Contaminated Drywall Renovation

Tainted Chinese Drywall

Chinese drywall imported from approximately 2001 through at least 2006 may have been contaminated with excess levels of sulfur contaminants that have created health and safety issues for people living in buildings that were constructed with these products.That sulfur, when combined with moisture and heat produces high levels of sulfur dioxide (SO2).

A particularly noxious Chinese drywall is believed to be made from "Fly Ash" which is a by product of coal burning power plants.  The product has a slight gray color rather than the traditional white coloring of gypsum.  This byproduct is high in hydrogen sulfide and is known to cause corrosion in non-ferrous metals like copper, aluminum, brass, silver and many others.  Homes suspected of containing this substance will typically have a moderate to strong sulphur or "rotten egg" odor.  This is not true in all circumstances, however, does appear to be the case in the majority of suspected cases. 

There have been a number documented health and safety issues with sulfur dioxide (SO2).  Excessive levels of SO2 in the air can cause breathing problems for people with asthma, and sulfate particles from the SO2 can gather in people’s lungs.  In the most extreme cases this can result in premature death.  Some people have also had visibility impairment, and sulfur dioxide accelerates the decay of building materials and equipment due to its acid compounds.  It is also significant contributor to acid rain which damages the environment.

There have also been studies that link the defective Chinese drywall to corrosion of electrical wiring and other household appliances due to excessive sulfide gases that seep out of the drywall.

Respiratory Effects from Gaseous SO2 – Peak levels of SO2 in the air can cause temporary breathing difficulty for people with asthma who are active outdoors.  Longer-term exposures to high levels of SO2 gas and particles cause respiratory illness and aggravate existing heart disease.

Respiratory Effects from Sulfate Particles – SO2 reacts with other chemicals in the air to form tiny sulfate particles.  When these are breathed, they gather in the lungs and are associated with increased respiratory symptoms and disease, difficulty in breathing, and premature death.

Short-term Peak Levels
High levels of SO2 emitted over a short period, such as a day, can be particularly problematic for people with asthma.  EPA encourages communities to learn about the types of industries in their communities and to work with local industrial facilities to address pollution control equipment failures or process upsets that could result in peak levels of SO2.

SO2 causes a wide variety of health and environmental impacts because of the way it reacts with other substances in the air.  Particularly sensitive groups include people with asthma who are active outdoors and children, the elderly, and people with heart or lung disease.  Respiratory Effects from Gaseous SO2 – Peak levels of SO2 in the air can cause temporary breathing difficulty for people with asthma who are active outdoors.  Longer-term exposures to high levels of SO2

Respiratory Effects from Sulfate Particles – SO2 reacts with other chemicals in the air to form tiny sulfate particles.  When these are breathed, they gather in the lungs and are associated with increased respiratory symptoms and disease, difficulty in breathing, and premature death. Gas and particles cause respiratory illness and aggravate existing heart disease. Visibility Impairment – Haze occurs when light is scattered or absorbed by particles and gases in the air.  Sulfate particles are the major cause of reduced visibility in many parts of the U.S., including our national parks.

The chemical that is present and odor that is coming from the chinese drywall that residents in homes, condos are smelling is most likely Sulfur Dioxide also known as Acid Rain, this chemical reaction that is resulting in sulfur dioxide is the main odor and issue that people are getting headaches and having breathing problems from. - SO2 and nitrogen oxides react with other substances in the air to form acids, which fall to earth as rain, fog, snow, or dry particles.  Some may be carried by the wind for hundreds of miles.  

In March of 2009 the Drywall Safety Act was introduced as legislation to recall Chinese drywall and ban the import of it from China.

 

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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