Thursday, 07 May 2009 16:51

Real Estate Reality - What is Chinese Drywall

Written by  Pam Ryan Anderson
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Pam Ryan Anderson of Ryan Realty, Clearwater FloridaRyan Realty, Clearwater, FL

This year will be my 20th anniversary selling real estate in the Greater Tampa Bay area, and just when I think I’ve heard it all, along comes Chinese Drywall!

Chinese Drywall is a Chinese product imported by the Lennar Corporation and has been found to contain high levels of sulfur.  In many cases, the drywall emits fumes that destroy appliances, air conditioning systems, duct work, copper pipes, blackens jewelry and can even make people sick.

Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate calling for a temporary ban on the Chinese-made imports until more is known about their chemical makeup.

Lennar primarily used this drywall in homes built between 2005 and 2006 in Florida.  An Associated Press review of shipping records found more than 540 million pounds of plasterboard was imported from China between 2004 and 2008 to meet U.S. demand during the national housing boom, with an estimated 35,000 of those homes in Florida alone.

Hundreds of people nationwide are now complaining that the material emits fumes that make them sick, with the Florida State Health Department logging 265 complaints so far. Lawsuits against the Chinese manufacturers, builders and suppliers have been filed in several states, including Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.

Governor Crist’s office said the state is already entrenched in a major investigation led by Florida’s Surgeon General and is working with the Federal Government, which is also investigating.

Gov. Crist and Gov. Bobby Jindal in Louisiana, where the drywall turned up in some homes rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina, have asked for assistance with chemical testing from the Environmental Protection Agency as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you feel that your home is one of the ones affected by Chinese Drywall, contact Florida’s Health Department, as they should be ready to begin testing homes in just a couple of weeks.

Pam Ryan Anderson

Real Estate Broker, Ryan Realty

(727) 442-2822

Read 1130 times Last modified on Thursday, 07 May 2009 17:44