Chinese Drywall now reported in 38 states

The Florida Department of Health has just posted a new update and Chinese Drywall is now in 38 states. Texas and California are moving up in the number of reports. The most reports are still coming in from Florida and Lousiana with other Southeastern states following behind. The Northeast is not immune…every State except New Hampshire has reported cases now.

Here are a couple of facts you all whould be aware of:

  • Not all Chinese labeled drywall off gasses corrosively
  • We are finding American labeled drywall that is off gassing
  • Scientists still do not have a definitive answer on why drywall is offgassing
  • There is no remediation protocol as of yet
  • We are finding a lot of blended homes that might only have a couple of sheets that are tainted but they are enough to cause mechanical and electrical issues for a house
  • We are finding it in commercial properties that have 1/2" drywall in them (yes…commercial builders do use 1/2" too)
  • We have seen it in 5/8" drywall
  • The best solution is not to tear down or walk away from the house… Please do not say that even lightly as it could be construed as “advice” coming from a home inspector


The Northwest Wall and Ceiling Bureau is a major player in the walls and ceilings industry. If there’d ever been Chinese drywall here, they’d have reported it long before now and would be involved up to their eyebrows in any investigation of CDW here.

I’ve personally spoken to the director at NWCB. There hasn’t been one single validated case of Chinese drywall in Washington State. Some whack job might have tried to claim there is, but there isn’t and never has been.

This state is a major producer of drywall and we never have had any shortages of drywall. Builders here never saw any shortages, even during Katrina and subsequent disasters.


Mike O’Handley, LHI
Your Inspector LLC.
Kenmore, Washington
Wa. Lic. Home Inspector #202

1 Like

Anybody see “Washington State” mentioned in Post #1? What part of “reported in 38 states” automatically includes Washington? I think O’Handjob just likes to use the word “poppycock”.

Hi Karen
Thanks for the information and first post.
I am sure many here will now do the research to follow up on what you said.

Most of us have good reading skills here that are actual members (Post#2) and know there are 50 states.

May I ask what led you to make this your first post?

In Louisiana, I don’t tell people to walk away from a house with contaminated Chinese drywall. I tell them to run! Insurance companies here drop you if you have it, and since there is no re mediation measures, who knows if you will ever be able to get insurance on the house in the future. If my client asks my opinion that is what they are going to get.

Bob and all:

Chinese or corrosive drywall is likely a problem we will all be dealing with, not just in the Southeast. In reference to Mike’s posting, a correspondent sent me a chart that shows at least four Washington state communities where someone has called in and reported it to the CPSC. This information is reflected in the map that shows Washington State with between 1 to 9 reports coming in which was produced by the Florida Department of Health and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Here is some additional information you all might find useful:

There are two types of recycled drywall:

  1. The first is when fly ash is picked up from smokestacks from plants burning fossil fuels. This is scrubbed and the result is calcium sulfate which is basically gypsum. This is considered an eco friendly product and used here in the States for many years. In fact it was a great solution for removing from the environment chemicals that combined with water which were causing “acid rain”
  2. The second is relatively new - it is recycling scraps of drywall from job sites back into a gypsum supply and then making “recycled” drywall.

We are not sure but we suspect that some of the drywall containing bad gypsum might have been put into the hopper and that is why some American labeled drywall has been found to off gas. There is also the possibility that unlabeled drywall was sold to American manufacturers and privately labeled. There is also the possibility that whatever is causing drywall to react corrosively could also be a result of other environmental factors. We simply do not know right now although there are “theories” out there.

For the record, corrosive gassing drywall has been found in houses as early as 2001 in Florida. This drywall was coming into the country due to shortages even before Katrina and the South Florida hurricanes between 2004 to 2006.

Why am I posting this? Because I saw the map the other day just released from the CPSC and since I have been corresponding with inspectors and contractors across the country, I decided to red flag it to you all.

I started writing and doing a series of seminars on this about a year ago because so much bad information has been published and it was causing more harm than good for concerned homeowners. My business partner and I are actually working on an informational program that will soon be available through NACHI.TV

Please post a link to your source. I can’t state “Karen Scott said…” in my reports.

A ploy by attorneys to get it to go nationwide.

Read in my local paper that FEMA has washed their hands concerning Imported Drywall and there will be no disaster relief forthcoming for those with contaminated homes.

