Chinese Drywall Dangers
Making your home pretty may make you sick, too.
Thousands of homeowners in the US have been adversely affected from exposure to drywall imported from China. More than 550 million pounds of the product was brought in between 2004 and 2007 to offset the shortage caused by the real estate boom and the hurricanes that destroyed thousands of homes. Drywall is primarily used for interior walls and ceilings and typically gypsum plaster encased between thick sheets of paper
An investigation was launched by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine if the Chinese drywall was indeed toxic, and results showed that it contained high levels of pyrite. Pyrite is an iron sulfide that is commonly referred to as “fool’s gold” because of its color, and may account for high levels of the following chemicals in affected homes:
- Carbon disulfide
- Hydrogen sulfide
- Iron disulfide
- Sulfur dioxide
- Sulfuric acid
These chemicals at significant levels can lead to adverse health effects and extensive property damage, primarily by corroding metal. Those who were exposed to these chemicals, especially sulfur, suffered nausea, breathing difficulty, eye irritation, and chest pain within hours. And because these drywalls were installed in homes, thousands of people were exposed for extended periods which led to asthma, dizziness, memory loss, irritability, chronic fatigue, insomnia, and loss of appetite.
The most affected states were those with high humidity, but any home where the contaminated Chinese drywall is installed such as those in Nashville will likely have some level of toxicity. Homeowners should replace them if they notice a rotten egg smell emanating from it or corrosion in metals in contact with a particular drywall.
According to the website of a Tennessee personal injury lawyer, if your health or home has already been seriously affected by contaminated Chinese drywall, you may be able to file a claim against the responsible party. Contact a toxic exposure lawyer in your area for more information.