Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thanks China, Now Even Our Homes Walls might be a Health Hazard.

While recent polls of Americans seem to support idea of doing away with all manufacturing in this country, like letting the car companies go under, we're finding out that along with the "promise" of forever lower prices the products are substandard and possibly dangerous. The old saying, "If it's to good to be true, it probably is," is turning out to be horrifically true. AP has the dirt:

At the height of the U.S. housing boom, when building materials were in short supply, American construction companies used millions of pounds of Chinese-made drywall because it was abundant and cheap. Now that decision is haunting hundreds of homeowners and apartment dwellers who are concerned that the wallboard gives off fumes that can corrode copper pipes, blacken jewelry and silverware, and possibly sicken people.

The drywall may have been used in more than 100,000 homes. The drywall apparently causes a chemical reaction that gives off a rotten-egg stench, which grows worse with heat and humidity. The Chinese drywall is … made with a coal byproduct called fly ash that is less refined than the form used by U.S. drywall makers. Builders have filed their own lawsuits against suppliers and manufacturers, claiming they unknowingly used the bad building materials.
So far, the problem appears to be concentrated in the Southeast, (like) Florida and Louisiana. In another cruel twist, some of the very communities that have been hit hardest by the collapse of the housing market and skyrocketing foreclosure rates are now at the epicenter of the drywall problem.

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