Is Asbestos In Your Walls?

Right until the end of the 1970’s asbestos was a common component in the manufacturing of drywall in the United States. So, if you are planning on some demolition work, remember if the building you are working on was built prior to 1980, it may well contain asbestos. Asbestos exposure may cause scarring of the tissue in your lungs and abdomen and cause difficulty berating as well as mesothelioma and lung cancer. Mesothelioma is an especially cruel and painful kind of cancer with no cure. Read on to learn more.

Paneling And Drywall

If your building was built after 1930 here is a fair chance part of it is made from drywall. Although it was not common for these to contain asbestos fiber, the heavier duty cement boards used often did as well as paneling designed for decorative purposes. As a rule of thumbs, panels containing asbestos are not usually harm causing so long as they are still in one solid piece with no breaks or fractures.

When replacing vintage paneling that may contain asbestos, remove it in one piece. Do not break it up as this will expose you to asbestos. Remember as the boards age they become increasingly brittle and their removal may cause very small asbestos fibers to go across the room where they can be ingested and breathed in. However, you can cover the older wall panels with another treatment to the surface – this will be ok as long as you no longer drill through to the wall covering.

Joint Compounds

Regardless of whether there is asbestos in the drywall of your home, wall-joint compound, also commonly known as sheetrock mud manufactured for forty years from 1940 onwards did contain asbestos. It was utilized to fuse the seams between the panels of drywall once they were installed.

Remarkably this was commonly sold in hardware stores either as a paste in a can or bucket or as a dry pounder with a five pound or twenty-five pound sack. Obviously using this exposed people to asbestos and must be treated with great caution now.


Asbestos, OSHA & AHERA Training Via Classroom & Online

The Asbestos Institute has provided EPA and Cal/OSHA-accredited safety training since 1988. From OSHA 10 to hazmat training and asbestos certification, our trusted and experienced instructors make sure participants get the high-quality initial and refresher training they need.


We train on-site at our headquarters in Phoenix, AZ or at our clients’ sites across the U.S. We offer both English and Spanish courses. Browse Classroom Classes


Online courses allow you to align your learning with your personal schedule. This is a great option for students with family and work commitments. Browse Online Classes


Live webinars allow you to watch instructors on demand from the comfort of your home or office. Learn, chat with other students, and ask questions in real-time. Browse Live Webinars


The Asbestos Institute is not the official authority to determine OSHA training requirements, which are set forth in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. OSHA regulations are always being revised, added, and/or deleted, so you must not rely on The Asbestos Institute as the official authority of OSHA asbestos training requirements. Visit the official OSHA Asbestos Training Requirements page here.

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