A federally funded study has found “a strong association” between imported wallboard made in China and metal corrosion in U.S. homes in which the drywall has been installed, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says.
Preliminary studies of corrosion in electrical and fire-safety equipment also support that finding, says CPSC, which commissioned the studies. But no definitive tie has been found yet between the drywall and health problems that home owners have reported, which include asthma attacks, headaches and bloody noses.
CPSC, which released the findings on Nov. 23, has received 2,091 reports from 32 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico of possible health and corrosion problems home owners say may be linked to Chinese drywall.
Reports from Florida account for 68% of the total CPSC has received. Another 18% came from people in Louisiana. The commission says most of the reports deal with houses constructed in 2006 to 2007, during a burst of building that took place after 2004 and 2005 hurricanes.
The study, by Environmental Health & Engineering Inc., Needham, Mass., included 41 residences whose owners had filed complaints with CPSC as well as 10 other houses in the same areas and constructed at about the same time.
A federal interagency team will draw on that report and other data to design a screening protocol to identify other residences with the same problem, CPSC says.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said, “I am very disappointed with the whole process and especially that [federal agencies] can’t say whether drywall is harmful to people’s health. Common sense says otherwise, but we still lack definitive answers.”