Elevated corrosion rates and hydrogen sulfide in homes with 'Chinese Drywall'

Sci Total Environ. 2012 Jun 1;426:113-9. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.01.067. Epub 2012 Apr 21.


In December 2008, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) began receiving reports about odors, corrosion, and health concerns related to drywall originating from China. In response, a detailed environmental health and engineering evaluation was conducted of 41 complaint and 10 non-complaint homes in the Southeast U.S. Each home investigation included characterization of: 1) drywall composition; 2) indoor and outdoor air quality; 3) temperature, moisture, and building ventilation; and 4) copper and silver corrosion rates. Complaint homes had significantly higher hydrogen sulfide concentrations (mean 0.82 vs. <LOD μg/m(3), p<0.05), and significantly greater rates of copper sulfide and silver sulfide corrosion compared to non-complaint homes (Cu(2)S: 476 vs. <32 Å/30 d, p<0.01; Ag(2)S: 1472 vs. 389 Å/30 d, p<0.01). The abundance of carbonate and strontium in drywall was also elevated in complaint homes, and appears to be useful objective marker of problematic drywall in homes that meet other screening criteria (e.g., constructed or renovated in 2006-2007, reports of malodor and accelerated corrosion). This research provides empirical evidence of the direct association between homes constructed with 'Chinese Drywall' in 2006-2007 and elevated corrosion rates and hydrogen sulfide concentrations in indoor air.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / statistics & numerical data*
  • Construction Materials / analysis*
  • Construction Materials / statistics & numerical data
  • Corrosion
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Housing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Sulfide / analysis*
  • Southeastern United States


  • Air Pollutants
  • Hydrogen Sulfide