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Louisiana Residents Urged to Register Chinese Drywall Complaints

Dec 8, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

Chinese drywall victims in Louisiana are being asked to contact a new state hotline to report problems with the defective wallboard.  According to Nola.com, information gathered via the Chinese drywall hotline will be used to help the state press its case for federal aid.

So far, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has received 2,276 reports from residents in 32 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico concerning Chinese drywall. After Florida, Louisiana is second among states with the most Chinese drywall complaints.  Many homes in Louisiana that were rebuilt after hurricanes Katrina and Rita contain Chinese-made wallboard.

Gases emitted from Chinese 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. People living with Chinese drywall have also suffered eye, respiratory and sinus problems that may be linked to the gases.

Tests recently released by the CPSC of 51 homes confirmed that the presence of hydrogen sulfide is the essential component that causes copper and silver sulfide corrosion found in Chinese drywall homes.

According to Nola.com, the CPSC has asked the 32 states where drywall problems have been reported to submit official counts by December 14.  The Louisiana Recovery Authority has set up the new Chinese drywall hotline in order to come up with the state's true tally.

Paul Rainwater, executive director of the Recovery Authority, told Nola.com that the 415 Louisiana complaints currently logged with the CPSC falls far short of the actual number of homes containing the materials, and that the true number is likely in the thousands.  Once a true count is established,  the state will use the number to  "make the case for direct federal aid to homeowners., including the possibility of using existing disaster programs for temporary housing and rebuilding assistance," Rainwater said.

People in Louisiana can register their drywall complaints online at www.lra.louisiana.gov/drywallform or by calling 1.866.684.1713 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday ,  8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  According to Nola.com, residents experiencing problems with Chinese drywall should register regardless of whether they were a Road Home Program applicant or whether they have already called the CPSC.




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