Drywall systems that may contain asbestos should be tested by an accredited inspector. Textures and surfacing materials, joint compound (mud), or the drywall itself may have been manufactured using asbestos. Plaster is a different type of wallboard and may also contain asbestos.

You should have your drywall removed by an asbestos abatement company if it contains asbestos, and if it might be disturbed. If disturbed, the asbestos in the drywall could enter your lungs and cause diseases such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.

Asbestos removal can be done in different ways depending on the type and location of material, and the ability of workers to safely access it. Usually, the abatement contractor seals off the work area with plastic sheeting held in place with heavy tape and staples and ventilates the work area with specialized air handlers. The abatement workers enter the work area with respiratory protection and protective clothing. They remove the drywall and seal it in doubled heavy plastic bags. In most cases, they remove the drywall down to the studs. They sample the air at a variety of places including inside and outside the work area and send those to a lab for testing. Once the air samples pass the tests, the workers return to the site to remove the plastic sheeting.

After the job is complete, you will generally need to install new drywall.

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