Chinese Drywall Update: Feds Finally Notice

hvac-coil rotting photo

Corroded 3 year old ac unit; image via

The Feds are on the case, the National media have noticed and the ambulance chasers are revving their engines as the tainted drywall issue finally gets some traction. The Wall Street Journal picked up the story and the Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating.

"We are stepping up the analysis to more comprehensively look into this," said Joe Martyak, a commission spokesman. "The important thing now is to get the facts."

silver-corrosion photo

Corrosion on Silver

A testing company, Environ, was brought in by Lennar, one of the larger builders involved and the one that is quietly stripping the drywall out of its houses (full pdf here)

ENVIRON presented the results of sampling for reduced sulfur gases in room air from
over 30 homes in Southwest Florida. Carbon disulfide has been detected in approximately half of sampled homes, with typical detected concentrations of approximately 5 ppb — all samples were less than 15 ppb. The lowest chronic MRL (minimal risk level) from ATSDR is 300 ppb. Carbonyl sulfide has been detected occasionally, in the same ppb range. Hydrogen sulfide has never been found at higher levels in room air than the coincident outdoor level.

Dr. DeMott also explained the investigation of odor complaints and HVAC system
failures in Southwest Florida. Specifically, Dr. DeMott noted that follow-up on HVAC system failures indicated an unusual rate of copper heat exchange coil corrosion and corresponding loss of integrity, which allowed the refrigerant gas to escape and cause the HVAC units to freeze-up. The affected HVAC coils had an observable black residue, which subsequent materials testing confirmed to be sulfur-based. Thereafter, chamber testing demonstrated that the wallboard from China emitted carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide and hydrogen sulfide, which caused the otherwise unaffected copper sample in the chamber to corrode in a manner that was chemically identical to the copper corrosion observed in affected homes.

corroded-pipe photo

corroded copper pipe; original copper can be seen where wrapping is pulled back

Even the Lieutenant-Governor of Florida has it, according to an ambulance chaser site:

Meanwhile, Florida's Lt. Governor is threatening to sue his builder, Aubuchon Homes, after defective Chinese drywall caused problems in his Ft. Meyers home. According to a report on, Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp said his lawyers are working with Aubuchon to resolve his issues, and a lawsuit won't happen if Aubuchon's insurance company agrees "to make the lieutenant governor's home whole."

More in TreeHugger:

Update: Toxic Drywall Could Be All Over The Place
Toxic Drywall Rotting Houses, Sickening Occupants in Florida

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