Contaminated Drywall Renovation

Synthetic gypsum drywall contamination

Calling the toxic and corrosive drywall boards "Chinese drywall" may be a misnomber. Speculation is growing that the problem is related to the process of making synthetic gypsum out of toxic flyash from coal fired plants. China got the idea from the U.S. and it appears that some synthetic junk made here is also causing the same problems. Manufacturers have used waste material from coal burning power plants to create drywall used in American homes. The use of such waste materials causes the emission of one of several sulfur-based gasses including sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. CNN produced a video Toxic American Drywall? describing the problem.

Most problem causing drywall has been imported from China, but ten of the 44 complaints detailed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission last fall involved drywall made in the United States. CBS News compared U.S.- and Chinese-made drywall by sending samples to University of Florida professor, Tim Townsend. The professor concluded, “The results tell me that we shouldn't just be focused solely on defective Chinese drywall. We need to be backing up and looking at the product of drywall itself.”

The home supply retailer Lowe's Companies Inc. has dramatically increased the amount of money it is prepared to offer customers whose health or homes were harmed by defective drywall they bought from its stores. They claim to have never sold foreign Drywall.

Those customers are now eligible for up to $100,000 in cash, instead of the maximum $4,500 in cash and gift cards that was previously agreed upon in a class action that is being negotiated in a Georgia state court.

Federal courts are considering two cases filed by homeowners against National Gypsum and one against Georgia Pacific. In Swidler v. Georgia Pacific, homeowners in Florida say that GP manufactured problematic wallboard in North America using FGD waste.

Synthetic gypsum has been used to make wallboard in the United States for more than 20 years: Since 2000 alone, the U.S. gypsum wallboard manufacturing industry has produced more than 100,000,000,000 square feet of wallboard made with synthetic gypsum – enough to finish the interior of more than 10,000,000 American homes.

Both synthetic gypsum and mined gypsum have the chemical composition of calcium sulfate dihydrate, CaSO4·2H2O. Synthetic gypsum (also called “FGD gypsum”) is a supposedly environmentally friendly product made through a controlled process in which the emissions from coal-fired power plants are “scrubbed” to remove the sulfur dioxide by use of wet or dry scrubbers, also called “flue gas desulfurization” (FGD).

Agencies from the EPA to DOE have advocated the reuse of coal combustion residues. Government procurement programs, and USGBC LEED ratings, reward builders who incorporate whatever waste the EPA defines as post-industrial waste, suitable for reuse. Most advocates cite the energy savings, and the reduced need to landfill these wastes.

This preferred status is at risk. The EPA is now considering listing fly ash as a hazardous waste. IICRC support

Whether you are a Treasure Coast area property manager, commercial general contractor, or home owner, One Call Properties Service will provide quality work, timely service, and reasonable pricing. We pride ourselves on the high standards we have established and maintained as a Treasure Coast area contractor. We will gladly provide references if you are considering us for your next damage restoration project.


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