As if the problems with the foul smell coming from Chinese drywall is not enough to drive some Florida residents from their homes, now we learn that the state Fire Marshal’s Office and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are testing to see if the toxic drywall contributes to fires, based on a story. The source of two fires is in question and tests are underway by the state. We already know that as a defective product in Florida, the odorous drywall corrodes electrical wires and air conditioner coils.
The CPSC has received 608 incidents reports from 21 states about the Chinese drywall, most of the complaints coming from Florida, Louisiana and Virginia as we now find out in a CPSC status report on Chinese drywall in this country.
It finds that some of the drywall was made with a radioactive phosphorus substance-phosphogypsum-that is banned for use in construction in the U.S. and the health risks of phosphogypsum are uncertain. The analysis of content should be completed by the Environmental Protection Agency by August 21.
CPSC staff is currently pressing for approval to visit China, including specific mines and manufacturers.
The CPSC has asked China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine for a list of all drywall producers that used the LuNeng mine, which is located in the ShanDong province.
It has been confirmed that 5,503,694 sheets of Chinese drywall were imported into the U.S. in 2006. It’s possible there were even more shipments than that. If you believe you home may have been built with defective drywall from China, your best bet is to hire a skilled Jacksonville product liability attorney who can help you keep track of the litigation that is underway. Lawsuits have been transferred to federal court in New Orleans.
Some builders have plans to address the problems. WCI Communities Inc. says it built at least 200 homes, many in Florida using what appears to be defective drywall from China. WCI is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to deal with about $40 million in claims through a trust it has set up to help homeowners, all part of the company’s reorganization plan. Another homebuilder, Lennar Corp. has set aside nearly $40 million for remediation in about 400 Florida homes it built.
Despite the hassle of having all of the drywall torn down from your home, residents should be most concerned about the potential health effects and monitor that most closely if they choose to stay in the house while this is resolved.
For more information regarding personal injuries sustained from Chinese drywall, contact Farah and Farah today.