May 6, 2014 — The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published a report confirming what thousands of homeowners already know: Chinese drywall, which was installed in about 11,000 new homes in the mid-2000s, can cause a wide range of health problems.
Health problems linked to Chinese drywall include headaches, fatigue, breathing problems, asthma attacks, nosebleeds, and irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat. The problems were first reported in early 2008 by homeowners in Florida, many of whom purchased new homes or repair homes with Chinese drywall following a construction boom and hurricanes in 2004-2005.
According to the CDC, samples taken of Chinese drywall that was manufactured between 2005-2006 are a “public health concern.” Investigators concluded:
“Exposure to the estimated contaminant concentrations could diminish a resident’s quality of life by triggering irritant (eye, nose, and throat) and physical (respiratory, gastrointestinal) symptoms, leading to negative mood states, and altering daily activities.”
The conclusions of the CDC report cannot not be extrapolated to other homes built during this time. Instead, homeowners should follow this guide to determine if they have Chinese drywall. The home must have been built or repaired between 2001 and 2009, and a visual inspection must show blackening of metal components, such as air conditioner coils and wiring behind electrical outlets.