What is Chinese Drywall?

Since Hurricane Katrina and the rash of repairs and new construction that followed, we have seen a higher than normal incidence of homes contaminated wth Chinese drywall. YES. . . contaminated!! As in poisonous!!

These homes are not fit for human habitation. But I must get a couple of inquiries a momth from someone wanting me to show them a beautiful home listed at a rediculously low price, that says in the ‘public remarks’ section that the property has Chineese drywall. It’s obvious there are still a lot of folks who just don’t realize how dangerous this product is for them and their children. Or how expensive the remediation can be. It’s like dealing with a hazardous waste!!

To help you decide whether or not to want to risk buying one of these properties, I found a site that offers a lot of information you should at least consider. . . http://www.chinesedrywall.com/   To recap the more important parts, I’ve copied/pasted the following information directly from their site.


Chinese Drywall refers to defective or tainted drywall imported from China from 2001 to 2007 which emits sulfur gases which usually (but not always) creates a noxious odor and corrodes copper and other metal surfaces, thereby damaging your air conditioner, electrical wiring, copper plumbing, appliances and electronics.  Chinese drywall can  also cause adverse health effects, although experts disagree whether these effects are merely irritants or present a more imminent or chronic health hazard.

Chinese drywall was found by Lawrence Berkley National Laboratories to emit hydrogen sulfide up to 100 times greater than non-Chinese produced drywall.  Hydrogen sulfide is a hazardous gas which, in high concentrations, can be fatal.  There is also a strong association between hydrogen sulfide and metal corrosion.    See CPSC list of drywall manufacturers whose drywall has been found to emit the high levels of hydrogen sulfide.  Analytical testing of Chinese drywall samples have revealed strontium sulfide, although there remains disagreement regarding whether strontium is a valid marker for Chinese drywall.  See Public Health Statement regarding Strontium: Statement Regarding Health Effects.  See also EPA Drywall Sampling Analysis dated May 7, 2009

According to Dr. Patricia Williams, a University of New Orleans toxicologist, highly toxic compounds have been found in Chinese drywall and prolonged exposure to these compounds can cause serious problems. Strontium sulfide may be dangerous to developing children; it affects bone growth.  Chronic exposure to these gases may affect the central nervous system (including visual and sensory changes), cardiovascular system, eyes, kidneys, liver and skin. Infants, children, the elderly and infirm (particularly those with heart and lung disease and diabetes) and pets may have an increased vulnerability to these gases and the particulates that are released from the drywall.  To date, the Florida Department of Health still maintains that the levels found in Chinese drywall are not high enough to present “an imminent or chronic health hazard at this time.”  Many experts disagree.  

Chinese drywall is very friable, which means it is in a state where small particles can easily become dislodged with little friction.  For this reason, even after Chinese drywall is removed, the toxic drywall particulate may remain unless property removed.  Further, the particulate from Chinese drywall may invade and adhere to other building materials in the home’s structure and personal objects within the home.   Thus, cross-contamination should be factored into any remediation protocol.  According to the Florida Department of Health. it is possible for gasses to absorb and re-emit from porous materials such as drywall and fabrics. The effectiveness of cleaning these materials is unknown. It is also unknown whether there is any effect on concrete and lumber.

Source for the above information:  http://www.chinesedrywall.com/ 

Before even considering buying a property contaminated with ‘chinese drywall’, I strongly suggest the consumer study the referenced links and become well-informed on the subject. Fact is, I know of no lenders who will loan money on a property associated with so much risk. Same goes for insurance companies.        

Buyer Beware.

Sig photo2 8-18

About Joyce Albert

Why you need a Real Estate Consultant, not just another Agent… The difference between a real estate agent and a real estate consultant is the difference between someone who just wants to make a sale, and a professional who is willing to share with you their in-depth knowledge of the market in order to help you navigate one of the largest financial decisions of your lifetime. In my career as a real estate consultant, putting my clients first is the hallmark of my success. So if you are looking for a true professional to help you buy or sell a home in the Greater New Orleans Area, please contact me. I look forward to woing with you. Certified 203k Specialist I am a certified FHA-203k Specialist - a program designed to assist buyers wanting to purchase distressed properties (hurricane damaged, repos, short sales) that require repairs or major rehab. Accredidations -  Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR)  e-Certified  Short-Sale & Foreclosure Certified (SFR) Other Memberhips. . .  Louisiana Association of Realtors  New Orleans Metropolitan Assn of Realtors (NOMAR)  Gulf South Real Estate Information Network  National Assn of Realtors (NAR) of Realtors (NAR)  Real Estate Board of Accredited Buyer Consultants (REBAC)
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2 Responses to What is Chinese Drywall?

  1. optimizare seo says:

    I was recommended this web site by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my problem. You are amazing! Thanks!


    • Joyce Albert says:

      I do not pretend to be an expert on Chinese drywall – thus the reason for my quoting the experts. However, following Katrina there were so many homes destroyed by this product, and so many buyers who think it is no big deal to just replace the sheetrock…. No big deal if you want to put your health and your life at risk!!


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