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Results of Chinese Drywall Probes Due Next Month

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Anxious Chinese drywall homeowners are awaiting the results of investigations that should be released in  September.  The probes, conducted by federal regulators, are aimed at determining if Chinese drywall poses a health or safety hazard.

According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), most of the 810 Chinese drywall complaints it has received since last December have come from Florida (621). The state with the second highest count is Louisiana (105). Others have come from consumers in Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia.

According to The Wall Street Journal, some 500 million pounds of Chinese drywall was imported to the U.S. during the housing boom.  That means as many as 100,000 homes could have been built with the material.

The cost to remove and replace tainted drywall and corroded electrical wiring and appliances in an average size home runs around $100,000, the Journal said. Most homeowners simply don’t have that kind of money.

The CPSC and other agencies are investigating the Chinese drywall.  The results of some of those investigations are expected next month.  According to The Wall Street Journal, if a “substantial” electrical, fire or health hazard is found to exist, a recall could be issued.  But where exactly would that leave homeowners? Some are hoping the government will step in and offer assistance, while many others have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers and others they say are responsible for the drywall debacle.

One Florida couple told The Wall Street Journal that if the drywall is found to be dangerous, and there is no help forthcoming, they would be forced to choose between the health of their family and their financial well-being.  They fear they may have to walk away from their home to protect their family’s health – a move that would devastate their credit.

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