Asbestos Exposure in the Plaster and Drywall Industries
Drywall workers are at an elevated risk of asbestos exposure due to hands-on contact with toxic asbestos products that were commonplace on most construction sites for many years. The following is a list of examples of plasterers and drywall finishers’ asbestos exposure:
- Drywall taping compounds, which included asbestos, were used on a daily basis until the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned the substance in construction products in the late 1970’s.
- Mixing, sanding, troweling and spraying asbestos products released asbestos fibers into the air, which were then inhaled by workers. A 1979 study confirmed that when drywall workers sanded down drywall taping compounds, the asbestos concentrations in the air were several times higher than the permissible level.
- Clean-up operations, such as sweeping, increased the possibility of asbestos exposure.
- Close contact with other construction workers, such as plumbers, electricians and insulators, caused plasterers and drywall finishers to be frequently exposed to other types of asbestos containing construction materials, including ceiling and floor tiles and various kinds of insulation.