Is There Chinese Drywall In Your Home?
Senator Requests Help For Residents With Chinese Drywall
POSTED: Wednesday, April 8, 2009
UPDATED: 9:48 am EDT April 9, 2009
PARKLAND, Fla. — An expert explained Wednesday how homeowners can tell if their home contains controversial drywall imported from China.
Residents who live in homes where drywall imported from China was used in the construction of their homes, say it is making them sick and corroding metal appliances in their homes.
A class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in Miami claims that the drywall emits sulfur.
Lawyers estimate that up to 30,000 Florida homes could contain the drywall. The use of imported drywall in many homes is the result of the building and repair boom in South Florida after Hurricane Wilma, when suppliers ran out of American drywall.
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Wednesday, asking him to urge government officials to do more to help the owners of homes containing Chinese drywall.
Juan Yerfino of EcoTech Environmental Consultants said that homeowners can look for certain indications if they suspect they have Chinese drywall in their homes.
Yerfino said that if a homeowner has had to replace the coils on a relatively new air conditioning unit, that could be a sign of trouble. He said black residue can indicate sulfur fumes from Chinese drywall.
Residents also can check copper wiring in their homes, he said. The copper wires should be shiny like a penny, but if the allegedly contaminated drywall is present, the wires could be black and corroded. The same goes for copper water lines under the sink.
Inside the air conditioning intake, Yerfino said, residents can cut away some of the insulation to check for any stamped label on your drywall. If it says “Knauf,” for example, the drywall was made in China, Local 10’s Julie Summers reported.
Yerfino also suggested measuring the thickness of the drywall. He said that most often, American drywall is 5/8-inch thick, whereas Chinese drywall is often 1/2-inch thick.
Another big indicator is smell. When you enter your home, if you notice an odor like rotten eggs or ammonia, experts said that is a strong indication that Chinese drywall is present.
Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin, a company that manufactures some imported Chinese drywall, released a statement, saying that the company has conducted testing to “ensure that there are no health risks to homeowners.”
KPT quoted Dr. Phillip Goad, a toxicologist at the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, as saying, “The measured concentrations of sulfur-containing compounds in homes containing KPT products are not a public health concern.”
Source: Channel 10 News Florida