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Feds link toxic Chinese drywall to corrosion in homes

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Federal officials have found a “strong association” between toxic Chinese drywall and corrosion of electrical systems in homes, according to The New York Times.

The conclusion is one of the few public statements from the federal government that the drywall is at fault for problems in thousands of homes.

The toxic drywall issue is important to many Hampton Roads homeowners, where toxic drywall has forced countless people from their homes.

My colleague John Cooper wrote recently about a number of area homeowners who traveled to Richmond to lobby lawmakers and regulators on the issue.

“The real suspect can now be confirmed,” Jack McCarthy, president of Environmental Health & Engineering, told The Times. His company studied 51 homes for the government. “There’s a strong association with the drywall and hydrogen sulfide and the corrosion that we see in these homes. Temperature, humidity and air exchange rates are contributing factors.”

Homeowners in the South are most at risk, the study found. High temperatures, high humidity, and confined air circulation in well-insulated air-conditioned homes all bring the toxic hydrogen sulfide out of the drywall.

The finding comes from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the agency that has been the locus of complaints from homeowners. More than 2,000 homeowners have complained to the federal government about the drywall.

The commission declined to link the toxic drywall to the health problems that many homeowners have suffered. However, it is studying how to get homeowners financial aid. It has also asked the Internal Revenue Service to permit deductions of drywall-replacement costs as a casualty loss.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.

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