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Chinese Drywall Raises Concerns in Newport News, VA Subdivision

Sep 15, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

Another Virginia subdivision, Hollymeade in Newport News, may have a Chinese drywall problem.   According to a report on WVEC.com, Chinese drywall has been confirmed c, and scores more will be inspected because of the discovery.

Last  week, the head of the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) said the agency  had received 1,192 incident reports about drywall from 24 states, including the District of Colombia. The majority of those reports have come from Florida, followed by Louisiana and Virginia.  Gases emitted from the drywall are being blamed for significant property damage, including damage to HVAC systems, smoke detectors, electrical wiring, metal plumbing components, and other household appliances. These gases also produce a sulfurous odor that permeates homes, and cause metals, including air conditioning coils and even jewelry, to corrode.

Earlier this summer, tests conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that Chinese-manufactured drywall contained elevated levels of strontium sulfide, as well as the presence of several organic compounds associated with the production of acrylic paint that were not present in samples of U.S.-made drywall.  Results from more testing that could shed light on the possible health risk posed by exposure drywall gases could be available in October.

Chinese drywall poured into the U.S. between 1999 and 2007 because of the high demand created by the housing boom. Imports accelerated when the rebuilding that followed Hurricane Charley in Florida in 2004, and Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast in 2005, created a drywall shortage. According to The Wall Street Journal, some 500 million pounds of Chinese drywall was imported to the U.S. during the housing boom. That means as many as 100,000 homes throughout the country could have been built with the material.

According to WVEC, 10 homeowners in Hollymeade are concerned that they may have a Chinese drywall problem.  The Virginia -Pilot is reporting that the builder of the subdivision, Atlantic Homes LLC, hired an affiliate of  Norfolk-based Venture Supply to hang drywall in the development's homes.  As we've reported previously, Venture Supply, which has since gone out of business, confirmed that it imported some drywall from China.

According to The Virginia-Pilot, Atlantic Homes has begun sending letters to homeowners in the subdivision informing them of the possible Chinese  drywall issue.  The firm has plans to inspect homes in the community to determine which, if any, have the wallboard.


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