Introducing Dust Control


Want to improve site conditions as well as save time cleaning up?
Tim Harrington, USG Boral Compounds Category Manager, explains how.

To many, the worst part of plastering is the final stage: sanding the finished joints. That’s when the work area fills with dust, which appears to land on every surface – often even in areas some distance away. Even using a vacuum sander can create dust plumes or ‘talcum powder bombs’ that must settle before they can be cleaned.

Sensible plasterers wear dust masks, but nearby workers often don’t. And dust sheets don’t help much, often contributing to the circulation of dust even further afield.

Then clean up starts – a task that can seem to take longer than the job itself! Finally, you (the plasterer) return home at the end of a long day – and need to change and shower to remove a layer of dust from your hair, ears, eyes and clothes.


When developing a new, smooth, easy-to-mix finishing compound we added a further innovation. SHEETROCK® Dust Control clumps dust particles together, making them heavier so they fall straight to the ground.

This confines the dust to a small area. Significantly less airborne dust is created, leaving other areas of the site, plasterers and the air clean and clear. Clean-up is reduced to vacuuming the immediate area, with less dust hanging on walls or settling (sometimes hours later) on skirting boards, window frames and furniture.

It’s especially helpful to contractors performing renovation and insurance repairs needing to clean up as they go. Those who’ve helped us test dust control in Australian conditions see reduced mess from plaster dust as a distinct advantage, with one telling us, “Rather than just sanding and having the ultra-fine dust floating in the air and going all over the place, we're able to control where it goes, and control our clean-up.”


There’s been a lot in the media recently about the impact of airborne respirable dust. Airborne hazards in the workplace, including dust, have been associated with the development of a wide range of respiratory diseases in Australia. While some of these diseases have declined due to greater awareness and control of exposure, the building industry can look for new ways to reduce airborne hazards. And USG Boral has done just that. The first of its kind for the Australian building industry, our SHEETROCK® Dust Control joint compound has been designed to control airborne dust when sanding. This adds an extra layer of protection in the Duty of Care and Chain of Responsibility for painters, plasterers, builders and other trades on site.

As a manager from one of Australia’s leading fit-out specialists told us, “There are a large number of trades on our sites at any time, and anything that can help mitigate dust on site is great.”


According to one of the specialist contractors we asked about Dust Control, “It’s not just about the dust control. To me, it's a superior compound. It has shrinkage, but one of the lowest shrinking plasters that we have ever come across. It just glides off your trowel [or] through the machines. It's just such a beautiful product to work with. If I only had one plaster product that I had access to and no other, I'd be looking for Dust Control."

For more information on SHEETROCK Dust Control – including the impressions of plasterers and builders who have trialled it – visit


Tim Harrington is USG Boral’s Category Manager for Jointing Compounds. An industrial chemist, he has over two decades’ experience in the manufacturing and supply chain industries.