Did you remodel the inside of your home between 2001- 2007 and replaced drywall? Was your home damaged by hurricane Katrina and in need of drywall repairs? Have you tested your home for the possible presence of Chinese drywall? Though the initial hurry for testing and repairs has passed, some may still be living with drywall that contains higher levels of dangerous chemicals contaminating the home air.
Numerous health problems have been reported from exposure to the contaminated drywall including: an increase in asthma attacks and allergy symptoms, excessive coughing, headaches and other respiratory ailments. Much of the drywall imported from China during this timeframe contains higher levels of gypsum contaminated with metals and minerals, particularly sulfur and strontium. This results in a higher release of hydrogen sulfide, strontium sulfide, carbonyl sulfide and carbon disulfides.
These sulfides will often react with the copper wiring and piping inside of your home turning it black and leaving behind a soot like coating. If you recognize this happening to the copper wiring and piping in your home this could serve as a warning indicator that your home does contain the contaminated drywall. The copper’s corrosion may also cause electrical problems or problems with air conditioning coils.
The government has recommended ASTM Standard Test Method D5504-08 as the accepted method for detecting contaminated drywall. While it is not a Center for Disease Control approved method of testing, a Home Air Check VOC test can be used as a non-invasive indicator for Chinese drywall since it can detect the carbonyl sulfide and carbon disulfides Chinese drywall emits. We only recommend this type of testing if you are suffering from the symptoms outlined above without another explanation.
If you suspect your drywall may be making you ill, you should consider contacting a professional to help determine if you have contaminated Chinese drywall. Regardless of your home air concerns ,purchasing a Home Air Test to determine the general air quality of your home and to provide peace of mind that the air you and your family breathe every day is safe is never a bad idea.
If you can’t afford complete remediation and drywall removal, there are other measures that can be taken to improve your home air quality and to reduce the levels of these indoor air contaminants. Running a dehumidifier and increasing ventilation will improve your overall air quality and provide symptomatic relief.