Chinese Drywall Removal
It all started with a few dozen residents in Florida complaining about smelling rotten eggs and sulfur. Now it’s given rise to class-action lawsuits against both wallboard manufacturers and homebuilders. Several health departments in the South are investigating the drywall problem as is the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) These investigations so far have concluded nothing other than tracing the problem to Chinese Drywall starting in 2004. Some could be dating back to 2001. The chemicals that possibly cause the problem and how they entered the the building material lifecycle are still something of a mystery.
Drywall—gypsum, plasterboard,wallboard—is basically a gypsum-based plaster layer sandwiched between two sheets of paper. The majority by far of US gypsum comes from mines and quarries. The Gypsum Association state that it is a by-product of coal or oil based power plants.
So far, different laboratories have identified the Chinese Drywall contains sulfurous gases hydrogen sulfide, carbon disulfide and carbonyl sulfide. The emissions seem to intensify in hot and humid environments, which is probably it’s seen most often in Florida and other SouthEastern States.
Why are the gasses being emitted? Nobody knows. The Chinese Drywall may have come from a sulfur rich mine or that impurities were introduced during the manufacture process; or some sort of chemical treatment during post production.
Results from companies have been contradictory. Environ International was hired by Lennar, one of Florida’s largest homebuilders, to test “dirty” drywall. Their results show an element of sulfure in Chinese Drywall but not US made.
At the Center for Toxicology & Environmental Health, Phillip Goad, a toxicologist, studied the foul smelling drywall for a manufacturer of drywall, Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin (KPT) and his report found no sulfur elements, but iron disulfide or pyrite. The US drywall did contain those elements. KPT thinks the gypsum that was mined contained the iron disulfide and has since stopped using that mine.
Florida’s Department of Health’s drywall analyses, which were done by Unified Engineering, revealed an entirely different anomaly in the Chinese wallboard. Lori A. Streit, an analytical chemist with Unified, found strontium sulfide in the odorous wallboard.
Other published reports conflict with each other saying it was the mine or the post production. One report identified 35 sulfur-containing odorants.
If that wasn’t enough to worry about, there’s the corrosion of copper piping, wiring and air conditioner coils. A black powdery substance is found in these houses. Usually this shows reaction with sulfides — either with the Chinese Drywall or gas emitted from the Chinese Drywall. In either case it’s not good.
There’s been no evidence though that the levels of sulfur gases are dangerous, but people living in the houses have reported of respiratory infections, sinus problems and nosebleeds.
Nobody knows how long it will take to figure out where the rotten egg smell is coming from or the Chinese Drywall removal; but until then, many home owners are footing the cost to have it inspected and ultimately removed by Expert Chinese Drywall Removal Company