbestos. This is because they worked with drywall that had asbestos in it. Sadly, many of those workers got sick and some developed mesothelioma.
Finding Asbestos in Drywall
If you have drywall in your home, it is possible that it contains some asbestos. You can’t see the drywall for what is inside. There might be more contamination than you think and it can be hard to see with your eyes. Testing must be done carefully with a microscope and samples taken from the drywall. It’s best if professionals do this because they will know how to protect themselves and they can find out more about the problem.
When drywall with asbestos is dry and has paint on it, it’s safe because the fibers don’t come off. It was during installation that workers were exposed to a lot of airborne fibers. Long-term and high-volume exposure to these fibers can cause a disease like mesothelioma. Tiny and sharp airborne asbestos fibers can get stuck in the lining of your lungs. You cannot remove them, so they make tumors over time called mesothelioma.
If you are exposed to asbestos, you can get it by breathing or swallowing the tiny fibers that are released into the air. With lots of exposure, these fibers get in your body and cause health problems. The scary part is that these fibers are so small that people cannot see them. If you live or work in an older building that is being renovated, then you might be exposed to asbestos without even knowing it!
The History of Asbestos In Drywall
For a long time, people used laths and plaster to finish the inside walls of building. Laths were thin boards that builders would nail across wood studs. After this, people would mix plaster in a wet solution and put it on the laths. It was hard work.
Drywall sheets soon became 4 feet by 8 feet. This is like the size of plywood. They are easy to hang up, and they can be nailed or hung with nails. First you put up the drywall sheet, and then you put on what is called taping.
On drywall, the tapers soaked paper tape in a wet gypsum solution. Then, they covered the seams with this tape. Next, the tapers mixed a thick gypsum solution with water and used it to cover all of the seams on the walls. This is called joint compound.
Drywall became popular because it was easy, fast and economical to work on.
Asbestos Abatement For Drywalls
Asbestos was a commonly used component in construction. It is a toxic substance that was added to many materials including drywall, insulation, roofing, tiles on the ceiling and floor.
If you live or work in a building that was made before 1990, you might be living with asbestos. If so, it is important not to take risks with your family or employees. Our qualified experts can help identify materials that contain asbestos and suggest strategies for removing the material to keep everyone safe.