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.
Problems have been reported in the Southeast, California, Arizona, Washington State, Wyoming and New York. One result has been a rash of lawsuits against home builders and producers and importers of drywall.
U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Florida Republican, estimated in an interview that 100,000 American homes may have problems with Chinese drywall. Some builders in Florida, he said, are having to gut recently built homes and replace it.
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