Current Suspected Overdose Deaths in Delaware for 2018: 231 logo

Healthy Workplaces

Healthy Workplaces - Employees - Drywallers

According the the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) sanding drywall can expose workers to more than 10 times the OSHA limit for general dust. Add in exposure to chemicals in joint compounds and adhesives and there can be a serious risk for occupational exposure.

Hazards in Drywalling

    • Sanding and finishing can expose workers to silica, which can cause lung cancer.
    • Titanium dioxide, a common ingredient in paints, is considered a potential carcinogen.
    • Solvents, paints and other products can contain chemicals that are linked to cancer.
    • Silicosis - Exposure to silica dust can lead to permanent lung damage
    • Asthma - Both the ingredients in paints and the dusts created during renovations can lead to occupational asthma.
    • Exposure to lead-based paint can lead to severe physical and psychological problems.
    • Potential danger of falls from working at heights on ladders or scaffolding.
    • Physical injury from lifting heavy object, such as drywall sheets.

Lowering Your Risk

    • Review the MSDS Sheets for the chemicals and products you work with.
    • Know the proper procedures for the equipment and materials you use and Follow Them!
    • Before removing or renovating drywall, make sure there is no lead-based paint or asbestos present.
    • DO NOT disturb asbestos or lead-based paint unless you are qualified.
    • Hold regular safety briefings to make sure everyone is aware of potential hazards and solutions.
    • Wear the proper Personal Protective Equipment for each activity.
    • Handle materials properly to avoid physical injury and chemical exposure.
    • Use safety equipment when working at heights.
    • Pole sanding instead of hand sanding can lower the exposure to dusts.

Contact the Office of
Occupational Health

By E-Mail
OH Website
Online Form
Delaware Helpline

Hyperlink to Healthy Workplaces - Employees- Construction

Back to Construction.

Download Adobe Acrobat Reader Please note: Some of the files available on this page are in Adobe PDF format which requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. A free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded directly from Adobe . If you are using an assistive technology unable to read Adobe PDF, please either view the corresponding text only version (if available) or visit Adobe's Accessibility Tools page.

Healthy Workplaces- Employees - Drywallers

Important Links
Hazard Control
Drywall Dust


Learn the Facts!


Drywall Installers
Preventing Injury


OSHA Safety and Health
Topic - Silica

Chemicals in



Lead-Based Paint