Chinese Drywall Problems
It turns out that there was more wrong with the recent US housing cycle than just bad loans and predatory lenders. It has recently come to light that many homeowners are experiencing Chinese drywall problems that are making them sick and destroying what they paid so much to build.
Some people estimate that as much as half of a billion pounds of toxic drywall was shipped into the US from China during the boom. This is a major problem, as now people are reporting the smell of sulfur emanating from that drywall. Would we expect anything more from the country that brought us toxic toothpaste and over-leaded kids’ toys? But this looks like it could be a much more far-ranging conflict than those isolated incidents.
The first consumer complaints came from the state of Florida, where not surprisingly much of the fake real estate boom occurred. Beyond that there were major hurricanes there, especially in 2006, that prompted a lot of low-cost buying of drywall.
There have also been complaints about further Chinese drywall problems coming out of other southern states such as North Carolina, most recently. Some people have speculated that this is because the warm climate activates the toxicity within the drywall and releases its stench.
The origin of the problem may lie in the dirty coal mines of China. The truth is not known, but some believe it is likely that waste ash from these mines was transported over to drywall factories, where it was then mixed into the ultimate end-product.
Some people are demanding that their Congress do something about this. Tensions in the US have risen as it seems that every couple of months a new story comes out about how China’s “relaxed” labor standards have led to some sort of poison being in US imported products.
Overall, it is simply a sad problem because not only are people subject to living in the midst of this filth (which they paid for), but some are even ending up in hospitals. These people report a shortness of breath, head pains, and multiple other effects related to the fact that their drywall is rotting their pipes and stinking up their living rooms. China should really pay for this if you ask me. But maybe this is just what you get when you try to get any product for too cheap.
If you think that you might be suffering from this specific type of bad drywall, ask yourself when your house was built. Check up on when your most recent wall-work was done. If it was done within the last five or ten years then you may want to think about doing something. There are lawyers who are already starting to take up actions where they can, and Congress is getting on top of things. The problem has only recently been discovered, so we’ll see how things progress from here.
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