Defective Chinese Drywall Affects Thousands of Homes



Homes built, or rebuilt, beginning in 2004 may have Chinese drywall that emits toxic vapors. The drywall has been linked to odors and corrosion in thousands of homes in 41 states. As many as 30,000 homes may be affected in Florida alone. As a result, Gov. Charlie Crist is being asked by a South Florida congressman to declare a state of emergency due to the safety and health risks of those affected.

The drywall has been linked to corrosion of copper wiring in many household products. One woman, who had just moved into her Miami condo, said that mirrors corroded around their edges, faucets pitted, bath drains rusted, and her computer, coffee pot, air conditioning system, television, and telephones all stopped working. Even her gold-dipped necklace turned black. She also suffered sinus and throat problems, as well as headaches. Several people have complained about many of these same problems in their own homes.

It was discovered that the drywall imported from China contains sulfur-emitting compounds. This was done during the US construction boom that ran from 2004 to 2007. As much as 500 million pounds of drywall were imported to help with dwindling domestic supplies. This was following hurricanes Katrina and Wilma.

As a result, repairing all the damage, not to mention the investigation, and the numerous lawsuits that have already begun, may run into the billions of dollars. Occupants are told that their home needs to be gutted or, in some cases, bulldozed. They then need to be placed somewhere while the defective drywall is removed.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has launched an investigation and has dispatched electrical engineers, toxicologists, and compliance staff to speak with homeowners and take samples from the homes.

This is just another defective product in an ever growing list of defective products imported from China. Over the last year and a half, there have been many products that have been recalled or given warnings that they were defective in some way. It makes one wonder who is really in charge of quality control with domestic imports, and why are the Chinese allowing so many of these products to leave their shores.