What is Chinese Drywall Problem?
What it is…
Drywall, also known as plasterboard is basically construction material used instead of lath and plaster, due to it being the speedier alternative. Usually used to make interior walls and ceilings, Drywall consists of a layer of gypsum plaster compressed between two thick sheets of paper.
Chinese drywall in particular refers to the environmental and health issue in the US that came about in 2001. Drywall imported from China from that point on, was found to be defective. Lab tests have identified emissions of the sulfurous gases like carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide, and hydrogen sulfide. Not only so these emissions smell horrendous, they worsen in the summers and when it’s humid. These emissions also affect copper surfaces, turning them black and powdery. Naturally the wiring goes haywire, so does the conditioning. There are also some health concerns that come with living so close to the emissions, like asthma attacks, chronic coughing and sinus issues.
Most complaints in the US have come from states in the Southeast, where a warm and humid climate seems to encourage the emissions. As for percentages, Florida has been dealt the worst of the problem, with more than half the complaints being logged from that estate alone, other prominently affected areas are Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, making up 86% of all the complains.
The problems being faced with the drywall from China are being attributed to pyrite oxidization. Comparisons between Chinese and locally made drywall show much higher levels of pyrite being used in the Chinese product. Another potential issue could be the use of fly ash in the drywall. Fly ash tends to break down in hot and humid conditions. While the United States also uses fly ash in their dry walls, the end product is much cleaner due to better processing.