How to Get Drywall Dust Out of Lungs

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  March 29, 2022
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Drywall is a simple term that means calcium sulfate dihydrate or gypsum panels. They are also known as gypsum board, plasterboard, wallboard, custard board, etc. These boards are commonly used for interior walls and ceilings in a household.

Boards of these types can produce a lot of dust. Exposure to this dust is harmful to the human body and can cause serious complications to the health and respiratory system. The people who deal with these drywall panels, such as painters, interior designers, and so on, are at heightened risk of being affected by this dust.

In this article, we would show you how you can remove drywall dust from your lungs, as well as discuss on drywall dust allergies and how to deal with the dust.

Drywall Dust Allergy Symptoms

Gypsum dust induced allergies can be very serious. Therefore, this case has to be identified accurately and properly. Symptoms of drywall dust allergy are-

  • Headache.
  • Rhinorrhea or runny nose.
  • Continuous coughing.
  • Sinus infection or congestion.
  • Sore throat.
  • Asthma attacks.
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Skin irritation and itchy eyes.
  • Nosebleeds.

If you are showing these symptoms, you can guess that you are allergic to gypsum dust. In that case, you should consider keeping away from any works that involve these boards.

Prevention of Drywall Dust Allergy

Allergies that are caused by drywall dust are more likely to happen from carelessness, rather than health difficulties. Therefore, it is mandatory to know how to prevent these allergies.

Some ways you can prevent drywall dust allergies are highlighted below.

  • While working on sanding drywall or installing drywall, proper safety precautions have to be adopted.
  • At home, drywall dust has to be cleaned up. Instead of wiping up the dust, use a suitable vacuum cleaner or more specifically a wet-dry shop vac.
  • Store gypsum boards at a dry place where moisture cannot build up easily. Moisture makes it so that the board becomes dampened, and the top layer becomes crumbled and falls as dust.
  • Drywall is very prone to termite infestation. Because of termite infestation, the paint layer of the wall crumbles and creates dust when touched. To prevent this, the board should be replaced in the infested area.
  • One should be really careful while working with drywall in construction or other places. They should be alert so that they don’t inhale the dust.
  • Proper high-quality drywall tools have to be used while working with drywall so that dust is produced in minimal amounts.

Safety Tips for Working with Drywall

Construction workers, painter, interior designer, or anyone else who is involved in working with these boards are vulnerable to a drywall allergy. Since they remain exposed to these kinds of wood for longer periods of time, they are always at risk.

Therefore, some safety measures should be taken into consideration when handling plasterboards.

  • Masks should be worn while working. Drywall creates a lot of dust, which can be fatal to the lungs. Therefore, masks are an absolute necessity. The N95 face mask is the best mask to get for dealing with these boards.
  • Protective eyewear is also a must. Dust can go into eyes too, which can cause hurdles to the vision and potential accidents.
  • Hand gloves and boots should be work while working with drywall so that dust does not linger on your hands. That would cause you to accidentally inhale the dust from your hands.
  • Long sleeve clothing should be worn. If not, dust will remain stuck to your body.
  • Proper tools must be used while working with drywall boards. Some tools create more dust than the other. That means, if you don’t choose your tools right, you’ll end up creating unnecessary dust.

Treatment for Drywall Dust Allergy

Drywall dust is really harmful to the human body. Inhaling the dust particles can create a lot of health problems and cause serious issues. These problems should not be ignored and must be treated as quickly as possible.

Some problems that can arise due to inhaling drywall dust are discussed along with their remedies below.

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis from Inhaling Drywall Dust

Inhaling drywall dust can bring on a lung disease called hypersensitivity pneumonitis. It causes coughing and shortness of breath in a patient. This is an allergic reaction that is caused due to dust particles, including drywall dust.

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis can be treated by following the steps below.

  • Reducing exposure to dust can cause health improvements.
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is one kind of inflammation caused by the lung sacs. Steroids can be taken to curb the inflammation.
  • Keeping the surfaces clean and dry won’t cause dust to enter the lungs, which will improve the condition in the long run.
  • You should give up on the habit of smoking if you’re a smoker.

Asthma Attacks from Inhaling Drywall Dust

Asthma is a medical condition that occurs when the immune system is overreactive to allergens. Drywall dust can cause asthma attacks in a person if he has previous lung issues and is exposed to large quantities of drywall dust.

Steps to be taken to keep the situation under control are-

  • Always take your asthma medications and other medications properly as prescribed by the doctor.
  • Steroids can help to lessen down inflammation caused by dust entered into the lungs.
  • Seek medical attention when an asthma attack occurs.
  • Try to keep away from drywall if you have acute asthma.

Silicosis from Inhaling Drywall Dust

Drywall is composed of gypsum, which may also contain silica. When silica dust particles enter the lungs, they may scar the lungs or puncture them, which can cause serious health complications.

Unfortunately, there is no treatment for silicosis available yet. Therefore, this condition can only be prevented. If not, silicosis can prove to be fatal to anyone suffering from this condition.

How to Get Drywall Dust Out of Lungs

Drywall dust can cause many problems when they enter your lungs. From asthma to silicosis, they can be a life-threatening foe to you. Therefore, you should always stay cautious so that you don’t have to suffer from all the health complications.

Your lungs are vital for your respiration. They filter out dust particles and other harmful substances that you inhale while breathing. To remove the waste particles, your body coughs or sneezes.

Lungs may filter wastes from your body. But, if the dust particles build up too much, it may cause serious issues like blocking air passages and so on. In that case, the dust particles have to be removed from the lungs.

If too much dust is built up in the lungs, you need to undergo surgery as soon as possible. But it is always advised to seek medical attention first.

When the drywall dust particles contain silica, then it might be too late to do anything against the situation. A lung transplant might be the only solution at that moment. That’s why wearing a face mask is always a great safety measure.

Final Thoughts

Drywall dust can be seriously injurious to health. Proper care and safety measures have to implemented to combat its problems. It is also necessary to know the risk factors and have an awareness of it so that you know how to keep your lungs safe and sound.

We hope you found our article on how to get drywall dust out of lungs helpful and now know what to do against drywall allergies and how to identify them.

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.