Many homeowners in the United States have been suffering for years from contaminated Chinese home improvement products.
[Reposted from the Made In USA Foundation Newsletter | March 2015]
Defective drywall was manufactured in China and imported to the United States starting in 2001. Laboratory tests of samples for volatile chemicals identified emissions of the sulfurous gases carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide and hydrogen sulfide. These emissions, which have the odor of rotten eggs, worsen as temperature and humidity rise and cause copper surfaces to turn black and powdery, a chemical process indicative of reaction with hydrogen sulfide. Copper pipes, wiring, and air conditioner coils were affected, as well as silver jewelry. Homeowners reported a variety of symptoms, including respiratory problems such as asthma attacks, chronic coughing and difficulty breathing, as well as chronic headaches and sinus issues. A class action suit was filed and, 14 years after the problem began, the case was finally settled. The settlement of just under $1 billion was recently announced involving Chinese defendant, Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin. However, many homeowners lost their homes as a result because they couldn’t sell them and suffered severe health problems.
Chinese products are cheap for many reasons. Among them are shortcuts taken by manufacturers who blatantly violate U.S. health and safety laws.