ATSDR Reports Drywall from China Possibly Unsafe

The CDC agency's recent report confirmed that drywall imported from China during the 2000s may have been detrimental to human health.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) recently released a report suggesting that drywall imported from China during the 2000s may have affected human health. Titled "Health Consultation: Possible Health Implications from Exposure to Sulfur Gases Emitted from Chinese-Manufactured Drywall," the report describes the lab tests and modeling researchers used to estimate the levels of sulfur in indoor air in homes built with the drywall imported from China. The drywall in question was imported from 2005 to 2006 and in 2009

The main states affected by the problematic drywall are Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Virginia, with each state having 101-1,500 homes affected. In addition, other states such as Texas, California, and Tennessee had between 10 and 100 homes affected. The report—its findings are based on a small number of samples—suggests that people living in these homes may have been exposed to sulfur compounds emitted from the drywall. Exposure can result in headaches; eye, nose, and throat irritation; feeling tired; and respiratory trouble

The Consumer Product Safety Commission began investigating the safety of the drywall imported from China in 2009. In addition, the Department of Housing and Urban Development released a 2012 report estimating that the problematic drywall from China was used in the construction of roughly 11,000 homes.

For concerned homeowners, ATSDR recommends investigating whether or not one's drywall meets the CPSC problem drywall definition. If your drywall is problematic, follow CPSC/HUD's remediation guidance, which "calls for replacement of all problem drywall, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and most electrical distribution components and sprinkler heads."

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