What areas have been most affected by Chinese drywall? Some regions of the United States are more at risk than others.
Residents of Florida, Louisiana and much of the Gulf Coast region have been hit hardest by the Chinese drywall problem, as have residents of Texas, California, Nevada, and many other states. High levels of humidity seem to make the problem worse, as sulfuric fumes are released from the drywall.
Lennar Homes, one of the largest home builders in the country, estimates that 40,000 to 50,000 of the homes they built from 2005 to 2007 contain the defective Chinese drywall, depressing an already strained real estate industry. Many families who bought homes in Lennar Homes developments have moved out, either at the expense of the home builder or on their own, while the defective drywall is removed from their homes. The Florida Health Department has received at least 230 complaints concerning Chinese drywall.
The Florida Attorney General’s office wants to pursue criminal charges related to the Chinese drywall problem. The Attorney General is investigating whether or not Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. Ltd. of China or L&W Supply Corp. engaged in deceptive sales and marketing practices.
Florida health officials are conducting an in-depth study on the effects of Chinese drywall contamination, though the testing may take months to complete. They have contacted health officials in several other states, including Louisiana, North Carolina, Alabama, and Washington, as homeowners in these states have reported the same problems as the homeowners in Florida.
Senator Bill Nelson of Florida and Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana have sponsored legislation that would recall and institute an immediate ban on some types of Chinese drywall. Senator Nelson stated that as many as 100,000 homes nationwide may contain the defective Chinese drywall. Senator Nelson has called for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to investigate the Chinese drywall problem. The CPSC began its investigation in February 2009.
Representative Vern Buchanan of Florida’s 13th Congressional District has also joined in the legislative battle against Chinese drywall. Rep. Buchanan has asked the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to launch an investigation into the Chinese drywall issues.
The defective drywall was shipped to two dozen ports across the United States, including New Orleans, New York, Texas, and California. Though Chinese drywall problems have been reported in Virginia and Alabama, hundreds of millions of pounds of Chinese drywall have been distributed around the country, so the potential exists for more and more states to begin seeing complaints.
Homeowners who have been affected by Chinese drywall are devastated. Many of them purchased what they believed to be their dream homes, only to learn that they would struggle with property damage and health problems for years to come. Many of these homeowners are unable to leave their homes, as no one wants to buy a house that contains defective Chinese drywall, and tough economic times make it impossible for many to move to a new home until they’ve sold their old home.