Obama gives money away for every other cause under the sun, why not help all the poor people suffering the ill effects of chinese drywall as well :wink:

I have just returned from Parkland FL where I spent three days with various remediation contractors, builders, scientists and engineers testing removal methods for Chinese drywall (CDW) from a 5000 sf house. When I arrived the house had been tested for the presence of CDW 3 ways. First the original contractor listed the house as containing CDW. There was a visual inspection for corrosion of wiring AC coils etc. The final verification was use of Xray florescence. Supposedly this technique can identify the presence of CDW and actually pin point it to specific boards if used properly. All Drywall and fixtures were removed from the house. Anything that is going to be put back in the house was stored in containers off site. The house was ventilated and all surfaces were double HEPA vacuumed.
Generally, this is as far as most remediators go. The source of the problem has been removed - start with the put back of new drywall.
However, there have been reports of such remediation failing and the rotten egg smell coming back. Therefore additional steps were taken to assure that they got it right the first time.
First the inside of the house was heated. I am not a scientist, but one of the scientists present explained that porous material such as masonry block, wood or light weight concrete can trap vapor which is escaping from CDW. I cannot speak for the science, but there did not appear to be any odor when we were in the house, but there was a rotten egg odor after the heating process was underway. After 12 hours there was no residual odor and the process was deemed to be complete.
The remediator then began to re vacuum the house after which he intends to spray first an anti microbial product and then a chemical fog that contains particles which would bind with sulfur gas and render it inert. Again, I am not a scientist, I’m just reporting what went on.
The next step scheduled for next week is to use an air scrubber with a special accordion pre filter. The pre filter is impregnated with the same chemical mentioned above. As indoor air is pulled through the scrubber it passes through the pre filter. Any residual sulfur gas should then be captured. The accordion filter will be sent to a laboratory for analysis. If there are sulfur compounds found on the filter, the remediation will be deemed a do over. If there are no compounds the contractor will start reinstalling new drywall.
I liked that there may be a definitive non invasive test for CDW (the Xray florescence). I also like that there was a testing methodology to see if remediation was successful. Now if we could find someone to pay for all this…

Why do all the jerks show up on my threads? :-k

Troublemaker, don’t you know we’ll pay for their free healthcare to care for whatever ails them.

Hey, I was being sympathetic to ill begotten people and you call me a jerk. Guess I’ll go read the proposed health care screwing… ur ahh, I mean bill and see if people living in Chinese drywalled homes are covered. By the way, when did you change your name to Karen?

I have seen Chinese Drywall in a home with an ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) stamp. Has anyone else seen this? There were no signs of damage or out-gassing. This was my first time seeing this ASTM stamp. The whole house had this rock. I used a borescope to look inside the walls and sure enough I saw the ASTM stamping. I suggested to my client that even though there are no typical signs of toxic drywall that they should send out a sample for testing just to be sure. They declined. On the other hand, rock that didn’t have this stamping (ASTM) had all the signs of typical Chinese Drywall.

What method did you use to determine there was no damage?

In regards to ASTM the stamp, it was most likely bogus.

A Freudian slip, perhaps? :roll:

Universal health care is his plan… :mad:

A couple of things related to your comments above:

To Morgan’s comment - you are correct if the buyer is looking at a house with Chinese drywall then they need to be advised that there is currently no accepted remediation protocol although there are private enterprises working on it. There are people actively looking for these properties now and plan to sit on them.

The advice I mentioned has been given by inspectors to people actually living in houses and that could be a liability issue down the road if a reasonable fix is found and the homeowner has already moved out.

Also, when someone has gone to the time and trouble to find a house and are now at the point of inspections, they are likely to be very upset if they hear it is problematic. The seller will be also. You really need to know what you are looking for, especially in the houses that only have a couple of sheets of drywall that are bad.

To Gary’s comment – we are starting to see remediation. However, since we still do not know what is causing the off gassing, smart companies are doing what we call the “belt and suspenders” method of trying to cover for not only continued off gassing by particulate dust but also the possibility of bacterial presence. As you can imagine, this can get quite costly. Hopefully once the scientists make a “break through” and we have a better idea of what is causing the off gassing, remediation costs will come down as you will be able to treat or remediate more specifically.

Also, just because a sheet of drywall has elevated levels of strontium and sulfur does not mean it is off gassing. So even if you detect it in a house through the use of an XRF gun, that simply means it has strontium and sulfur. The best means of detecting the presence of corrosive drywall remains visual based on the impact to the mechanical and electrical components in the house. Smell is not always present either.

Joseph’s comment about FEMA – yes, FEMA has stated back to the State of Florida that they do not see this as an emergency based on a natural occurrence (hurricane, etc.). However some homeowners disagree with this position and I am sure there will be additional discussion.

Steven – on the ASTM comment, there are over 35 different brands of drywall mentioned through the Multi District Litigation courts and some of the markings are extremely creative. A couple of them do say ASTM. I believe one even says ASTM approved on the edge tape. My business partner knows a lot about this due to his work and I will ask him about it.

Joe – I liked your comment about “Karen Scott” said. Never worked with my kids either. Since I am new to the forum I was hesitant to post my information because I was not sure what policy was. I have subsequently noticed that you all do.

So here is a little about me – I am a commercial construction and development consultant with over 30 years of experience in commercial real estate marketing, management, operations and construction.

Karen M. Scott, CDP, SCMD

Joe claimed this was his thread when in fact Karen Scott started it. So the answer to you question would be no Freudian slip committed on my part.