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Chinese Drywall Leaks Sulfur Into Homes

3/30/2009 12:00:00 AM

Tags: green building, drywall, toxic

Homeowners beware. Your drywall could be poisoning your home. 

Officials believe that since 2001, drywall imported from China has contained high levels of sulfur that could be leaking into homes and other buildings. The problem first surfaced in Florida, where residents of new homes complained of unusual, persistent odors and corroded air conditioning coils. 

Residents in homes with imported Chinese drywall have complained of damage to their homes and health problems as a result of the drywall’s high levels of sulfur. Photo By BoneDaddy.P7/Courtesy Flickr  

The problem is widespread. The drywall can be found in every state in single-family homes, condominiums, townhomes and commercial buildings that have been built or remodeled since 2001. It’s even possible that the drywall was used in reconstructing New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. 

The sulfur, which officials believe comes from the gypsum used to the make the Chinese drywall, corrodes electrical wiring in the walls. Because of this, may residents have noticed their air conditioning coils corroding and failing. People living in houses made with the Chinese drywall have experienced mild to severe upper respiratory problems, nosebleeds and headaches—or worse. 

If you’re looking for a safer, greener alternative to drywall, consider Forest Stewardship Council-certified woodstructural insulated panels or insulating concrete forms.

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