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CDC confirms health issues connected to Chinese drywall

Posted at 5:36 PM, May 05, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-05 17:36:00-04

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. -- For the first time, the federal government confirms that tainted drywall can cause home and health problems, according to a long-awaited report by the Centers for Disease Control. It means vindication for some Suncoast homeowners who are trying to get the issue fixed or get their money back for repairs.

It's believed upwards of 60 homes in one Venice neighborhood had symptoms associated with Chinese drywall. The new report even suggests some American products may be causing corrosive issues and people to get sick.

The report states: "exposure to 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."

"I am afraid to be in my home." It’s something we've heard over and over the past few years with few answers. "Nobody is there to help us. This is pure corporate greed."

The new report found the biggest problems were in Chinese drywall manufactured in 2005 and 2006. Gases from the material inside is causing the health and home problems. "The circuit boards and thermostats have all gone."

It's an issue some are still living with. Many might not even know it. The report also indicates that "not all of the homes contain drywall manufactured in China. Some problem homes contain drywall manufactured in North America and some have drywall with no indication of origin."

"This isn't Chinese. This is United States Gypsum.” North Port resident Charles Hummer has turned his home into a laboratory of tainted drywall, researching the effects and how it all came to be. He says his health and home problems are caused by drywall which doesn't have a foreign label.

He says you have to follow the money. "Knauf brought in all the Chinese drywall. Knauf also owns part of United States Gypsum. Knauf also owns part of National Gypsum. United States Gypsum also owns L&W Supply, which is doing business as Seacoast Supply."

That means there could be many more homes with just a few pieces of the tainted product. An investigation done in part by the Sarasota Herald Tribune found there was enough of the material imported to build at least 100,000 homes. Some believe that number could be much more. Many right here in our own back yard. "There are hundreds, thousands of buildings built in this whole area."

The odds of more of this material in our area is pretty good. The time period this product was out there was during the building boom and recovery of hurricanes along the Gulf Coast.