How Much Asbestos Is Found in Plasterboard?
Asbestos is a noted concern among property owners due to its health-related consequences. In the past, plasterboard was being utilized that contained a small amount of asbestos, which added up depending on how much of the material was used.
Keeping this in mind, it's essential to figure out how much asbestos is found in older plasterboard.
Here is a look at the history of plasterboard and whether or not modern plasterboard has asbestos.
Amount of Asbestos in Plasterboard
Let's begin with the basics.
In general, older plasterboard is noted for having approximately 1-5% asbestos. This is a significant amount due to how much plasterboard can be used across the property and the underlying issues that it brings along with it.
What about the new-age plasterboard that is being used these days? Is it the same?
No, modern plaster products do not have the same breakdown in terms of composition. This means you are not going to find any type of asbestos being used in the plaster products available right now. This bodes well for those who are getting started with a modern project and want to ensure it unfolds as required.
Chrysotile Asbestos in Plasterboard
To further analyse what type of asbestos is found in plasterboard, it is known as "chrysotile asbestos," which is an additive that is included to make sure the plaster lasts longer. It is seen in all sorts of plaster products that are sold on the open market.
It's important to note, other types of asbestos are also possible in older plasterboard such as tremolite. This is noted as a contaminant and will be found in specific materials that were used in older properties.
In the past, the goal was to make sure the plaster products would remain water-resistant. Since manufacturers didn't have some of the modern solutions that are available right now, they had to use asbestos to create that water resistance artificially.
History of Asbestos in Plasterboard
To understand the composition of plasterboard, it is essential to figure out how asbestos became a prominent feature in this material in the first place.
The products that were being used in the past had to be fire and/or water-resistant. This was a must and that is where asbestos played a role.
It was the best way to make sure the material would last for a long time and bode well for those who were utilising it. The demand was there to make sure the water-resistant board was being used in projects as those were the ones that lasted.
Before the 1990s when the research was done on asbestos, most were utilising asbestos-filled plasterboard. It just made sense for them to do so because of efficiency and quality. Unfortunately, this led to serious health concerns that made governments take a look at what was going on.
In the past, the methods that were used always included some mix of fibre, gypsum, and other additives to create multi-layered drywall. This was a must and they were easier to mix compared to everything else that was available in the industry at the time.
This meant the plasterboard would resist fire, provide great structural support, and also look good. Some also noted a reduction in noise, which was an added advantage.
Another underrated element would be the drywall joint that was being used in older properties. It was also using asbestos in its composition, which meant even if the plasterboard itself was asbestos-free, there was still the risk of this being a troublemaker.
These are the key details to think about when it comes to understanding asbestos in plasterboard.
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