‘Limited options’ for homes with toxic drywall, says ProPublica’s Joaquin Sapien

In our report on Chinese-manufactured drywall, we visited homeowner Colleen Stephens, whose family was forced to abandon their home to avoid the sulfur gas emitted by the drywall. She joined a massive lawsuit with nearly 10,000 plaintiffs to demand legal remedy, but no court date has yet been set.

The company that made the drywall in the Stephens’ home has direct ties to the Chinese government and has not made any efforts to remediate any of the homes with its drywall. Alison Stewart spoke with ProPublica reporter Joaquin Sapien to find out more about the federal government’s involvement in the investigations and the options homeowners have if they find toxic drywall in their own homes.

Related:

Home sick: Living with Chinese drywall

Watch the rest of the segments from this episode.

 
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Comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1003056157 Colleen Stephens

    If you have Chinese Drywall(CDW) be sure to visit the Victims site at: http://www.victimschinesedrywall.com

    Discuss CDW issues with other Victims of CDW at: http://cdwvictims.webs.com/apps/forums/

    Thanks to PBS, Propublica and the Herald Tribune for realizing the importance of this disaster that has destroyed the health, homes and finances of thousands of American families over the last 2 years. Stop toxic imports! Protect American families! Buy Made in America!

  • Gene DeJoannis

    Houses built on ground that is high in Radon can be made safe with a fan-powered system to ventilate the basement. All very tightly built houses use a whole-house energy-recovery ventilator to provide fresh air without a big energy penalty to heat and cool it. Why not do a trial to install such a system in a China Drywall home to see if it will solve the problem. The fed gov labs should be testing this material to see why it out-gases and if it can be mitigated with modest ventilation.

  • Peacockbernice

    The houses have to be fixed by the companies that did not test the product or did not care what would happen to the house or people that would live in the house. I have one of these houses and I moved my son, myself and 2 dogs, 2 cats into an apt in Aug and we are still waiting. One of my cats died of some weird thing that 3 vets could not solve. We cannot move back until it is fixed and I do not want to lose my house. We all need to move on and stop wasting time and money avoiding the solution: fix the house! Let the construction crews get started!

  • Tmosleyfm

    I too have a home with toxic drywall. This was actually a rental investment home for my husband and I. After not knowing of the tainted drywall for 4 years, our tenants (with two children and a baby) told us of their suspicions and they had to move out. Meanwhile, our rental income came to a screeching halt and now we are loosing our homestead due to a great income deduction. We are fortunate however as we do not have to live in those dangerous conditions yet. Please, please someone help us all. I’m so sorry and scared for the people who have to live in those conditions! God bless

  • Mdlandolsons

    People need to be aware of the effects of living with this dry wall before dfamage is done to their small children!!

  • Sburkhart

    My husband and I had our retirement home built and moved in in Mar 2007. When we did the final walk thru with the builder, I mentioned the rotten egg smell and was told that the house was closed up and would dissipate in time and some of the bathroom fixture were pitted and were replaced. We later replaced shower heads and fixture a few more times among other items not thinking of CDW. We had our air conditioner checked out because the thermostat would read higher than what we had it set at. The A/C serviceman added freon and left. Again in summer of 2010 A/C was acting up again and we called a different A/C service company. He said we had a freon leak and by the looks of the A/C Coils we may have CDW. He also did us a favor and checked a few outlet and found them blacken. This is when we found out our home is contaminated, after living in the home for over 3 years. We have had some health issues that we did not have previous to occupying our home. Why does our government not tighten up imports from China. How many items that come from China have harmed or the potential to do harm to our children in toys, pets in their foods and in many items reported. Why is our government not coming to the aid to those of us affected? You will see, years down the road when the health consequences will appear.

  • fryj1234

    Congress is more loyal to China and their lobbyist then to American citizens. It’s time to throw the bums out again during 2012.

