(Source: Wall Street Journal)

The odors, respiratory complaints and corrosion blamed on drywall from China used in American homes may have been caused by the failure to remove sulfur and other contaminants from synthetic gypsum, some Chinese experts in building materials say.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in recent months has received more than 550 reports from people in 19 states and the District of Columbia involving odors, health symptoms and corrosion problems they blame on imported Chinese drywall. The complaints involve “rotten egg” smells and corrosion of wiring and other metals in the homes. U.S. officials are still trying to assess the possible health and safety risks.

Drywall, also known as wallboard, is a layer of gypsum pressed between two sheets of paper and is used to construct walls and ceilings in houses. Most drywall used by American home builders is U.S.-made, but shortages at the peak of the housing boom in recent years spurred imports from China.

Read James R. Hagerty and M.P. McQueen’s full article “Chinese Drywall: Pinpointing the Problems” in the Wall Street Journal (July 2, 2009).

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