Chinese drywall problem has been exaggerated.

According to this gentleman.:roll:

Good luck suing the Chinese Government.

Many people, around my area, are calling me complaining of this and want me to document it. This, even though there was never any of this stuff installed in this area.

I even have a little chemical reaction kit to check for the presence of the gas, but I never found it.

I charge $375 for such an evaluation, and get paid right there. The test and report always come back negative.

Then, the client complains and some have asked me to fake the report (I never have and never will, BTW).

I have never done this and I always inform the “clients” that chinese drywall has never been reported in this area.

So, I have made some pretty good money on this scam.

FYI: The Chicago area is noted for this. A public transportation bus crash is reported and some 300 people show up at the local hospital.

Go figure.

There are a lot of homeowners who would like to wish what was happening to them was grossly over exaggerated. All we have right now to even begin to understand the problem are calculations extrapolated from shipping records from one year, 2006, that lead us to believe that 36,000 homes in Florida and 100,000 homes nationally could be impacted. We typically find four different manufacturers of drywall in one single family home, some reactive and some not. Add to that the facts that some of the Chinese drywall is not reactive and some American labeled board is, and you can see the confusion that starts to take place.
That being said, I thought the gentleman’s comments from Chicago interesting.
First, the most efficient way to check for Chinese drywall is visual screening. From there you step to expensive air chamber and material analysis testing. If someone is using a gas test in a home, then I would be highly concerned for them. Even the research scientists have a tough time with this because what is off gassed by corrosive drywall is not consistent and hydrogen sulfide itself is volatile and hard to capture. That is why the Florida Department of Health, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Florida Attorney General’s office recommend visual screening for the effects of corrosive drywall.
Also, heads up, there was a suspected case of Chinese drywall reported in Chicago to the Consumer Product Safety Commission prior to the end of January, 2009.
Finally, his comments about being called in and asked to certify for it even if not present is a sad comment on the economy. Many people are looking for ways to cash in on lawsuits or looking for ways to get out of their over-leveraged house. The other factor might not be financial; it could simply be allergies and the assumption that they must have Chinese drywall when it could be other household factors. We see that in the Southeast also.
It would appear that our friend from Illinois is a good person; otherwise he would not be so upset about the people wanting him to fake his results. However, his inspection protocol is doubtful unless he is doing a full visual screening. If he has doubts after that, then he should be sending samples to a reputable lab experienced in testing for reactive sheetrock and he should be using a “chain of custody” documentation process.
Nachi.TV is offering a training program on how to visually inspect for Chinese drywall based on the above mentioned recommended guidelines with the added bonus of being taught by an inspector who has now done over 1,200 inspections for it. I teach the “Facts and Fears” part – one of the reasons why I do that is to help homeowners by making sure the professionals they call in are fully up to speed themselves.

Karen Scott

He said just wipe it off, and its good as new! Hell, I am going to buy some rags, some bottles of brasso and Get to work!!!


U.S. Department of Housing
and Urban Development
Shaun Donovan, Secretary
Office of Public Affairs,
Washington, DC 20410 U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission
4330 East West Highway
Bethesda, MD 20814

HUD No. 10-068
HUD Contact: Shantae Goodloe, (202) 708-0685 (202) 708-0685
CPSC Media Contact: Patty Davis, (301) 504-7908 (301) 504-7908
Friday, April 2, 2010

HUD and CPSC Issue Guidance on Repairing Homes With Problem Drywall
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today issued interim remediation guidance to help homeowners struggling to rid their properties of problem drywall linked to corrosion of metal in their homes such as electrical components.

Earlier this year, HUD and CPSC issued a protocol to help identify problem drywall in the home. Today’s interim remediation guidance is being released in recognition that many homeowners want to begin remediating their homes and offers a next step to homeowners whose homes have been determined to have problem drywall.

“This guidance, based on the CPSC’s ongoing scientific research, is critical to ensuring that homeowners and contractors have confidence that they are making the appropriate repairs to rid their homes of problem drywall,” said Jon Gant, Director of HUD’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control. “The remediation guidance issued today is the latest step in an ongoing process that the Intergovernmental Task Force on Problem Drywall has undertaken to address this problem directly. We will continue to work with our Congressional, State and local partners as they seek policy solutions based on our guidance and the CPSC’s scientific findings.”

Based on scientific study of the problem to date, HUD and CPSC recommend consumers remove all possible problem drywall from their homes, and replace electrical components and wiring, gas service piping, fire suppression sprinkler systems, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. Taking these steps should help eliminate both the source of the problem drywall and corrosion-damaged components that might cause a safety problem in the home. To view a full text of the remediation guidance, visit the federal Drywall Information Center website (PDF).

“Our investigations now show a clear path forward,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “We have shared with affected families that hydrogen sulfide is causing the corrosion. Based on the scientific work to date, removing the problem drywall is the best solution currently available to homeowners. Our scientific investigation now provides a strong foundation for Congress as they consider their policy options and explore relief for affected homeowners.”

This interim remediation protocol is being released before all ongoing scientific studies on problem drywall are completed so that homeowners can begin remediating their homes. CPSC will continue to release its scientific studies as they are completed.

Completed studies show a connection between certain Chinese drywall and corrosion in homes. CPSC is continuing to look at long term health and safety implications.

CPSC is releasing a staff report (PDF) on preliminary data from a study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) that measured chemical emissions from samples of drywall obtained as part of the federal investigation for CPSC.