  • Interceptoroc

    Filter Interceptor System is a proven process for CDW. It is cost effective and comes with a lifetime warranty.

  • Interceptoroc

    The Filter Intercept System has been a success in homes from FL, TX, AL, LA and MS. There have been zero warranty calls. This technology has been available for years. No problem exists without an effective solution. Please visit us at http://www.filterscientificcoatings.com

  • http://twitter.com/Filtercoatings John Rider

    Excellent interview. Mrs. Brincku should contact Filter Scientific Coatings about her CDW home.

  • Aeropennielane

    To anyone who is not selling something:
    Thank you for your advice. I know you mean well. Some of us with toxic drywall are still forced to live in these houses. Believe me, we have tried MANY methods to put a band-aid on the situation. Adding a fan or painting a treatment on the walls to remedy toxic chemicals which are poisoning us and our children is like telling people in a nuclear fall-out zone to wear a breathing apparatus and go on with life.
    THE DRYWALL NEEDS TO BE REPLACED!

  • Aeropennielane

    To anyone who is not selling something:
    Thank you for your advice. I know you mean well. Some of us with toxic drywall are still forced to live in these houses. Believe me, we have tried MANY methods to put a band-aid on the situation. Adding a fan or painting a treatment on the walls to remedy toxic chemicals which are poisoning us and our children is like telling people in a nuclear fall-out zone to wear a breathing apparatus and go on with life.
    THE DRYWALL NEEDS TO BE REPLACED!

  • Interceptoroc

    Aeropennielane:
    Of course your frustration is warranted. I have been in hundreds and hundreds of homes and it is a horrible thing to be forced to live in a home with reactive drywall. I think everyone would agree that “in a perfect world” this would be remedied by someone in the supply, distribution or installation chain but that is not happening and IF anything ever does happen it will be a long time from now. Every home that we have treated with Interceptor (specifically designed for CDW) has a happy homeowner. Our process does not prevent you from being involved in the MDL; however it will absorb and neutralize the low level emissions from CDW, with a lifetime warranty. It is not a scam or “snake oil”. I would be happy to provide you then names and phone numbers of clients from Florida to Texas and let you speak to them personally about their experience with Filter Scientific Coatings and the condition of their home now, post treatment. We have been involved with this technology since since inception. We understand your desire to have all of the drywall removed and your home rebuilt but there is no need in waiting for the courts and attorneys to have your home back.

  • Jackfish281

    I enjoyed the special on CDW on the show Need to Know on PBS. However, you guys were way too nice to the CPSC. They are so worthless we should just eliminate them all together and let Public Citizen or CU do recall notices etc with volunteer Citizen Councils. It would be cheaper and there were be no illusion of protection or collusion with major corporations. They are clearly part of the problem and have nothing to do with any possible solution. They are completely worthless as shown by the fact that they meet with Knauf and Homebuilders dozens of times before they would ever talk to any actual victims. You want to know what is going on go to Florida Department of health website.

    Let me tell you something else I discovered this week. You know all the banks and mortgage companies we bailed out like BOA. They are now refusing forbearences etc and foreclosing like crazy on all these houses. I ahve been trying to determine why, when I builder explained it to me. They dont have to disclose anything in a foreclosure and subsequent sale even if they know home has CDW. So they are selling this houses and laughing all the way to, oooh they are the bank.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kurt-Matthew-Pfeiffer/1336276678 Kurt Matthew Pfeiffer

    I am getting ready to replace some of the drywall in my home that shows signs of mold, and was manufactured in China.  Having researched a number of service providers I am wondering if a company like http://www.mrquikhomeservices.com would be able to handle this?  They seem to do this type of work, just don’t know if I would need someone who specializes in mold mitigation and/or toxic materials?

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. People do need to be aware. We were shocked when found about this issue when our local HVAC contractor was called to the house to check air quality. We moved right away! Not sure if you have them in your area but i would try asking

    HVAC contractors