Health 185314_drywall_mess

Published on March 25th, 2009 | by Joel Bittle

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Chinese Drywall Blamed for Health, Wiring Problems

As if Florida’s housing market hasn’t had enough bad news lately, it now seems that some homes built with imported Chinese drywall have experienced problems ranging from rotten egg odor to appliance failure, and in some cases health problems.  The culprit, according to homeowners involved in class action lawsuits in Florida, Louisiana, and Alabama, is high levels of sulfur within the drywall.  The corrosive gas has destroyed copper wiring, causing air conditioners and other appliances to fail.  Some homeowners claim the drywall has caused health problems, including headaches, sore throats, insomnia, and swollen joints.

During the boom years of 2005 and 2006, when frenzied new home construction combined with post-hurricane reconstruction, home builders found some material, including drywall, in short supply, and looked to cheap imports to fill the need. The gypsum used in the drywall, plaintiffs claim, originated in a Chinese mine with toxic levels of sulfur, though the companies that sell the drywall deny this claim.  It is estimated that the number of homes with Chinese dry wall could be as high as 50,000, with Florida accounting for as many as 30,000.  Time Magazine asks “Is Drywall the Next Chinese Import Scandal?

Health and maintenance complaints over the last two years have led to numerous investigations and lawsuits.  This month, after the U.S. Product Safety Commission launched an investigation into the drywall, homeowners launched a class-action lawsuit against home builders that used the drywall.  If you have concerns about the drywall in your home, contact your state’s health department.

Last year, we at Green Building Elements and Green Building Talk highlighted the staggering amount of CO2 produced in the manufacturing of drywall, the most common indoor building material in the United States.  One company, Serious Materials, found a way to produce drywall without gypsum, significantly reducing production of CO2 and eliminating the source of the volatile organic compounds in the Chinese drywall. For those who want to be sure of their indoor air quality as well as reduce their carbon footprint, the EcoRock drywall from Serious Materials is a good place to start.

Picture credit:  dgood007 at stock.xchng

Senior menus, February 9 to 13

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, CA) February 6, 2009 Hot meals for seniors 60 and older are provided by Old Timers Foundation from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday at area senior centers. A donation of $3 is requested. Meals are served at the following centers:

Bloomington: 18317 Valley Blvd., (909) 877-4310.

Chino: 13170 Central Ave., (909) 628-0071.

Fontana: 16707 Marygold Ave., (909) 822-3246; 6396 N. Citrus Ave., (909) 823-3888; and 8565 Nuevo Ave., (909) 822-4493.

Ontario: 225 B St., (909) 395-2021.

Rancho Cucamonga: 11200 Base Line Road, (909) 987-1911.

Rialto: 214 N. Palm Ave., (909) 820-2616.

Upland: 250 N. Third Ave., (909) 981-4501.

All entrees are served with vegetables, salad, bread and a beverage. The menu for this week is:

Monday: Ham steak, au gratin potatoes, spinach, fruit cup, whole wheat bread, rice pudding.

Tuesday: Lemon baked fish, hash browns, mixed vegetables, salad, whole wheat bread, prunes.

Wednesday: Grilled cube steak with mushroom gravy, buttered noodles, green beans, coleslaw, whole wheat bread.

Thursday: Chili and beans, Spanish rice, broccoli, salad, cookie.

Friday: Breaded chicken patty, mashed potatoes, carrots, three bean salad, whole wheat bread, pineapple. here whole wheat bread

Intervale Senior Services provides hot, nutritious lunches for seniors 60 and older at 11:15 a.m. Monday through Friday at the San Dimas Senior Citizen and Community Center, 201 E. Bonita Ave., San Dimas. Cost is a suggested donation of $2 and includes low-fat milk. Information: (909) 394-6298.

The menu for this week:

Monday: Beef stew, pineapple juice, gelatin with pineapple chunks, whole grain roll, peach cobbler.

Tuesday: Chicken fajitas, albondigas soup, Tex-Mex rice, pinto beans, salad, flour tortilla, custard.

Wednesday: Submarine sandwich, split pea soup, carrot and raisin salad, macaroni salad, soft roll, orange sections.

Thursday: Choice of fish Vera Cruz or pork loin with gravy, chicken noodle soup, roasted potatoes, corn nibblets, broccoli slaw, whole grain roll, gingered pears. see here whole wheat bread

Friday: Beef burgundy, grape juice, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, salad, whole grain roll, apple pie, ice cream.

The Joslyn Senior Center, 660 N. Mountain Ave., Claremont, offers lunch to seniors 60 or older at 11:30 a.m. and noon Monday through Friday at Blaisdell Park, 440 S. College Ave., Claremont.

