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November 25th, 2009

Reports Tie Chinese Drywall to Corrosion

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The latest results in a series of reports investigating the existence of a harmful chemical in imported drywall have been released this week. A Federal report found a “strong association” between hydrogen sulfide, a chemical found in Chinese drywall, and the corrosion of household metals.

If you recall, last month we reported that the preliminary findings found no definitive link between the drywall and the chemical:

“The expansive investigation and scientific work that has been done and continues to be carried out is all aimed at providing answers and solutions,” Lori Saltzman, a director in the CPSC’s Office of Hazard Identification and Reduction, said Thursday. “No connections have been made yet.”

Unless the task force can directly link the drywall with harmful components, there may be little retribution for these homeowners.

Luckily for the over 2,000 who filed complaints regarding the imported drywall, these latest results are the first step at getting some form of government-sponsored assistance. To this point, many homeowners and some lawmakers have been extremely disappointed with the government’s lack of involvement:

Monday’s report did not surprise Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, who said the product safety commission’s chairwoman, Inez Tenenbaum, told him Monday she did not know when further testing would be completed.

“I am very disappointed with the whole process, and especially that the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] can’t say whether drywall is harmful to people’s health,” he told CNN. “Common sense says otherwise, but we still lack definitive answers.”

Additional studies are ongoing to further investigate the connection between the drywall and household corrosion as well as health problems.

From CPSC.gov:

Homeowners who believe they may have problem drywall should immediately report to CPSC by calling 800-638-2772 or logging on to www.CPSC.gov. Hearing- or speech challenged individuals may access the phone number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

If you have, or think you may have, tainted drywall in your home, Federal health experts suggest the following:

  • Keep windows open as much as possible
  • Reduce the temperature inside your home to the lowest possible level
  • Run an air conditioner or humidifier
  • Do not smoke, especially inside the home
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HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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