A manufacturer of drywall taping compound was faced with a claim that workers had been exposed to asbestos while using drywall taping compound to insulate pipes.
We analyzed the composition of the taping compound mixes in use during the time period in question, and found that the primary components of taping compound were a fine grained inert filler such as stone dust or talc, bound together with a water based industrial adhesive such as starch or polyvinyl alcohol.
Based on this composition and the physical characteristics of drywall taping compound, it was found that it would not be possible to apply the material to pipes as it would simply fall off. In addition, it would provide no real insulating value and would be worthless as an insulation. If it were to somehow be applied to pipes it would quickly fail as the adhesives are water soluble, and would not withstand the heat of hot water or steam piping. As such, this study found that the physical characteristics of the ingredients of the taping compound made it impossible to use drywall taping compound in the application or manner claimed.