Friday, March 27, 2009

Chinese Drywall - Toxic?

The issue of potentially toxic drywall manufactured in China seems to be all over the news in the last few days. I am not an expert on drywall or a scientist specializing in product testing and consumer safety. I am however a pragmatist and generally I am skeptical of the media and the tendency to over exaggerate problems for the sake of ratings.

If you haven't heard homeowners in Florida have complained of a 'sulphur' smell coming from their wallboard and copper coils on air conditioners corroding. There are also claims of potential health related issues.

Hopefully to save you time and energy trying to research the validity of the claims. Here is what I have discovered so far.

#1 Neither the EPA (environmental protection agency) nor the CPSC (consumer product safety commission) have any information whatsoever available on their websites. Many of the news reports have indicated that both agencies are investing the issue but obviously no reports or conclusions have been published.

#2 The Florida Department of Health has begun investigating the issue, since the first evidence of a problem occurred there. They have set up a website for the public. http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/community/indoor-air/drywall.html
I recommend you read the report on the testing that has been done to date if you have any concerns.

#3 It appears (remember I'm not a scientist) that the problems seem to occur in the presence of high heat and humidity which explains the Florida connection. None of the information to date has come to any conclusions regarding the potential health issues. Obviously much more testing needs to be done before anyone can make conclusions, recommendations or take action.

#4 Of course the lawyers are already involved...


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