About asbestos in drywall compound!

Avoid scaring clients and needlessly complicating the transaction by providing incomplete information about concerns with asbestos in drywall compound!

In mentioning that asbestos is commonly found in drywall compound in homes built before 1981 be sure that your client understands the circumstances under which it is regulated.

Asbestos becomes regulated at concentrations exceeding 1%. At concentrations of 1% or less, asbestos is typically unregulated and can be treated as non-asbestos.

Under a 1995 ruling, the percentage is calculated as a percentage of the drywall assembly. This means the drywall and compound together, not just the compound. This means that if drywall compound contains 5% or less of asbestos and the compound is less than ¼-inch thick (most textures), the percentage of asbestos in the drywall assembly would be less than 1% and would not be regulated.

Probably the only time asbestos in compound would actually need expensive abatement is when the compound contains a high percentage (it can contain up to about 10%) and was applied thickly.

This also important for inspectors who do a lot of pre-list inspections to know about because it will allow the seller to refute asbestos comments made by a buyer’s inspector who doesn’t understand how the percentage is calculated.

Note: This generally applies in the USA, not Canada. Inspectors should check to make sure that their state regulations are not more stringent.


This is the link I posted on face book Kenton, the only way I could save it is here because my PC is in the shop and can’t email or print with this back-up.
It’s a lengthy article and want it for further reference.

I didn’t read it all, but plan too.
Thank for sharing what you posted.
I keep thinking how much of that crap I inhaled over the years. LOL

The asbestos content of drywall finishing products (e.g. joint compound, texture, and tape) historically ranged from approximately three to 15% chrysotile by weight. It has been suggested that, when joint compound products were first introduced, formulations contained 10–15% asbestos, and that the asbestos concentrations decreased with time (CPSC 1977b). Only the chrysotile form of asbestos was intentionally added as an ingredient in joint compound formulations;

Amen Marcel, inhaled and touched.

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Thanks Kenton, I just got my PC back today along with a UPS so when power goes out like last week, it won’t screw up my computer.
Anything in that article that helps you any or you already had that information?

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Thanks Marcel, it just confirmed what I had thought/written. My info came off the website of an industrial hygienist, and it looked credible, but I looked over the OSHA site to confirm but trying to make sense of the OSHA stuff can be difficult and I wanted to be sure I was right.


Good info. - Regarding the situation in Canada. I am aware of several instances where inspectors were sued and backed up by independent lab testing that verified “asbestos” present in the drywall compound. Of course this occurred in several older housing units. The reason I’m aware of this is because complaints were sent from home buyers regarding claims against home inspectors.