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Chinese Drywall: Can it really make you sick?

POSTED: Friday, April 24, 2009 - 8:27pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 11:03am

TYLER - Back when the housing market was booming in Florida and Texas, just a few years ago, American drywall was hard to come by, so a lot was shipped in from China.

Now that Chinese drywall is causing problems for people's copper wiring and possibly their health.

We found out about a week ago that Chinese drywall contained something that is corroding copper pipes and wiring, and possibly causing people to get sick.

Here's the difference between American and Chinese drywall that could be causing these problems.

Both are made from fly ash from coal plants.

However, drywall made in the U.S. has purified fly ash, while Chinese drywall has non-purified fly-ash.

Experts say there are sulfur-based chemicals in there that are known to smell like rotten eggs, corrode copper and other metals, and possibly cause health problems.

"It smells like rotten eggs and it's got sulphur compounds in it, we know that it turns copper pipe black, but we don't have any definitive information on what it does to people's health," Dr. Larry Lowry says.

Dr. Lowry has received one call from someone in Texas concerned because their house has Chinese drywall.

One local builder explains that people in warmer clients will be more affected by the drywall because the warm, humid air will make the rotten egg smell more apparent.

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