Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

Kura, Bhaskar

Second Advisor

La Motta, Enrique

Third Advisor

Williams, Patricia


Drywall, a popular building material made of gypsum based plaster sandwiched between two thick sheets of paper is used for building interior walls, is speedier alternative to traditional plaster, decreasing time and labor for construction. Importance of drywall increased with the demand for drywall after nine hurricanes hit Florida in 2004-05 and widespread damage caused in the Gulf Coast after Katrina in 2005. This study has two parts. First part presents an analysis of metals like strontium for the identification of Chinese drywall, and a comparison of strontium concentrations of American drywall and Chinese drywall using XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) analysis with the Innov-X XRF analyzer. The second part presents an analysis of metal exposure during cutting and installation of drywall using 8stage Cascade impactor. The work space concentration of, different metals is analyzed using XRF analysis and particulate matter within various size ranges, were calculated and their effects are studied.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.