Chinese Drywall

Sulfur & Toxic Gases from Imported Chinese Drywall

For homeowners across the country, the use of imported Chinese drywall in the construction of their homes has led to a variety of problems. When exposed to high heat and humidity, Chinese sourced drywall has been shown to emit a sulfur gas, resulting in a rotten egg smell, rapid corrosion of metals (copper, brass and silver, for example) and respiratory health problems in otherwise healthy people.

Drywall, also referred to as wallboard, plasterboard or Sheetrock (TM USG), is primarily made from gypsum plaster sandwiched between two sheets of heavy paper. Used for the covering of interior walls and ceilings, drywall for U.S. construction was typically obtained from American manufacturers. With the housing boom in the early part of this decade, as well as rebuilding efforts after hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, drywall from domestic manufacturers was in short supply. Imported drywall, obtained from China, was used predominately in areas where construction demands were the greatest.

Due to numerous consumer complaints and health concerns over the toxicity of the gases released from the imported Chinese drywall, the EPA conducted an analysis of imported drywall, comparing it to the U.S. made counterpart.

High Concentrations of Minerals Found in Imported Drywall

In an EPA published report, high concentrations of sulfur, strontium and iron were found in the Chinese drywall. By comparison, sulfur was not found in any of the U.S. manufactured samples. The source of sulfur has been linked to the use of fly ash, a byproduct from coal burning power plants. In addition to preliminary tests by the EPA, Chinese drywall has been shown to release a variety of toxic chemicals into the air, including: hydrogen sulfide, carbonyl sulfide, strontium sulfide, and carbon disulfide. To learn more about the side effects of imported drywall, see health complications from Chinese drywall.

Identifying Defective Drywall in Your Home

Unfortunately for consumers, not all imported drywall has a 'Made in China' stamp. Known manufacturers of the contaminated drywall include Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. Ltd. and Taishan Gypsum. If you are unsure if your home contains defective drywall imported from China, see the defective drywall checklist.

Legal Action Against Builders and Manufacturers

For owners of homes with contaminated drywall, the only solution is to replace all of the defective wallboard in the home. This can result in having the entire home re–drywalled. Not only is this a costly procedure, but it requires the residents to vacate the residence while the work is being completed, incurring even more expense. Numerous class actions have been filed to cover the direct costs of having a home refurbished, as well as the replacement of appliances that have been damaged by the corrosive gases emitted from Chinese drywall. A class action lawsuit has been filed against Knauf Plasterboard. The class has a filing deadline of December 9, 2009, see Knauf class action lawsuit for more information on how to join. With over 25 years experience protecting consumer's rights from defective and harmful products, our attorneys are here to help you. If you have problems with Chinese drywall, or other defective products in the home, please contact one of our attorneys evaluating Chinese drywall claims.