There was a time when choosing drywall amounted to determining if you wanted 3/8, 1/2, or 5/8 thickness, white board or green board and that was it. Recently though, problems have developed related to certain drywall brands that contained sulfur and mercury and other toxic elements that corroded copper pipes and other metals in the home. The attached story highlights ‘toxic drywall” installed in Richmond Virginia which was imported from China. Other stories have been published about the rebuild in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina where residents found similar results.
The EPA did a study looking at both foreign as well as American made drywall, and though the drywall with the most toxins was a foreign brand, several american products were found to contain contaminants as well. The Pharos project– part of the Healthy Building Network, also has created a rating system for drywall in which they review and assess manufacture reported content. There is still a lot of gaps to be filled in on what products do and don’t contain and how they are getting in there, but in the end after reviewing safety data sheets from companies and using the EPA study we decided to go with glassrock from Certainteed for the ceilings (due to the lack of paper they are mold-resistant) and gold bond from National Gypsum for the walls.
Now that we have that settled, and the ceiling is up, we’ll next install the radiant ceiling system which will heat and cool the house- Efficiently, and be the subject of a future post.