Chinese Drywall

Drywall is a common building material made from gypsum based plaster. Defective drywall that was imported to the USA from China beginning in 2001 has caused health problems to many homeowners, according to the CDC. Contaminated drywall contains metals and minerals such as sulfur, strontium, and iron.  Under high temperature and humidity, Chinese drywall emits sulfur gases which smell of rotten eggs and cause health problems such as headache, cough, and breathing problems. It corrodes copper and other metal surfaces.

Chinese drywall health risks are the subject of ongoing consumer lawsuits. The suppliers of the drywall believe the toxic level is not too high to cause health problems; however, laboratory reports show strontium, a known toxic chemical that can affect children in particular, is present in the drywall.  Chronic exposure to the emissions from Chinese drywall can cause health problems to the eyes, kidneys, liver, and skin of children and the elderly. Chinese drywall has been installed in many states including Ohio, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, Nevada, Georgia, and Florida. Federal and state agencies suspect it to be the cause of health problems. CPSC, EPA, and CDC are investigating to determine if, and to what extent, there is any safety risk associated with imported Chinese drywall. Homes built or remodeled from 2004 may contain Chinese drywall.

  1. Indicators of contaminated Chinese drywall include:
  • The house smells like rotten eggs.
  • Silver jewelry or other silver items tarnish in short time.
  • Mirrors turn black.
  • Household members experience nose bleeds or respiratory problems at home but not away from home.
  • Air-conditioning coils, stove tops, refrigerators, and oven elements fail within a year.
  • Health conditions such as Itchy eyes/skin, breathing problems, coughing, running nose, sore throats, joints pain, and sinus infection appear.