During a construction boom between 2004 and 2005, there was a shortage of domestic drywall, created in part by rebuilding efforts after hurricanes on the Gulf Coast. Between 2004 and 2008, builders imported unprecedented amounts of Chinese drywall because it was an inexpensive and abundant substitute.
Chinese drywall was found to contain higher levels of sulfuric and organic compounds than the U.S. samples, including strontium sulfide1 which emits hydrogen sulfide gas when exposed to moist air, explaining the “rotten egg” smell found by homeowners in the humid South.
This is a corrosive and toxic gas, destroys electrical wiring and appliances, turns copper tubing, silver jewelry and silverware black, destroys the metal in air conditioning coils, causes rotten smells of sulfur, and is potentially responsible for illnesses such as respiratory problems, nosebleeds and headaches (from breathing airborne sulfuric compounds).
Cunningham Bounds represents a class on behalf of all builders, developers and contractors in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Texas and Florida who built houses or made renovations using defective drywall.
- Correspondence from Raj Singhvi, Chemist for United States Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Response Team to Lynn Wilder, Environmental Health Scientist, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Department of Homeland Security, “Subject: Drywall Sample Analysis” (May 7, 2009).