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Chinese Drywall Toxic Issue in the US and Canada

So far nearly 36,000 Florida homes, some built as early as 2000 or 2001, have been effected by Chinese drywall.

Drywall is made from gypsum, which naturally contains sulfur compounds. If the drywall was exposed to humidity at sea, the process of evaporation that occurs as the drywall dries could be responsible for the odors coming from the material. According to a report on Environmental, the problems appear to be related to the presence of iron disulfide (FeS2 pyrite) in the material. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), carbonyl sulfide, sulfur dioxide (SO2), and carbon disulfide (CS2) are also suspected as culprits, the Web site said.

The possibility that the Chinese drywall is emitting hydrogen sulfide fumes is disturbing. Exposure to 50 parts per million of hydrogen sulfide for more than ten minutes can cause extreme irritation. Inhalation of 500 to 1,000 parts per million can cause unconsciousness and death through respiratory paralysis and asphyxiation, according to environmental experts.

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