The top ten reactive sulfur-emitting drywall samples were all produced in China. Certain Chinese samples had emission rates of hydrogen sulfide 100 times greater than non-Chinese drywall samples. The patterns of reactive sulfur compounds emitted from drywall samples show a clear distinction between the certain Chinese drywall samples manufactured in 2005/2006 and non-Chinese drywall samples. Some Chinese drywall samples were similar to non-Chinese samples. Finally, several Chinese samples manufactured in 2009 demonstrate a marked decrease in sulfur emissions as compared to the 2005/2006 Chinese samples.

CPSC is also releasing a study (PDF) by its contractor, Environmental Health & Engineering Inc., that tested whether sulfur-reducing bacteria are present in Chinese drywall. Eight out of ten drywall samples tested showed no bacterial growth including Chinese samples that emitted high levels of hydrogen sulfide in the LBNL study. One sample of Chinese drywall and one sample of U.S. drywall showed very low levels of sulfur-reducing bacterial growth.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns consumers to exercise caution in hiring contractors who claim to be experts in testing for and removing problem drywall. In a December 2009 Consumer Alert, the FTC recommends that homeowners confirm a contractor’s references, qualifications and background before agreeing to hire them.

Also in December, HUD announced to cities, counties and states that the funds they receive from HUD’s Community Development Block Grant program may be a resource to help local communities combat the problem drywall. These Block Grant funds are given to communities which decide how to spend them, within the requirements of the law that set up the grant program. Homeowners should contact their city or county to see if they have programs that can help.

In addition, HUD has encouraged its FHA mortgage lenders nationwide to consider extending temporary relief to allow families experiencing problems paying their mortgages because of problem drywall, to allow the homeowner time to repair their homes. Families with FHA-insured loans should contact their mortgage lenders directly. HUD also is encouraging non-FHA lenders to give affected families the same consideration.

To date, the Intergovernmental Task Force on Problem Drywall, which includes CPSC, HUD, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has released the following information on problem drywall:

August 2009 – Testing conducted by federal and state agency radiation laboratories, which found no radiation safety risk to families in homes built with drywall.

October 2009 – CPSC investigated every 2009 import with a possible connection to imported Chinese drywall and confirmed that no new gypsum drywall was imported from the beginning of 2009. CPSC staff set up mechanisms to detect any possible future imports and has continued to investigate any and all suspected drywall imports. CPSC sent notices to the warehouses where any remaining Chinese drywall is stored informing them of CPSC’s ongoing investigation and informing them that the warehouses should notify CPSC if they sell, transport, or dispose of any drywall from their inventory.

October 2009 – Initial results on three studies of Chinese and non-Chinese drywall:

Elemental and chemical tests on drywall found the presence of elemental sulfur in Chinese drywall but not in non-Chinese drywall. The tests also showed higher concentrations of strontium in Chinese drywall than in non-Chinese drywall.
Chamber studies showed that Chinese drywall emits volatile sulfur compounds at a higher rate than U.S. made drywall. The study found that sulfur gases were either not present or were present in only limited or occasional concentrations inside the homes, and only when outdoor levels of sulfur compounds in the air were elevated.

November 2009 – Results of CPSC’s 51-home study which shows a strong association between homes with problem drywall, the levels of hydrogen sulfide in those homes and corrosion of metals in those homes. In addition, CPSC’s General Counsel provided guidance to Congress and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the possible applicability of the casualty loss provision in the Internal Revenue Code for affected homeowners.

January 2010 – Interim Identification Protocol, prepared by HUD and CPSC, to help homeowners identify if they have problem drywall.

April 2010 – Interim Remediation Protocol, prepared by HUD and CPSC, CPSC staff report on drywall emissions by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and EHE bacteria study.
Homeowners who believe they may have problem drywall should immediately report to CPSC by calling 800-638-2772 800-638-2772 or visiting the Drywall Information Center. Deaf or hard of hearing individuals may access the phone number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 800-877-8339 .

HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 (800) 638-2772 or CPSC’s teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 (301) 595-7054 . To join a CPSC e-mail subscription list, please go to Consumers can obtain recall and general safety information by logging on to CPSC’s Web site at

Karen, we inspected a home this past week that had no visual symptoms and no odor. We conducted upwards of 60 samples and analyzed each of them with FTIR and XRF. All but the three samples in the garage were above the threshold on both tests and it wasn’t debatable. We had some samples that were 3-4 times the limits. In this situation, we were called in prior to our client purchasing the home, but relying on a visual inspection in this situation would be a bad idea.

Will the home ever experience corrosion? Maybe. Maybe not.

We also just finished sampling on a very large (10k sf) home. No visual symptoms either, but had 4 of the 6 a/c units fail at some point in the last 2 years. Called a mech engineer I know who does HVAC cooling/heating loads and designs systems for commercial buildings and he feels that it is likely that a home of this size would have an HVAC system that reflects what is installed in commercial buildings – higher air exchange and a system that is sized perfectly to allow for dehumidification during cooling seasons. This could drastically reduce the manifestation of visual symptoms.

Just my experiences from being on the ground and in these homes – I would never rely on a visual inspections. In fact, I turn down 10-12 requests per week for visual inspections because I don’t feel comfortable giving anyone the false sense of security that would come from a negative result of a visual inspection.

I inspected a home today with Knauf Natural and no other signs.

what did you mention in your report? what language did you use when the knuaf stamp was seen, but no symptoms otherwise?

I reported the facts, Found Knauf Natural wallboard. No symptoms of contamination or corrosion were noted. Knauf Natural is one that may not be problematic. I also warn them that the only way to know for sure is testing.

Yes, Go figure. Another guy from Chicago Crashed into our economy and millions have showed up at the local unemployment lines…:mrgreen: