Chinese DrywallMeaning, Term, and Glossary Definition - What is Chinese Drywall?
The term Chinese drywall refers to drywall manufactured in China and imported by the United States starting in 2004, that caused health and safety concerns.
Laboratory tests of samples for volatile chemicals have identified emissions of the sulfurous gases carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide, and hydrogen sulfide. These emissions, which have the odor of rotten eggs, worsen as temperature and humidity rise. Homeowners have reported respiratory tract infections, sinus problems and nosebleeds. In homes with the defective drywall, copper surfaces such as pipes, wiring, and air conditioner coils corrode, turning black and powdery, a chemical process indicative of reaction with hydrogen sulfide. Drywall is a common building material typically made of a layer of gypsum-based plaster pressed between two thick sheets of paper, then dried in a kiln. Foreign drywall was imported by the United States during the construction boom between 2004 and 2007. Importation was further spurred by a shortage of American-made drywall due to the rebuilding demand of nine hurricanes that hit Florida from 2004 to 2005, and widespread damage caused along the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. An analysis covering drywall imports since January 2006 showed that more than 550 million pounds of Chinese drywall was brought into the United States since then, enough to build 60,000 average-sized homes. The problems have been attributed to the use of fly ash in the drywall, which degrades in the presence of heat and moisture; although United States' drywall uses fly ash as well, the process used creates a cleaner final product. (Information courtesy of Wikipedia.)
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