7 Chemicals in Joint Compound – Uses and Danger

There are many types of chemicals used in property industry. It includes chemicals in cement, paint, and flooring. The chemicals are utilized to enhance the function of those materials as. It is either as adhesive, emulsion, or preservative. Those can be the naturally occurring or synthetic one as mentioned in the branches of chemistry. Chemicals in property are also utilized in the making of joint compound.

Joint compound is a base to connect the joints between sheets of a drywall. The purpose of joint compound use is for a seamless looking wall. With the joint compound, a light dry wood material for the wall will look smooth as the joint is covered by this material. There has been discussion in the light of chemicals in joint compound. They may not be as green as it is campaigned. Here are the lists of chemicals in joint compound.

  1. Limestone

Limestone is a sedimentary rock formed from calcium carbonate. It is the crystal form of the chemical formula CaCO3. The sedimentary rock is composed of grains. The washed grains accumulate and eventually undergo sedimentation and form limestone. When grains do not exist, limestone can also be formed from precipitation of aragonite and calcite. A similar one to magnesium carbonate (Read: Chemical Formula and Uses of Magnesium Carbonate).

The extracted stone is often mixed with silica, clay, or sand. Limestone has the adhesive and strong features that can endure fractures. Because of that nature, limestone becomes the main ingredient of joint compound.

  1. Vinyl Acetate Polymer

Another chemical often used as chemical in joint compound is vinyl acetate polymer. Belongs to the polymer family, it is often used  as adhesive in wood glue and white glue as well as book binding. The strong elasticity of the element functions to make the joined compounds in the wall do not get loose easily.

Vinyl Acetate is soluble and acts as emulsion in gluing things together. The chemical can get fungi or algae infestation as it is does not have solid form. Vinyl acetate is one of the chemicals used as wood adhesive in joint compound.

  1. Magnesium Aluminium Phyllosilicate

Joint compound often contains magnesium aluminium phyllosilicate. It is known more as Palygorskite or Attapulgite. The chemical is white to grayish with transluscent diaphaneity. Attapulgite is widely used in smoothen out the work. This component in joint compound acts as deposit clay to make the drywall dough solid and fulfilling.

Magnesium aluminium phyllosilicate is generally safe. However, even though it is not among  list of banned toxic chemicals,it tends to be irritable to respiration if it gets exposed too much. Too much exposure of it will cause coughing, eye irritation, skin irritation, and many more. Thus, an inhalation protection is needed.

  1. Silicon Dioxide 

The 70 percent of perlite expanded for the ingredients of joint compound consists of silicon dioxide. Silicon dioxide is a natural occurring chemical. The appearance ranging from transparent, white to yellow. The chemical in joint compound functions as the strengthener as once it is dried on the wall, it is solid and tough. Silicon dioxide also has good flexibility without reducing its solidity.

Excessive direct exposure to it can cause several respiratory problems such as bronchitis, arthritis, to lung cancer. It is highly advisable to use mask when applying joint compound to the sheet wall. 

  1. Formaldehyde

A naturally occurring chemical compound, formaldehyde sometimes becomes additional ingredient in joint compound. The chemical formula of formaldehyde is CH2O. Formaldehyde is widely used in industry despite some potential health danger it exposes. Formaldehyde is more of practical value when it is in solid form. The gas form of it has pungent odor and is hazardous to respiratory system.

The formaldehyde in joint compound functions as preservative. Some of the use is intended for the longevity of the product itself while the other has the chemical to make a more everlasting result. Formaldehyde is not meant to be consumed so kids should not be allowed to use joint compound.

  1. Acetaldehyde

A chemical in the same class that sometimes is also used in joint compound is acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is a widely occurring chemical with various benefits especially to industry. With chemical formula C2H4O, the chemical usually is in the form of colorless liquid. Acetaldehyde acts as emulsion and preservative.

Further study reveals the chemical to be highly carcinogenic. Acetaldehyde is toxic not only to human but also to environment. Some countries already ban the chemical yet it may still be found in certain joint compound products. As precaution, avoid brands that still list this chemical in its product’s ingredients. 

  1. Crystalline Silica

A chemical that was once is an additional ingredient in joint compound is crystalline silica. Crystalline silica belongs to mineral naturally occurring in earth’s crust. It was widely used in industry and can be found in mortar, glass, brick, and concrete stone. This helpfulness of crystalline silica later is disregarded as study found the mineral to be hazardous.

Workers exposed to crystalline silica are in danger of having silicosis, a disease that targets the lungs and is incurable, kidney disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and for worse, can cause lung cancer. Because of the danger it exposes, crystalline silica is prohibited. Joint compound products are not allowed to have this mineral chemical again along with other  most dangerous chemicals in the world.

Joint compound is highly favourable as the result of its application is often seamless and better than ordinary wall. Emulsion may needed to get the maximum result. However, some of the chemicals that created it are questionable. They may be hazardous, thus, make sure to always read the label before using it. Indeed, there are 7 chemicals in joint compound that are commonly or were used. Check Usual Signs of Overexposure to Hazardous Chemicals Include for more information.