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CDC: Chinese drywall not linked to deaths

MANATEE -- There is no link between corrosive imported drywall and the deaths of 11 people who lived in homes with the tainted building product, federal health officials said today.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said its review confirmed earlier findings that the deaths and drywall were not related.

The 11 people -- five each in Florida and Louisiana, and one in Virginia -- died “without exception,” the CDC said in the report released today.

They had “severe preexisting chronic health conditions unrelated to imported drywall exposure,” the report stated.

The drywall, mostly imported from China during the mid-2000’s building boom, releases sulfuric gases that have been blamed for causing runny noses, watery eyes, chronic coughs and other health ailments.

A toxicologist reviewed the Florida cases, which involved three men and two women who were between 60 and 86 years old at the time of death. Four were diagnosed with cancer, with two of them also having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The fifth person had Alzheimer’s and other chronic illnesses.

“The conclusion of the health official in all five cases was that no plausible evidence existed to link deaths with exposure to drywall,” the report said.

-- See Tuesday’s Bradenton Herald for a complete report on this breaking news.

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