Wallboard, Wiring Chinese-Drywall Homes Should Go
Two government agencies agree - homeowners living in hazardous Chinese drywall homes should gut their homes and begin again.
The new guidelines come from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Inez Tenenbaum, chair of the CPSC says in a statement, “Based on the scientific work to date, removing the problem drywall is the best solution currently available to homeowners.”
The new guidelines say that alarm systems, carbon monoxide alarms, electrical wiring, outlets, circuit breakers, sprinklers, gas pipes, anything with copper electrical wiring and/or air conditioning evaporator coils, and all drywall needs to be removed.
Began in 2006
The problem was noticed two years ago when homeowners from Florida to California began noticing a foul odor coming from their walls.
Electronic wiring corroded air conditioner coils, electrical units, mirrors, even jewelry.
At the end of the housing boom in 2006, there was a shortage of drywall in the U.S. and builders began importing drywall from China. The bulk of the defective drywall was used in homes in the Southeast from Florida and Louisiana following destructive hurricanes.
Homeowners began noticing a “rotten egg” smell within their homes.
The problematic material contains a high amount of hydrogen sulfide at 100 times the non-Chinese samples which emit reactive sulfur compounds.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tests of drywall made in China confirm it contains sulfur, not found in U.S. drywall, in addition to the metallic element, strontium, at ten times the level of domestic drywall. The EPA tests also found two compounds generally found in acrylic paint.
Besides corrosion inside the home, residents began noticing health problems including infections, nose and throat irritations, coughs, asthma attacks, and nose bleeds.
The CPSC has received more than 3,000 complaints from 37 different states including Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Alabama, North and South Carolina. The bulk of complaints – 58% - come from Florida.
The Los Angeles Times also reports complaints have also come from the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and American Samoa.
Who Will Pay?
Now who will cover the cost of gutting thousands of homes? Lawsuits are pending and FHA- insured families may be able to seek assistance through the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant Program. #