Drywall Dust Exposure & Your Health
By now, everyone should know that drywall dust is bad for your health and you should limit your exposure to it. Back in the 70′s everyone knew who the drywall guys were…they were usually the guys completely covered in white dust. In fact, construction teams knew enough to leave the room when the drywall guys showed up to install and finish drywall.
Most everyone in the construction industry knew that drywall dust wasn’t good for you, and that it produced a long list of health issues. The biggest issue with drywall dust is that it not only gets in the air, you inhale it, it gets in your eyes and covers you and your clothing with thick white dust that you carry with you wherever you go. The exposure then gets extended to anyone you come in contact with, and so on…
Once the dust gets in your eyes, it creates an irritation which can be hard to remove. At this point, you will most likely need to flush your eyes to remove the irritation. If you try to wear goggles, they get covered quickly and the goggles get hot and fog easily, making it hard to see what you’re doing. Most professional crews have given up on goggles because of this.
Now, if you don’t want to breathe the dust, you can always wear a mask. There are many different types of masks, but all masks will heat the air you breathe, making the work harder to tolerate. The hot humid exhaled air can escape around the mask and be forced up to your eyes and fog those goggles too. It can also disturb the dust around on your face and actually force the dust particulates right into your eyes.
Other dangerous conditions that you may not have known about or considered previously are lead-based paint, recirculation of dust from inside the home’s air ducts, sanding of mold, as well as secondary exposure to children and animals.
Bottom line: there is NO SAFE EXPOSURE to this type of dust, and should be avoided at all costs.
If your home was built before 1975, it’s very possible that the walls have been previously painted with lead-based paint. Sanding the lead-based paint will immediately convert the paint into dust particulates, turning it into a dangerous and active exposure risk.
It is very possible to inadvertently sand mold that is on a wall. This should always be avoided whenever possible. Airborne mold particulars can cause eye, skin, and throat irritation, not to mention inhalation dangers. Consult your physician if you think you’ve been affected by this type of exposure.
Considering all the risks we’ve mentioned, as well as all the ones we haven’t, the solution is to completely eliminate dust and dust exposure. And because there have been no substantial products that completely eliminate exposure to drywall dust, we decided to make our own solution!
To order our dustless drywall sanding system, visit our online store HERE.
The government finally got involved in 2009 when OSHA declared drywall dust to be the leading cause of White Lung Disease. Better late than never…
If you would like more information on health issues due to drywall dust exposure, check out Medical News Today article by Deborah Young-Corbett, a faculty member in Virginia Tech’s School of Construction: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/170641.php
For more Official information on the risks of drywall dust exposure, check out these sites:
US Department of Labor, OSHA, Crystalline Silica Website: www.osha.gov/silica/index.html
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Website: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/99-113/
Richard A. Brunner
BAR Co. Production Company