Imported Drywall, A Toxic Situation
By, JR Hafer
Very few people outside of the drywall industry actually realize how huge the toxic drywall affair really is. For the most part, government studies are ongoing and the builders involved continue with a wait and see mindset.
The truth of the matter is; certainly, no one knows what to do about the problem of defective toxic imported drywall.The circling lawyers overhead can certainly smell the money when a potential lawsuit presents itself.
This toxic poisonous drywall situation will involve more than a few thousand people who now find they are having health problems with unpleasant living conditions in a mere 100,000 homes built with the contaminated noxious materials in southern Florida.
Homeowners should be aware of any signs of potential problems that may “run up red flags”, not only those who built new homes from 2004 to 2007, but also those who have added living area, remodeled, refurbished or made repairs and used any type of drywall between 2001 and 2009.
There are many tell tale signs that may indicate toxic drywall problems. Are your mirrors turning darker? Is your jewelry tarnished more than usual? Are you having electrical and air conditioning problems? Are your electric switches getting warmer than they should be? How about sparking of light fixtures? Is there a “rotten egg” aroma in the air or smoke alarms going off? Is the copper wiring in your house getting darker and darker and bath fixtures becoming more and more tarnished? These are but a few indications of potential problems.Additionally, serious health problems can be caused by the defective toxic drywall, such as reoccurring nosebleeds, asthma-like symptoms, lung damage, stroke, and neurological damage causing palsy.
The sulfur “rotten egg” smell and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are also known to cause skin irritation and various lung problems. These are all things to be cautious of. No one has yet formulated a viable plan. However, I can tell you if you suspect that your house has defective drywall, you should get out of your home until you get your drywall tested. Just like breathing bleach and ammonia, it can damage your lungs permanently. Naturally occurring sulfur compounds are emitted when the heat and humidity levels rise in your house.There has been no deaths, as of yet, confirmed. But I suspect it will be a lot like the asbestos problem, it took a long time for health concerns to become evident. I predict the health risks will be ever increasing and the toxic drywall problem will remain with us for a very long time.Abandoned houses and foreclosed homes with toxic drywall will continue to be on the rise in the near future and most likely a good number of them will be remarketed, perhaps, increasing exposure to toxic drywall.
Recently, builders have considered replacing the toxic drywall in affected houses. However, the replacing of the drywall, electrical wiring, plumbing and fixtures isn’t enough. Builders are now discovering that the wood in the houses is certain to have absorbed the toxic gaseous materials, as well. There is also evidence of radioactive emissions from these materials. Where does it stop?
Builders and suppliers, along with government agencies, are going to find out along with the public, that this imported Chinese toxic drywall may be a greater more complicated deal than they ever expected. Remediation of the toxic drywall will be most difficult. Health problems and lawsuits are surely to follow.It will indeed be a problem of great proportion with multi-culpability attached to it.