Photo via Chinese Drywall Atty
During the housing boom, thousands of homes were built with cheap drywall imported from China. The drywall turned out to be contaminated with sulfur, and was powerful enough to corrode metal and make anyone living in the houses ill. TreeHugger was on the story when the first case surfaced in Florida at the beginning of the year--but it went largely under the radar for months. Now, thousands of people across the country are getting sick in their own homes.The most unfortunate part of this story is that it could have been avoided at any number of points along the way--especially after the first known case was revealed in Florida, and the builders instead insisted there was nothing wrong. Nevermind the fact that metal was corroding for no apparent reason, and the house's occupants were falling ill.
And then after Lloyd Alter wrote about the story here, it took a full two months for the major media outlets like the Washington Post to pick up the story--who knows how many more people moved into or continued to live in what are literally toxic homes in that time.
Lloyd turned out to be right every step of the way during this disconcerting saga--when he noted that 550 million pounds of the drywall had been purchased, enough to build 60,000 homes, and that the toxic drywall could be everywhere.
Because now the New York Times is reporting that there are literally thousands of reported cases of people falling ill from living in homes built with Chinese drywall. There are more than 300 reported cases in Louisiana alone. Experts estimate that as many as 100,000 house will have to be torn down.
The kicker is that the bulk of these homes are in states like Florida, Virginia, and Louisiana--states where there was a high demand for housing materials after they were ravaged by hurricanes. Which means many of these people had their homes torn down by a storm, and are now having them torn down once again.