Chinese Drywall – Another Problem for Homeowners

I cannot believe it, another incident where innocent people are being seriously affected and in many cases harmed. The Chinese drywall issue is yet another occasion where materials shipped from overseas are damaging the lives of American people, putting their health at risk.

How many times are we going to let this happen, from salmonella in peanut butter to tainted baby formula, the news of drywall from China causing foul odors and leading to corrosion of air conditioners and other household appliances, adds to consumer’s worries about how safe we really are.

I have stated many times in my blogs that we must learn how to keep ourselves safe and refuse to introduce materials into our homes that can harm us.

The new drywall issue resulted from two major changes in drywall use and production. Builders use domestic drywall made from natural gypsum, however, due to the demand in building materials as a result of the building boom and Hurricane Katrina, drywall demand was greater than the supply. Manufacturers in China were then used to supply to the American market.

AirMD’s investigations and observations have identified homes with Chinese drywall and occupants are experiencing odors described as rotten eggs and sulfur-like, with corrosion occurring on air conditioning units and copper wiring. Reports from other independent investigations have correlated our observations.

The reason for the odors and corrosion are related to the gases being emitted from the drywall. Sulfur containing compounds like sulfur dioxide are being measured in homes along with hydrogen sulfide, carbon disulfide, iron disulfide, volatile organic compounds and mercaptans.

The exact long term health effects of these compounds have not been fully determined and are currently being studied by the Florida Department of Health.

AirMD is involved in advising homeowners on the necessary actions to take. What we have observed is many homes have several different types of drywall throughout the home. Some drywall is from the U.S., some is from China while other drywall from China is not causing an issue and this mix is greatly compounding the problem.

In one home, three separate pieces of drywall were observed in an area smaller than 15 square feet. Two pieces had issues while the other did not. It is nearly impossible and cost prohibitive to identify individually each of the pieces of drywall responsible in each home. For this reason the developers must remove the drywall in a home identified with these issues and also replace systems (A/C) as necessary.

Unfortunately, for many homeowners it seems this is too little too late and correction of the problem must be independently monitored. We cannot allow the companies that caused the problem, to self regulate the solution. AirMD is advising clients throughout this traumatic time to call AirMD if you need help.

Simon Hahessy
Scientific Director

1-866-GO AIRMD (462-4763)

By Simon Hahessy | Posted in General