Mold, one type of fungus, is different from plants, animals and bacteria. Molds are eukaryotic micro-organisms that are decomposers of dead organic material such as leaves, wood and plants.
The drywall in question was imported from foreign sources, especially China and some of the material contains excessive amounts of sulfur and sulfur related compounds. Sources of the contaminated drywall material have been shown to be the mining of high sulfur content gypsum mineral from the ground.
Now, under certain indoor environmental conditions, the contaminants imbedded in the imported drywall, in the form of sulfur dioxide (SO2,), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide, strontium sulfide and other compounds, migrate from the drywall into the indoor air. When the sulfur laden air comes in contact with the moisture located on the air conditioning coils and other metal components, an acidic solution formulates that blackens (copper sulfide) and deteriorates the coil components. The copper tubing and joint solder then fail, release the refrigerant and the coils have to be re-charged or replaced. In addition, copper wiring, copper piping and copper associated with refrigerators, other plumbing and water tanks inside of some homes are corroding along with mirrors, jewelry and sink fixtures (i.e. faucets, valves, drains) blackening and pitting. Various electronic equipment such as computers, microwave ovens, refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, washer/dryers, DVD players, cable boxes, circuit boards, even light bulbs, along with any equipment that has circuitry or metal components are failing too.
Reported exposure symptoms include irritated eyes and throats, coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, bloody noses and other symptoms similar to bronchitis and asthma.
If you have the tainted and corrosive drywall in your home, it is recommended that you "air out" the home often.
Due to the sometimes random nature of installation and the varying degree of contaminants between boards, conditions can vary greatly from home to home.
If you can view the backside of your drywall by going into your attic, or get behind a wall somewhere (remove outlet covers, pocket door opening or possibly a medicine cabinet removal), look for the markings “China”, "Made in China", “KNAUF-TIANJIN”, or "4feetx12feetx1/2inch DrYwall", which are manufacturers identification markings of types of drywall known to contain the elevated concentrations of the sulfur compounds.
As part of the KNAUF Settlement Agreement released in December 2011, a Drywall Indicia Guide was included that also contains numerous photographs and explanations of the various reactive, Chinese drywall manufacturer markings, along with other non-reactive drywalls.
If you can detect a sulfur or "burnt match" - "firecracker" odor indoors, or if you have experienced problems with your air conditioning system such as coil blackening, failure and replacement, had a home constructed, or drywall replaced, during the time frame in question, or have concerns regarding the indoor air quality in your residence, Intuitive Environmental Solutions can assist you.
The following photographs are of the KNAUF Plasterboard Tianjin (KPT) drywall and other Tainted & Corrosive, Chinese manufactured and imported varieties, showing the manufacturers markings on types of the Tainted & Corrosive drywall that are responsible for off-gassing of sulfur related compounds!
A variety of imported Chinese drywall called "Taishan" that is known for off-gassing of elevated sulfur compounds and damaging metal components contains the small print, limited marking: "4feetx12feetx1/2inch DrYwall". There are several variations of this marking.
"KNAUF-TIANJIN CHINA" board on the lower four feet of a wall with a US made board above
The yellow, blue and white paper end label of one of the
"MADE IN CHINA" boards states "ProWall"
This Taishan drywall that is found in homes has caused some of the worst chrome fixture pitting and strong, pungent sulfur odor.
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A "ProWall" board containing the wording "Made In China"
The full phrase is "MADE IN CHINA MEETS
(OR EXCEEDS) ASTM C1396 04 STANDARD"
The telltale yellow and blue paper end label on the
KNAUF-TIANJIN board ends
Intuitive Environmental Solutions, LLC (IES) is an environmental consulting and inspection firm specializing in Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and microbial (mold) contamination issues. IES was established to provide inspection and consulting services to municipalities, educational entities, the health service industry, and commercial and residential markets of Lee County in Southwest Florida, including Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Sanibel, Captiva, Bonita Springs and other communities.
The staff of IES over the years has performed over one thousand Microbiological and Indoor Air Quality investigations along with the analysis and identification of microorganisms in numerous environmental laboratories.
An environmental dilemma emerged here in Florida and elsewhere in the US and it involves drywall that was imported from overseas during the building materials shortage of the construction boom in conjunction with the hurricane seasons of 2004 through 2007.
There are even some tainted and corrosive Chinese boards that date back to homes constructed in 2000 - 2002.