Chinese Drywall “Reeks” Havoc in Florida

Posted by admin on 01/14/2009

First they were in your toy box, then your toothpaste and your dog food; now they could be in your walls.   Drywall, historically sourced domestically for U.S. construction, has now added itself to the list of toxic products imported from China.  After the hurricanes of 2004 and 2005 (Charlie, Wilma, Katrina) battered the U.S. Gulf Coast, reconstruction led to a boom in drywall demand.  Drywall shortages hit first and hardest on Florida’s Gulf Coast, leading contractors and builders to start sourcing drywall from China.  See full size image  Now a number of homeowner complaints ranging from health problems, noxious sulfur-like odors, and trouble with other house parts such as heating and air conditioning units have been tied to the toxic Chinese drywall.  Drywall (in America) is made safely from mined gypsum, but from the smell and the results of environmental testing, it appears that the Chinese drywall contains sulfur.  As the nature of drywall is particulate, even after it is installed, little bits fly around behind our walls and escape from behind them.  These particles go up our noses and land on our chairs, tables, beds, clothes.    Aside from respiratory issues and that yucky rotten egg smell, the suspect Florida drywall has been tied to corroding air conditioner parts, copper wiring, and even metal picture frames.  The cost to replace both the drywall and the other (now) defective materials is high, but running the risk of inhaling sulfur particulates or fires behind walls or in HVAC systems is even higher. Germany’s Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin, which manufactured the Florida drywall in China, claims that it adhered to environmental standards, but that it is switching (gypsum) mines and monitoring gases in its new site.   Kind of like “we didn’t do it and we promise not to do it again.”  The problem, however, is like with most toxic products that the U.S. has received from China, there are plenty of regulations on the books, but few – if any – are followed by manufacturers or enforced by the Chinese government. It has been reported by Tampa port officials that much of the drywall arriving in container ships from China over the past few years did not contain the required documentation or official stamps confirming that it met international manufacturing and safety standards.   As Katrina reconstruction goes forward and the local market demand for drywall remains high, it is likely that these same problems will pop up in Louisiana.   Perhaps this toxic drywall is a conspiracy between China’s drywall manufacturers and its multitudinous facemask companies to increase their U.S. market share.   More likely, they take manufacturing short cuts that make their products artificially cheap and then ship them over here because they can. If we’re wondering at all about the importance of enforcing our existing trade laws and also ensuring that materials used in new state and federal infrastructure projects should be “Made in America,” go sniff your walls. Imagine the aroma of your wires corroding inside a six-week-old egg salad sandwich.   Any questions?   

11 comments

[...] of past posts know that

[...] of past posts know that drywall imported from China between 2005 and 2007 contains chemicals and emits gasses that [...]

Peg Pinaglia wrote 5 years 15 weeks ago

Thanks Rene for the

Thanks Rene for the information, like Larry I too plan to buy a home in Cape Coral. We have already cancelled one contract due to Chinese drywall being detected in a 2006, never lived in home. We are now awaiting results on another home but am concerned that the effects may not show up in the inspection due to recent remodeling. Does anyone know how long it takes for the damage to start.

[...] previously reported on

[...] previously reported on toxic Chinese drywall, but it seems that the issue is getting worse.  TIME Magazine is now [...]

J P Stapleton wrote 5 years 19 weeks ago

I am planning to build a new

I am planning to build a new home in Mobile AL. How can I make sure good drywall is used?

Larry wrote 5 years 22 weeks ago

Wow, I'm in the process of

Wow, I'm in the process of buying a home in Cape Coral Fla. and it sounds like something i'll have to look out for. Thanks for the info.

[...] 23, 2009 Posted by

[...] 23, 2009 Posted by flyashguru in Uncategorized. trackback On January 13, 2009, ManufactureThis reported on yet another dangerous and defective product from China – [...]

concrete house on the coast wrote 5 years 22 weeks ago

wow what a story--i knew

wow what a story--i knew nothing of all this until today . I used Chinese wallboard but it is magnesium oxide (much more expensive than gypsum board) and it is waterproof. We are not noticing any ill effects, so hopefully it is not a part of this problem.
Thanks for the informative post and so sorry for your problems.
Sounds like you have a lot of company !

[...] On January 13, 2009,

[...] On January 13, 2009, ManufactureThis  reported on yet another dangerous and defective product from China – [...]

Rene Galvin wrote 5 years 24 weeks ago

Our home also has Chinese

Our home also has Chinese Drywall. We settled in 2006 and our punch sheet which we found has smell written on it.

Also during our punch sheet the mirrors had turned black, and drains were also black. The builder Taylor Morrison took care of this under the warranty, however they did not think there was a smell.

