New homeowners in Florida, Louisiana and Virginia are being forced out of their homes because of toxic indoor air quality. The culprit -toxic drywall from China. Tests are revealing that the toxic drywall contains hydrogen sulfide and formaldehyde, both of which are incredibly harmful to your health. The toxins are also causing visible signs of corrosion throughout the homes – blackening copper pipes and wiring, causing appliances to fail, and filling the homes with the smell of rotten eggs. What’s worse, many of the homeowners are also horribly sick, with nosebleeds, sinus infections, respiratory problems and more. It’s nightmares like this situation that remind us how important it is to build with non-toxic and eco-friendly materials – not just for the environment, but for our health and sanity too!

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Many of these toxic homes were built between 2005 and 2007, which was after both Hurricane Katrina and Wilma and a housing boom that led to a shortage of building materials in the US. During that time, drywall was imported from China to help with the reconstruction. A recent study by Intuitive Environmental Solutions LLC in Florida, revealed that the homes with Chinese drywall contained high levels of hydrogen sulfide, which leads to corrosion of metals inside the home.

Over 2,100 reports from new homeowners about the drywall have been received by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. For many of these homeowners, it has become too toxic for them to even remain in their homes, forcing them to move out and rent somewhere else. No one will buy the toxic homes from them, and in many cases, insurance is not covering the damage and repairs. Officials are finally taking notice and getting involved to handle the situation. A group of CPSC representatives traveled to China a few weeks ago to further the investigation and determine how many homes and in which states are ultimately affected. Hopefully, the CPSC can come to the aid of the afflicted families and rehabilitate their homes.

But in the meantime, we must be even more diligent about utilizing non-toxic building materials in order to ensure a safe and healthy home. Check out EcoRock, a healthier and more sustainable drywall option made from 85% industrial by-products, which is also fully recyclable and uses 20% the energy that traditional drywall requires. And since drywall is the number three producer of greenhouse gases among building materials, more sustainable drywall will also help us reduce our carbon footprint.