New homes in 23 states have been suffering the effects of tainted Chinese drywall, which flooded the U.S. market after the hurricanes of 2005 contributed to a shortage of domestically-produced drywall. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is spearheading an investigation into the problem, estimates that 6.2 million sheets of the tainted drywall were imported into the U.S. At least three dozen home builders are involved, and an estimated 20 U.S., Chinese, and German companies were involved in its manufacture, including Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. Ltd and other Knauf companies. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission sent a team of scientists and compliance officials to China in August to investigate gypsum mines such as the Luneng mine in Shandong province to help get to the bottom of the cause of the tainted drywall. Homes with tainted Chinese drywall have a rotten egg smell, and metal and mechanical systems such as air conditioners have corroded and ceased to function in some homes. See How Can I Tell if I Have Chinese Drywall? Occupants of affected homes complain of respiratory and skin problems, and pregnant women are advised to vacate their homes to protect their unborn babies. See Can Chinese Drywall Affect My Health? It is believed that high levels of sulfur-compound gases being released from the drywall are to blame for the problems.
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