AirMD's Green Blog

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
http://www.airmd.com
1-866-GO AIRMD (462-4763)

Great blog.
Slowly and surely the Chinese imports have been causing a grave area of concern from lead in products to now toxic mold.
I am glad there are alternatives and AirMD is available to investigate and observe the odors and corrosion.

Samantha
Apr 09th, 2009
at 10:36 am

I want to buy a condo (townhouse) in the Doral area : Leeward at Islands .(build in 2006) How is the situation there . Are there complains from this houses ???

Conrad Devid
Apr 09th, 2009
at 01:00 pm

I am currently living in Doral. In the middle of ISLANDS at DORAL! i have lived in doral for about 6 years now and have never had a problem UNTIL I MOVED INTO THIS AREA OF DORAL. now i have humidity problems in my house, mold growing out of my a/c vents, a terrible odor that no matter what i do it doesnt go! all of these drywall side effects seem to be affecting me! thankfully im just a renter!

John
Apr 15th, 2009
at 01:52 pm

Conrad,

To address your question, I know in the year 2006 they may have used chinese drywall, it depends who the developer was. Before you purchase the house you need to have an evaluation completed. It is the only way to be sure that the house you buy has no issues.

simon
Apr 20th, 2009
at 09:15 am

John,

Although you are a renter I would strongly suggest you contact your landlord to address your issues. That type of home environment is not healthy and should not be occurring.

Simon
Apr 20th, 2009
at 09:16 am

How do you get an evaluation. I was told that there is no way of telling if the house has this type of issue. Can someone shed some light?

Marta Torres
Jul 22nd, 2009
at 09:53 am

An evaluation can assess whether a house has Chinese drywall issues through visible observations, looking for signs of oxidation, source sampling of drywall to assess if the drywall is defective and ambient air testing. Utilizing these methods is a thorough way to assess conditions.

Simon
Jul 22nd, 2009
at 10:57 am

My home has been repaired by Lennar back to original state prior to Chinese drywall...the home appears to be OK...only time will tell.
Now they are insisting i take back furniture that has the sulfur smell or they will hold back funds due to me for upgrades I did not have them do and are threateing to throw out my furniture I sent back to their storage company. Are YOU having problems like this? I am going to Lennar Offices to deliver a piece of the contaminated furniture to them on Wed Jan 27th...come to support me if you are having problems. contact me or call 305-215-6838 for info

Danie Beck
Jan 26th, 2010
at 03:29 pm

I have a home in GA that is affected. Has anyone heard of Mercury content in these toxic drywall pieces? I recently spoke to an MD who said the mercury was also a factor in health problems in the drywall.

Thanks!
Maura

Maura Richardson
Apr 20th, 2010
at 05:41 pm

Mercury releases from chinese drywall have been documented but the health significance and exposure potential are not fully understood. Governmental agencies and health authorities are currently involved in studies trying to determine the health significance of mercury and other sufur based compounds.

Simon Hahessy
Apr 20th, 2010
at 06:06 pm

Chinese dry wall has rose with a large margin in past couple of years ... the testing and inspection of Chinese dry wall is being offered by Chinesedrywalladvisors is said to be most reliable one .

Robbert
Sep 15th, 2010
at 05:04 am

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