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Drywall/Asbestos Question


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Hey guys, I want to bounce a question off of you all.

I had a client call me this afternoon after they had a remediation company come out to repair some flood damage to some broken pipes.

She was told by the company that they needed to test the drywall for asbestos before they can remove it all. They want to charge her $600 for this procedure.

The house was built in the early 80's and the basement was finished two years ago with new drywall. This is in the Denver, CO area. Has anybody heard about this? Is this a new (or old) law that I was not aware of? State or Federal? I know they stopped selling asbestos products for insulation purposes around the time that this house was built...but I am not aware of any products that were built within the several years that contain that, let alone drywall. Or are they just trying to take advantage of this poor lady?

Quick feedback is appreciated. Thanks Guys!


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The website in the link was put together by a personal injury law firm. It has nothing to do with actual facts.

There are many that have claimed that some drywall contains asbestos. I always ask them to show me actual independent lab results and no one has been able to produce any. There was (and occasionally, still is) asbestos in drywall joint compound. The reports of drywall workers contracting mesothelioma was about drywall finishers, not rock hangers.

If anyones interested, I have a report of a study done in 2007 that shows which commonly available products still contain asbestos.

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If anyones interested, I have a report of a study done in 2007 that shows which commonly available products still contain asbestos.

I'm interested.

The "testing company" may be operating under their insurance underwriters requirements. It's still a rip, but a lot of contractors are being told to do stuff like this. The class action has gotten so huge, it's gotten to the point where if you breath on the stuff, you get dragged in.*

*(sourced from a USG attorney I work with on occasion)

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I occasionally drop off samples for testing at a local lab. There's often some guy standing at the counter that works for one of the local remediation companies turning in samples. I've never seen them charge more than $35 per sample. As far as I'm concerned, $600 means either that they are taking a hell of a lot of samples or they are just ripping off the client.



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Sorry for the delay. Yesterday, I knocked over a large glass of Hayden's and found that my CPU doesn't appreciate good bourbon. I had to replace some parts today.

I was given a product testing report when I was doing some litigation support for a civil suit. I don't know if it's ever been published or made available to the public, so I'm not going to post it (that, and it's about 18 pages of paper, not an electronic file). Here's the bits that I found interesting.

Most professionals, involved with manufacturing safety, health and air quality believe that manufacturing products containing asbestos was banned in the '70s. The truth is, US regulations still allow products to contain asbestos well above known safe levels. The USEPA and OSHA still allow a certain level of asbestos in construction materials, drinking water and even airborne fibers in the workplace.

The study, completed in 2007, subjected over 250 different products to an asbestos screening. 18 were found to contain asbestos at one lab. 8 of these were confirmed by additional testing at another lab. 5 were confirmed by a third lab. (the other 13 were not yet tested by a third lab as of the date of the report).

The first of the five products was a toy "kit" for children. It contained different color powders, one of which (white) contained asbestos.

The next is a very common window glazing compound, produced in the US by a well known manufacturer.

Third was a drywall joint compound (spackling paste) produced in the US by the same manufacturer as above.

Fourth was a contractor grade duct tape, made by a huge manufacturer, known for making many types of tape.

The fifth was one of two types of "roof patch", fiber-reinforced roofing cement from a manufacturer of caulks, sealants and coatings for the DIYers. One of their roof patch products states, in very fine print "asbestos free product". The other, with an identical label (instead of "asbestos free", the label is identical with only very fine print in the data sheet stating "Chrysotile Mineral" as an ingredient) , was found to contain 15% asbestos.

The report concludes by stating this is only phase 1 and the next phase is likely going to be a major shocker, including cosmetics and over 1000 medical products.

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It's not just asbestos. The Roman Empire figured out that lead and mercury were toxic, yet there is a ton of mercury in our food supply (think twice before you bite into that tuna paste sandwich) and the EPA has some insanely stringent lead clean up requirements taking effect in April for contractors that disturb minute amounts of lead paint. What's really annoying is that the EPA has only effectively banned the substance that they still advise to be the best cleaning agent for lead clean up, there are no longer any phosphated detergents on the market and even the TSP in the paint store is phosphate free. Tri-Sodium-Potatoes anyone?


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