Chinese drywall found to emit gas

Bloomberg News / October 30, 2009

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WASHINGTON - US investigators found elevated sulfur emissions from Chinese drywall, though they stopped short of linking the building material to ailments cited by many of the 1,900 homeowners who filed complaints.

Florida Senator Bill Nelson said he was disappointed the Consumer Product Safety Commission didn’t directly tie the drywall to headaches, asthma, and nose bleeds that homeowners blame on the material. “I simply don’t think the investigation is happening fast enough,’’ said Nelson, a Democrat.

Most of the homeowners who complained were from Florida and Louisiana, where the imported drywall was used to rebuild after hurricanes in 2004 and 2005. The concern about Chinese drywall follows recalls in recent years of tainted pet-food ingredients and other products, mainly from China.

Nelson said he urged President Obama to raise the issue when he travels to China next month.

Scott Weinstein, an attorney for some of the homeowners who filed lawsuits against builders and manufacturers, said low housing prices have left many residents trapped in noxious dwellings.

US safety officials said they have banned further imports. Federal and state officials will have a more detailed report next month on the possible health effects.