Gypsum based plaster is the most common form of plasterboard, also known as drywall. Gypsum is known to be non-hazardous and acts as a flame retardant while successfully insulating walls. Gypsum based plasterboard comes in many different varieties of sizes, shapes and quality. However, gypsum should be maintained with care and should coincide with health and safety regulations. Gypsum-based products are considered as generally non-harmful, but there have been links to adverse effects which mainly pertain to quality. Care must be taken when buying gypsum based products and safety must be adhered to when using, otherwise there is potential for harm.
When working with gypsum based products, care must be taken with regards to inhaling the dust, particularly when sanding and smoothing drywall. Gypsum when sanded, releases silica, which when inhaled, can cause irritation to the respiratory system. Those with sensitive skin might also experience irritation when coming into contact with the silica. Before working with gypsum plaster, make sure to wear protective gear, in particular for the eyes and mouth, and if possessing sensitive skin, make sure to cover up in long sleeved clothing. Also attempt to work in an area with sufficient ventilation, so that dust is not accumulated. In the event of respiratory problems, the most immediate thing the injured person should do is to go outside and breathe fresh air. In the event of skin irritation, rinse the affected area with water and soap. If problems fail to subside, then seek help from your medical professional.
Gypsum products are considered as non-hazardous for humans, and generally only affect the afflicted person with minor short term respiratory problems and irritations with the skin. However, gypsum based products that are manufactured in countries with less strict regulations pertaining to gypsum, can potentially damage the environment when not sufficiently disposed or recycled of. Due to the fact that gypsum is the most commonly used plastering material, landfills possess vast quantities of gypsum. Gypsum itself has no hazardous qualities, but bacteria at the landfills convert gypsum into hydrogen sulphide, which is a poisonous gas. High quality gypsum plaster won't have nearly such a damaging effect, and countries with strict regulations on gypsum products, have been largely unaffected. Consumers can be responsible by buying their gypsum based products domestically, and should try to favour quality over quantity. When using gypsum plaster in products, try not to produce too much waste after use, and if possible, recycle your gypsum based products to maintain the high levels of safety that gypsum plaster typically has.
Keep these ideas in mind as you purchase gyprock plasterboard.