Last week the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) confirmed that there is a link between imported Chinese drywall and problems of accelerated corrosion of metals in homes that contain the defective drywall.
Federal researchers tested 51 homes in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Virginia. Though no Georgia homes were tested, some homes in Georgia reportedly contain the defective Chinese drywall. The federal researchers found “a strong association between the problem drywall, the hydrogen sulfide levels in homes with that drywall, and corrosion in those homes.”
Hydrogen sulfide not only smells horrible (like rotten eggs) but it can also caused metals to corrode and turn black. The hydrogen sulfide in Chinese drywall has caused problems with copper parts in air conditioning units as well as electrical wires and other metal substances. The contaminated Chinese drywall has also been linked to headaches, nosebleeds, and respiratory problems.
Until last week, no agency had officially linked corrosion problems to the contaminated drywall. The CPSC continues to investigate the health problems associated with the defective drywall. The report from the CPSC stated that chemicals found in contaminated homes were at levels lower than what might be expected to cause irritation, but these chemicals could cause symptoms when they combine with other substances. The CPSC stressed that not all Chinese drywall is contaminated.
“Not all drywall is alike,” said Jack McCarthy of Environmental Health and Engineering, the firm that conducted the tests for the CPSC. “Not all Chinese drywall is alike. It depends on what it’s made of – not the country it came from.”
The CPSC has received over 2,000 complaints about defective drywall from homeowners in 32 states, including Georgia. The homeowners believe that the drywall is causing health problems and / or the corrosion of metal. The majority of homeowners who have complained are from Florida.
According to previous estimates, as many as 100,000 homes may be affected by the defective drywall, but CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson said that the problem probably isn’t that widespread.
So far, the CPSC has spent nearly $3.5 million on its investigation of Chinese drywall. The agency is now moving into the next phase of the investigation, in which they will work on ways to identify problem drywall and treat contaminated homes.
“I’m still disappointed the government is taking too long to establish whether there’s a link between drywall, corrosion, and health problems,” said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL. He is not happy with CPSC efforts thus far.
As for the affected homeowners, many of them had to move out of their new homes but keep paying the mortgage on top of rent. Many homeowners are pursuing lawsuits against foreign drywall manufacturers and hoping that they will soon get some type of financial help from the federal government or through the courts. However, the Chinese drywall lawsuits may take years to resolve.
If you suspect that your may contain defective drywall, or if you’ve experienced injuries or health problems due to other defective products, contact a Georgia personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You may be entitled to recovery. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule a free consultation.