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Project Experience: Chinese Drywall Syndrome

Subject Odorous Drywall - Chinese Drywall Syndrome
Odorous drywall- AKA Chinese Drywall Syndrome
Chinese Drywall”, also called odorous gypsum wallboard, is an emerging issue in the IAQ community. The material, which has been identified in new and remodeled homes in Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and reported elsewhere, has been determined to emit chemicals that cause characteristic sulfide odors, black discoloration of metal fixtures, electrical components, and domestic water piping, as well as black sulfide corrosion of HVAC components leading to failure. There are also reports of health effects associated with the material. The selection of the most appropriate analysis approach to determine the source or the sources of the sulfur-based odor in the sub-par drywall is still controversial. EMSL Analytical offers a panel of tests that covers a range of issues associated with the odorous drywall problems. The elemental analysis of the bulk drywall is performed to determine the concentration of impurities (such as iron, strontium, magnesium, phosphorus, chlorine) in a direct comparison with samples of domestically-produced drywall tested negative for all the problems associated with the “Chinese drywall” syndromes. The exact identity of the compounds formed by these elements is still under investigation; however, SEM/EDX analysis of selected impurities extracted from the odorous drywall revealed the presence of sulfur in association with Fe and Sr, indicating the presence of possible pyrite (FeS2) and strontium sulfide (SrS). These compounds could decompose in hot and humid conditions. SrS, for example, slowly releases H2S in moist air. It is speculated that the presence of these compounds in low concentrations as impurities is related to mined gypsum. X-ray Diffraction (XRD) is used to determine the crystalline components in the samples. Off-Gas Sampling by GC/MS is a method that directly addresses the odor associated with the problemSamples of the gases collected from wallboard samples in the laboratory via environmental chamber approach consistently showed elevated levels of carbon disulfide and carbonyl sulfide. Corrosion propensity of the odorous drywall is performed in simulated corrosion experiments performed in our laboratory using drywall that was tested positive for sulfur-containing gases. The simulated corrosion testing showed variable time-frames for developing the black copper corrosion process. In accelerated conditions, the advanced corrosion in the form of black films of copper sulfide developed on the surface of copper coupons in as fast as 13 days of exposure at 95% humidity and 98oF. In gentler exposure conditions, the corrosion was less advanced and it developed in 6-8 weeks of exposure. The microbiological analysis covers the approach where the sulfur odors may be produced when certain aerobic and anaerobic bacteria utilize certain molecules for growth. Therefore, endotoxin analysis for gram negative bacterial contamination and sulfur reducing and iron related bacterial tests are recommended.
Atlanta, GA (LAB 07) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-1Baton Rouge, LA (LAB 25) - NVLAP Lab Code 200375-0Beltsville, MD (LAB 19) - NVLAP Lab Code 200293-0Boston, MA (LAB 13) - NVLAP Lab Code 101147-0Buffalo, NY (LAB 14) - NVLAP Lab Code 200056-0Carle Place, NY (LAB 06) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-10Charlotte, NC (LAB 41) - NVLAP Lab Code 200841-0Chicago, IL (LAB 26) - NVLAP Lab Code 200399-0Cinnaminson, NJ (LAB List in Description) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-0Dallas, TX (LAB 11) - NVLAP Lab Code 600111-0Denver, CO (LAB 22) - NVLAP Lab Code 200828-0EMSL Canada - Calgary, AB (LAB 65) - NVLAP Lab Code 500100-0EMSL Canada - Edmonton, AB (LAB 50) - NVLAP Lab Code 600321-0EMSL Canada - Markham, ON (LAB 66) - NVLAP Lab Code 600317-0EMSL Canada - Montreal, QC (LAB 68) - NVLAP Lab Code 201052-0EMSL Canada - Ottawa, ON (LAB 67) - NVLAP Lab Code 201040-0EMSL Canada - Toronto, ON (LAB 55) - NVLAP Lab Code 200877-0EMSL Canada - Vancouver, BC (LAB 69) - NVLAP Lab Code 201068-0Fort Lauderdale, FL (LAB 56) - NVLAP Lab Code 500085-0Houston, TX (LAB 15) - NVLAP Lab Code 102106-0Huntington Beach, CA (LAB 33) - NVLAP Lab Code 101384-0Indianapolis, IN (LAB 16) - NVLAP Lab Code 200188-0Kernersville, NC (LAB 02) - NVLAP Lab Code 102104-0Las Vegas, NV (LAB 31) - NVLAP Lab Code 600140-0Long Island City, NY (LAB 03) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-9Meriden, CT (LAB 24) - NVLAP Lab Code 200700-0Miami, FL (LAB 17) - NVLAP Lab Code 200204-0Minneapolis, MN (LAB 35) - NVLAP Lab Code 200019-0Ontario, California (San Bernadino County / Inland Empire) (LAB 71) - NVLAP Lab Code 600239-0Orlando, FL (LAB 34) - NVLAP Lab Code 101151-0Phoenix, AZ (LAB 12) - NVLAP Lab Code 200811-0Piscataway, NJ (LAB 05) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-2Plymouth Meeting, PA (LAB 18) - NVLAP Lab Code 200699-0Raleigh, NC (LAB 29) - NVLAP Lab Code 200671-0Rochester, NY (LAB 53) - NVLAP Lab Code 600183-0San Diego, CA (LAB 43) - NVLAP Lab Code 200855-0San Leandro, CA (LAB 09) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-3Santa Clara, CA (LAB 47) - NVLAP Lab Code 600318-0Seattle, WA (LAB 51) - NVLAP Lab Code 200613-0South Pasadena, CA (LAB 32) - NVLAP Lab Code 200232-0South Portland, ME (LAB 62) - NVLAP Lab Code 500094-0St. Louis, MO (LAB 39) - NVLAP Lab Code 200742-0Syracuse, NY (LAB 73) - NVLAP Lab Code 600283-0Tampa, FL (LAB 93) - NVLAP Lab Code 600215-0
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