Chinese drywall refers to an environmental health issue involving defective drywall manufactured in China and imported to the United States starting in 2001. Laboratory tests of samples for volatile chemicals have identified emissions of the sulfurous gasescarbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide, and hydrogen sulfide. These emissions, which have the odor of rotten eggs, worsen as temperature and humidity rise and cause copper surfaces to turn black and powdery, a chemical process indicative of reaction with hydrogen sulfide. Copper pipes, wiring, and air conditioner coils are affected, as well as silver jewelry. Homeowners have reported a variety of symptoms, including respiratory problems such as asthma attacks, chronic coughing and difficulty breathing, as well as chronic headaches and sinus issues.
Drywall (known as plasterboard in Britain) is a common building material typically made of a layer of gypsum-based plaster pressed between two thick sheets of paper, then dried in a kiln. Foreign drywall was imported by the United States during the construction boom between 2004 and 2007. Importation was further spurred by a shortage of American-made drywall due to the rebuilding demand of nine hurricanes that hit Florida from 2004 to 2005, and widespread damage caused along the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrinain 2005. An analysis covering drywall imports since January 2006 showed that more than 550 million pounds of Chinese drywall was brought into the United States since then, enough to build 60,000 average-sized homes.
Chinese drywall possible health concerns
There are few studies exploring the effects of long-term low-level exposure to sulfur gases. However, it is believed that short-term exposure, over the period of a few hours, can result in sore throat, eye irritation, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, and nausea. Long term exposure, over a period of weeks, is believed to cause chronic fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, dizziness, irritability, headaches, and memory loss.
The Center for Disease Control, in collaboration with The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry released a guide indicating the residents of affected homes reported irritated and itchy eyes and skin, difficulty breathing, persistent cough, bloody noses, runny noses, recurrent headaches, sinus infection, and asthma attacks.
Greenwell Home Inspections knows how to spot out Chinese drywall which ensures that your family, business or any other persons important to you are safe from the potential harms caused by Chinese drywall.