We only use this home in the winter, but that does not make it any less important to us. We try and come as often as possible, and it was our "happy" place. Two days ago after confirmation of Chinese Drywall, we vacated our home.
The smell is not so much like rotten eggs to me. It was more like a wood burning or maybe a varnish smell.
I kept thinking something was dead in the walls.

When we returned this Oct. the smell was as strong as ever, and our mirrors had all turned black again, our drains all pitted again, and our new TV and computer had gone bad.

We left to return in Dec. and when company came over, she said, you had better check for Chinese Drywall.
Because I had never heard of it, I decided to call the builder. After three calls none of which were returned, I went home for a few days, and returned in January, and called the corporate office. We had all been noticing scratchy throats, burning of the eyes, and also nasal drip and headaches.

Taylor Morrison sent out three men on the morning of the 2nd of February. They said it was their first complaint, however this is not true. There is a girl who complained some time ago, only to be told they would put in a air purification system.

These three men said they had never heard of it, and they only use good materials. Read their web site, FALSE ADVERTISING at its best.
I told them my daughter and i needed to be relocated immediately. Taylor Morrison has many empty homes that should not be effected.
Taylor Morrison then called me and said they had no proof it was a health hazard and did not believe i had Chinese Drywall. They told me they had not used it.
I then called the Health Dept to find out that there was a simply way of testing to verify you may have it.
That is to pull off an outlet and if the cooper wire is black, chances are very good you have Chinese Drywall.
The outlet was pulled the wire black.
The fact the air conditioner had failed also pointed to a problem.
After finding a black wire, I called Taylor Morrison with my findings and told them to come look. I had company, and I will tell you they were simply appalled at the statements made by their company rep
Birch from Taylor Morrison said he smelled it but that it was again probably not Chinese Drywall. My friends told him we were being poisioned. I contacted the law offices I saw who were handling cases. Ultimately I chose Richard Serpe of Virginia.
I again contacted Taylor Morrison this time calling the CEO directly. This time i got her assistant who while having a sympathic ear, said she could only relay the messages. She said the CEO of the Southwest Division would call me.
HE did not . I told Dawn the assistant we needed to be relocated. She said she would again relay it.
I also then got a call from the CEO of the SW division who said that it was not dangerous. I hung up.
Taylor Morrison does not care, their web site is false, and they left me in harms way. Anything that shuts down TV's, ruins mirrors, and pits metal can not be good for you.
Further, I believe the state of Florida should condemn all of these homes until proven they are SAFE! Why are we waiting to prove they are not.
Two days ago, an investigator with my attorneys office and an engineer came and spent six hours in my home. He is an expert and immediately identified the smell. However being a scientist, he pulled samples from outlets and the AC.
After gaining much of his evidence, labeling it, and taking photos and videos, the said he really needed a piece of drywall. Knauf Tianjin was making much of what was being found to be defective. After cutting into the wall, and putting his scope in, he found a big piece with the name Knauf Tianjin very big on the boards.
I cried and am still in shock. I am worried about my health and my families health. We immediately vacated the premises. We are now in Naples at friends trying to find a rental in high season. I need to be here to move our things out, and to be available . We have friends with plane tickets coming and we have no home. My business is internet out of my home and I can not work. I have lost sleep and am writing this at 2 am. I am worried about our health, and do not know what to do next.
Our homes, all of us with Chinese Drywall have a very big problem. They need to be plowed to the ground. Their value is nothing. Even if the unit is gutted out, forever we must disclose if we sell that the homes have Chinese Drywall.

The state needs to step up. Our builder Taylor Morrison has treated us as if we are a thorn in their side, and has done nothing. In fact they said it would be two weeks to be tested something I had done within in 24 hours. They would not have anyone call who did not say they did not use Chinese Drywall.
The CEO Sheryl Palmer would not return my calls. Her assistant said she knows about it, and can not help me, because they have to help anyone the same.
What I know is the engineer who is testing daily said he had never seen it that bad.
I hope we all get help, and someone helps us.
Taylor Morrison used sub standard materials and then told me to deal with it.

Now the attorneys get rich, all around the country, but at least they protect us.

Steve wrote 5 years 26 weeks ago

Now that it will be hitting

Now that it will be hitting many Americans pocket books, maybe we will all wake up and buy products made in the USA. Should make you think about your imported cars also.

KELLI2L wrote 5 years 26 weeks ago

So this is what our US

So this is what our US government thought was good for us? So-called cheap products and foods that make us sick or kill us. Great fellas, thanks for nothing !!! How long will it take for our government to stop the entry of Chinese products? When we are all dead?

J.LaMacchia wrote 5 years 27 weeks ago

Isn't internationalism

Isn't internationalism wonderful ?

The left wing moonbats have good intentions but forget that international standards and cheating aren't enforceable in a foreign country. Is it time to think again about this saddle burr called "internationalism" ? It's just a wet dream folks with high risk consequences..

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