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Another VA City Bans Chinese Drywall

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Virginia Beach, Virginia has become the second community in that state to ban the use of  Chinese drywall with the past week. According to WAVY.com, the Virginia Beach Chinese drywall ban becomes effective today.

The uncertainty surrounding the Chinese drywall had already prompted the city of Norfolk, Virginia to ban the material last week.  The Virginia Beach ban passed unanimously in City Council last night.  According to WVEC.com, councilman Jim Wood said the new ban would be enforced on the honor system.  “Right now you’re not allowed to use a lot of substances in construction.  You can’t use lead based paint, you can’t use asbestos,” Wood said.  “So the city doesn’t go out and specifically inspect for that, but you know you’re not supposed to use it.”

According to the Virginian-Pilot, Wood also characterized the city’s ban on Chinese drywall as a “stopgap” measure put in place while federal regulators investigate the material’s hazards.  As we reported yesterday, a team from the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) is expected to arrive in Virginia in the next week or so to start testing homes with Chinese drywall.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the U.S. imported roughly 309 million square feet of drywall from China during the housing boom from 2004 to 2007. Virginia is just one of several states where homeowners have complained about Chinese drywall that fills homes with a putrid, “rotten-eggs” odor, causes metals to corrode, and leads to sinus and respiratory problems in people living with the material.

Last week, the  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released results of tests it conducted that compared Chinese drywall to American-made material. The tests found sulfur and two organic compounds associated with acrylic paint in the Chinese drywall that were not present in the American wallboard.

During a Senate hearing last week, an official from the Centers for Disease Control testified that the symptoms reported by people living with Chinese drywall were similar to what is seen when sulfur compounds have contaminated industrial settings.  However, officials from the both the EPA and CPSC have said more study and testing is needed to determine the health hazards posed by Chinese drywall

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