RICHMOND, Va., March 3, 2010 -- SanAir Technologies Laboratory, a Virginia-based national environmental testing company, has announced that it has begun analyzing drywall samples to see if they are part of problem’s associated with Chinese-made drywall imported during the home-building boom of the late 90s and 2000s.
During the boom, a number of U.S. homebuilding companies turned to drywall exports from China when demand began to outstrip domestic drywall supply.
The result was that some Chinese drywall apparently deteriorated – especially in high-humidity environments -- allegedly causing corrosion and the emission of higher-than-normal levels of various sulfide gases.
The problem is that the gas emissions, which can cause the rotten-egg smell in homes, apparently combine with formaldehyde, a common component in new home construction (although in very small amounts), to cause what some homeowners say are health hazards.
“Our addition of drywall analysis” said Sean McGlynn, SanAir’s president, “reflects our rapid response to needs of the multiple industries we serve nationwide. And because the problems associated with certain drywall imports have gained the attention of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control, we believe this service is in the best interests of many of our clients.”
The two federal agencies are continuing to study the alleged problems with Chinese drywall and its possible effects on human health and the environment.
The Associated Press reported last November that more than 500 million pounds of Chinese gypsum board were imported to the U.S. between 2004 and 2008. That was enough to have potentially affected tens of thousands of homes. The AP said the problem was concentrated in the Southeastern United States.
McGlynn said the company’s work focuses on identifying pathogens in public venues such as hospitals, shopping malls, schools and office buildings. Its primary clientele includes large conglomerates, environmental hygienists, developers, government agencies and restoration and remediation contractors.
Founded in 2003, SanAir is a full-service laboratory offering analytical and consulting services specialized in asbestos, bacterial detection and identification, environmental microbiology, Legionella, and materials testing.