Suggested donation is $2. Information: (909) 399-5488.

The menu for this week is:

Monday: Chili, macaroni casserole, Normandy vegetables, salad, cinnamon applesauce.

Tuesday: Parmesan chicken, rice pilaf, peas, salad, sweetheart cake or fruit, orange juice.

Wednesday: Beef burgundy, vegetable barley soup, egg noodles, broccoli, black eye pea salad, bread pudding.

Thursday: Rotisserie chicken, sweet potatoes, green beans, spinach salad, citrus fruit cup.

Friday: Baked fish with vegetables or meatloaf, corn bread, beets, confetti coleslaw, cantaloupe or honeydew melon or banana.

Lunch is offered at three sites in Pomona for seniors who are 60 and older. Spouses may also eat at the sites. There is a suggested donation of $1.75 per meal for seniors 60 and older and $2.10 for nonseniors. Meals are served at:

Emerson Village: 753 N. Palomares St., (909) 620-2494.

Washington Park: 865 E. Grand Ave., (909) 620-2305.

Palomares Park: 499 E. Arrow Highway, (909) 620-2324.

The menu for this week:

Monday: Meatloaf, minestrone soup, spinach, mashed potatoes, whole wheat bread, orange.

Tuesday: Pot roast, confetti rice, green beans, salad, apple juice, pears.

Wednesday: Pork chop, chicken gumbo soup, mixed vegetables, whole wheat bread, Mandarin orange.

Thursday: Citrus chicken, bread dressing, yams, salad, pineapple juice, peach crisp.

Friday: Salisbury steak, corn, whole wheat bread, grape juice, bread pudding.

The City of Montclair Senior Nutrition Program offers lunches Monday through Friday for seniors 60 and older, paid for in part by the San Bernardino County Department of Aging. Hours are 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 5111 Benito St., Montclair. Suggested donation is $1.75. Information: (909) 625-9462.

The menu for this week is:

Monday: Chicken noodle casserole, peas, salad, biscuit, orange slices.

Tuesday: Polish sausage, lentil onion soup, potatoes, steamed cabbage, rye bread, melon.

Wednesday: Macaroni and cheese, broccoli, salad, gelatin with fruit.

Thursday: Barbecue chicken sandwich, orange juice, carrots, coleslaw, fruit crunch.

Friday: Roast pork, apple juice, stuffing, baked potato, green beans, fruit pie.




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About the Author

Joel Bittle is the director of RSI Green, the green building division of RSI Kitchen & Bath in St. Louis, Missouri, and is a member of the St. Louis Home Builders Association Green Builders Council. Joel has worked to bring in and promote green kitchen and bath products in the St. Louis area. Originally from California, Joel taught high school English in San Francisco and St. Louis before splitting his time raising his two daughters and developing RSI Green. Joel writes about his experiences as a stay-at-home dad in STL Homeboy



5 Responses to Chinese Drywall Blamed for Health, Wiring Problems

  1. Michael says:

    I am thinking about working for a contractpr helping to remoce chinese drywall from homes. Do I need to be concerned about long term health risks? I think they are requiring hazmat garments to be worn, but I am still concerned that I could develop health problems myself. Please advise

  2. Michael says:

    I am thinking about working for a contractpr helping to remoce chinese drywall from homes. Do I need to be concerned about long term health risks? I think they are requiring hazmat garments to be worn, but I am still concerned that I could develop health problems myself. Please advise

  3. l brennan says:

    i would wonder being my father was cancer free for 5 years but after moving into his home built by aranda homes in cape coral his cancer came back so fast that the doctors didn’t find it until he wound up in the hospital. he died a week later. let the government clean up their mess. just concerned for your health.

  4. l brennan says:

    i would wonder being my father was cancer free for 5 years but after moving into his home built by aranda homes in cape coral his cancer came back so fast that the doctors didn’t find it until he wound up in the hospital. he died a week later. let the government clean up their mess. just concerned for your health.

  5. It has been reported that some people are attributing new health problems to their homes that are found to have Chinese Drywall. Officially, the levels of sulfur compounds and volatile organic compounds (VOC) released into the air by Chinese or defective drywall do not meet the state’s Departments of Health and other governmental agencies such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and OSHA standards to be a health hazard. Levels of these gases considered to be toxic are measured in the parts per million (ppm). Homes contaminated with reactive drywall measure in the parts per billion (PPB).
    Chinese Drywall Advisors takes seriously the effectiveness of the remediation process. There is a growing concern over the means and methods of Chinese Drywall Inspection and remediation practices that are beginning to take place throughout states that have been affected by Chinese or defective drywall.

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