The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued an immediate advisory that thousands of American homes that contain Chinese-manufactured drywall may emit hazardous levels of hydrogen sulfide-up to 100 times the amount released by non-Chinese-made drywall. The new CPSC guidelines say homes with the product will not be safe until the drywall is gutted.
According to Yahoo News, some 3,000 complaints from 21 states have been filed with federal agencies over the corrosive effect the Chinese-made drywall has had on wiring, computers, HVAC units, home hardware, and jewelry.
Not only should the problematic drywall be gutted, but the CPSC recommends that all electrical components, fire safety alarm devices, and gas service piping and fire suppression sprinkler systems be removed and replaced. Newsinferno.com claims that homeowners have reported respiratory, sinus, and eye problems they believe are related to the drywall, while many homeowners have been forced to abandon their dwellings while problems are resolved, adding the cost of rent to the burden of paying their mortgage.
Should You Have Your Home Inspected?
If you're a resident of Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Louisiana, where most trouble has been reported, you may want to find the contractor that built your home and ask about the drywall they installed. Or you can call in a home inspector. If you have a home currently under construction, you should discuss the drywall issue with your remodeling contractor.
If you're doing your own remodeling or room addition project, check with your drywall source to make sure you're installing a safe product. If you think you have a drywall problem, visit The Drywall Information Center or call the CPSC at 800-638-2772.
Much of the Chinese-made drywall was used in Florida and other southern states from 2004 through parts of 2006 when there was a reported shortage of American-made drywall products. The first signs of trouble came when homeowners smelled the odor of rotten eggs-probably caused by the emission of sulfur gas. Then they found rapidly corroding air-conditioning evaporator coils, wiring, and pipes. The Wall Street Journal says that one of the nation's largest construction firms, Lennar Corporation, has offered $39.8 million to repair some 400 homes with Chinese drywall in Florida.
Drywall is constructed of paper-clad gypsum. The reactive sulfur chemicals associated with Chinese drywall were detected in the indoor air of homes where the products were installed.