Health Effects and Property Damage from Contaminated Chinese Drywall

By November 21, 2014Personal Injury Blog

From 2006 to 2007, much of the drywall installed in homes was imported from China following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. There was a shortage of drywall made in the United States, forcing many construction companies to use the imported drywall from China. Since then, more than 3,000 homeowners have filed complaints with the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regarding health issues and property damage due to the contaminated drywall. This article will discuss the contamination of the drywall, the health issues that it may cause, and your legal options if you think your home has been affected by the imported drywall.

Signs of Contaminated Drywall

Based on the complaints from homeowners, the contaminated drywall has caused the following:

1. Rotten egg smell in the home

2. Blackening or corrosion of metal parts within walls, with some metal pieces protruding from walls

3. Air conditioner unit failures, and other appliance failures in the home

Because of the number of complaints regarding the drywall, the CPSC has established a set of guidelines for identifying whether your home may have contaminated drywall. The process goes as follows:

1. Homeowners must locate blackened electrical wiring or evaporator coils on air conditioning units; and,

2. Dry wall must have been installed between 2001 and 2008

If these two conditions have been met, owners must have a sample of their drywall tested in a lab. In order to prove that health conditions or property damage was caused by the drywall, the condition below must be met. Because the likelihood of the drywall being contaminated is greater if it was installed closer to 2008, more conditions must be met if the drywall was installed prior to 2005. Therefore, two or more conditions below must be met if the drywall was installed between 2005 and 2008; or four or more conditions below must be met if the drywall was installed between 2001 and 2004:

· Drywall is labeled as originating from China

· High levels of sulfur being present in the drywall core

· Copper sulfide or sulfur detected in the home from certified testing

· High levels of strontium being present in the drywall core

· When tested in a certified chamber, the drywall must emit elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide, carbon disulfide, or carbonyl sulfide

· In a certified test chamber, the drywall samples cause corrosion of copper metal when placed together

Most Common Health Problems Caused by Contaminated Drywall

The most common health problems that homeowners have cited, include:

Bloody nose
Runny nose
Difficulty breathing
Persistent cough
Persistent headaches
Itchy and irritated skin and eyes
Irritated and sore throats
Sinus problems
Asthma issues
Most Common Property Damage Caused by Contaminated Drywall

The contaminated drywall has been seen to cause operation malfunctions and/or failures of the following appliances:

Video game consoles
Air conditioning units (evaporator coils)

Contact an Attorney

If you believe that your home may have contaminated drywall, contact an experienced products liability attorney. The attorneys at Bighorn Law specialize in both products liability and personal injury cases, and will work to get you the compensation you deserve.

Bighorn Staff

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