Drywall and Asbestos
Drywall is the first-choice material for interior wall finishing in most American buildings. That includes residential, commercial and industrial applications.
Also called gypsum wallboard or sheetrock, American builders have used drywall products for over seven decades. It’s fast to install, finishes smoothly and is economical to work with.
Today’s drywall sheets, tape, and joint compounds are also safe to work with. That wasn’t the case with earlier drywall products.
Until the 1980s, practically all drywall building components contained asbestos. Originally, manufacturers added asbestos fibers into drywall materials to make them lighter, stronger and more fire-resistant.
That turned into a national disaster that compounded the entire asbestos exposure problem.
Working with asbestos-containing drywall products exposed thousands of American construction workers to deadly airborne asbestos fibers. Sadly, many of those workers developed asbestos-caused diseases like mesothelioma.