Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Chinese Drywall Situation Under Health Scrutiny

Congress, the Consumer Produce Safety Commission, USEPA and the Centers for Disease Control are investigating whether smelly Chinese drywall installed in 100,000 new homes in 30 different states is a health hazard to the families living in the houses. Acknowledging the existence of indoor air contamination in the affected homes, which are the subject of civil lawsuits in Louisiana, Florida and other states, Michael McGeehin of CDC says other contaminants besides sulfurous gasses have been identified in the homes in question, including formaldehyde. Health officials say the formaldehyde does not come from the drywall, and further testing is needed to determine whether the medical symptoms of home occupants are caused by gasses emitted from the drywall.

Federal officials awaiting test results say it may be another month before they have answers to the health issues plaguing people who live in the homes, where dramatic corrosion of copper water pipes and air conditioning coils is just one of the problems the drywall is causing. CPSC head Inez Tenenbaum has talked with Chinese government officials about the drywall issue, but has received no commitments of help in dealing with the problem from China.
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