According to the Associated Press, at the height of the U.S. housing boom, when building materials were in short supply, American construction companies used millions of pounds of Chinese-made drywall because it was abundant and cheap.
That decision has cost many homeowners money… and now, according to AP research, it could be costing them their health. Brian Skoloff of Associated Press reports that dozens of homeowners in the Southeast have sued builders, suppliers and manufacturers, claiming the very walls around them are emitting smelly sulfur compounds that are poisoning their families and rendering their homes uninhabitable.
A Florida Department of Health analysis found the Chinese drywall emits “volatile sulfur compounds,” and contains traces of strontium sulfide, which can produce the rotten-egg odor and reacts with air to corrode metals and wires. But the agency says on its Website that it “has not identified data suggesting an imminent or chronic health hazard at this time.”
However, Dr. Patricia Williams, a University of New Orleans toxicologist said she has identified highly toxic compounds in the drywall, including hydrogen sulfide, sulfuric acid, sulfur dioxide and carbon disulfide. Prolonged exposure to the compounds, especially high levels of carbon disulfide, can cause breathing problems, chest pains and even death; and can affect the nervous system, according to the CDC.
Proven, or not, I doubt that many homeowners and potential home buyers would feel comfortable sleeping with their family in a home that could be a toxic prison.