Chinese drywall in the spotlight

Another bad mark for Chinese-made products is this news I came across a few weeks ago about toxic Chinese-made dry wall.

According to advocacy group America’s Watchdog, toxic imported Chinese dry wall are being discovered all over the state of Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana and New Orleans. Some of the signs that a house (especially that was built or remodeled in 2005 to 2008) has the potentially toxic imported Chinese dry wall include the following:

  • The house has a strong or noticeable smell of sulphur or rotten eggs.

  • The home has experienced repeated air conditioning coil issues or corrosion

  • The home’s occupants have experienced upper respiratory issues, nose bleeds, or other medical issues.

  • Young children or senior citizens may be the first to show signs of exposure to a home with the imported Chinese dry wall.

“We think we are going to end up with 25,000 to 50,000 US homes with the imported toxic Chinese dry wall. If you even think you smell sulphur or rotten eggs in a house built, or remodeled between 2005 and 2008, in Florida, New Orleans, the West Coast, the East Coast, anywhere, please call us immediately at 866-714-6466 or contact us via our web site at http://HomeownersConsumerCenter.Com.”

I actually remembered to dig up this information after watching a news segment from Brian William’s Nightly News last night. You can watch that segment below.

5 Responses to Chinese drywall in the spotlight

  1. Pradeep 29 March, 2009 at 9:34 pm #

    Usually, dry walls are (supposed to be) made of gypsum (CaSO4.2H2O). Gypsum is a by-product of phosphoric acid manufacture as well as flue gas desulfurization (FGD) from coal-fired power plants. The FGD process (capture of SOx by CaCO3) produces calcium sulfide as well as calcium sulfate (dihydrate).
    I conjecture that the foul smell is caused by the reaction of calcium sulfide with water (moisture in the air, hello Florida!). The wiki entry for calcium sulfide explains this:
    CaS + 2H2O -> Ca(OH)2 + H2S

    Of course, explaining chemistry does not solve the homeowners’ problem, but this could be good starting point.

  2. Pradeep 29 March, 2009 at 9:52 pm #

    My bad, in the previous comment, I confused calcium sulfite (CaSO3) with calcium sulfide (CaS). The chemistry I proposed would work only if the dry wall contains ridiculous amounts of CaS, which is likely not the case…

  3. Cynthia 2 August, 2009 at 9:50 pm #

    The defective Chinese drywall debacle has been making news for months now, with homeowners plagued by sulfur fumes that smell like “rotten eggs” and cause air conditioning coils to corrode. Residents complain of sinus and respiratory ailments, eye and skin irritation, persistent runny or bloody noses, headaches, and asthma. Some situations were so severe that residents had to vacate their homes. In some cases, victims have been harassed by builders into signing unfair, one-side remediation agreements.

    It seems that the gypsum in drywall, which typically comes from mines, has recently come from a chemical process involving lime or limestone and gas from coal-fired power plants. Contaminants and sulfur found in power plant smokestacks are supposed to be removed in the process. Failure of proper removal is the cause of foul odors, respiratory complaints, and corrosion, according to some Chinese experts in building supplies. Others say phosphogypsum (calcium sulfate), a radioactive phosphorus substance, is to blame. Banned for use in U.S. construction in 1989, the EPA says prolonged exposure to this radium-contained element can lead to a higher risk of lung cancer.

    The issues surrounding defective Chinese drywall are confusing and worrisome. Here is a good blog that has been providing emerging and valuable information on the problems:

  4. Cynthia 25 November, 2009 at 12:15 am #

    REMINDER: The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission released a report linking Chinese drywall to high levels of hydrogen sulfide and metal corrosion in homes. Hundreds of homeowners have filed suit over defective Chinese drywall, and all pending federal cases have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation underway in New Orleans. An agreement has been reached and victims whose homes were built with wallboard manufactured by Knauf must sign on to the omnibus class action against Knauf by December 2, 2009. This is a hard deadline that will not be amended to add additional claimants. Eligibility involves proof that the home in question was constructed with wallboard made by Knauf Plasterboard. Parker Waichman Alonso LLP is the first law firm to file a federal Chinese drywall lawsuit and is offering assistance to any homeowner interested in joining the Knauf Plasterbaoard lawsuit. Free consultations are available at or by calling 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).

  5. Cynthia 7 January, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    The first Chinese drywall lawsuit begins this month and here is some good information on this ongoing issue: Among other problems, people living with Chinese drywall have also suffered eye, respiratory, and sinus problems in addition to problems in their homes such as awful odors and metal corrosion. Some 500 million pounds of Chinese drywall were imported into the U.S., impacting about 100,000 homes.

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