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Feds: “Strong association” between Chinese drywall and corrosion, sulfuric gases

MANATEE — Federal officials said today they have found “a strong association” between contaminated Chinese drywall and reports of sulfuric gases and metal corrosion in homes.

Results of tests done on indoor-air samples collected from homes with Chinese drywall showed higher levels of hydrogen sulfide, and caused accelerated metal corrosion, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

“We have found a strong association between problem drywall in homes and elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide and corrosion of metal in those homes,” commission spokesman Scott Wolfson said during a conference call with reporters.

But federal officials said the contaminated drywall might not be solely responsible for homeowner reports of corroded air-conditioning coils and “rotten eggs” odors, which some have blamed for causing various health problems. The hydrogen sulfide could be interacting with formaldehyde or other chemicals, officials said.

But the “strong association” finding means federal investigators now can start developing ways to identify homes with the contaminated product and protocols for remediating them, they said.

“We now have the science that enables the (drywall) task force to move ahead to the next phase – to develop both a screening process and effective remediation methods,” Commission Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said in a statement. “Ongoing studies will examine health and safety effects, but we are now ready to get to work fixing this problem.”

Read Tuesday’s Bradenton/Lakewood Ranch Herald for the complete story.