03/24/09 9:24am

CHINESE DRYWALL AND THE SMELL TEST The first government report on Chinese drywall is out . . . sort of: “On Monday, Florida’s health department said preliminary tests show there’s no ‘specific’ health hazard associated with the sulfur-based gases coming from the drywall, but the agency is conducting additional tests. ‘It’s not that we are saying it’s safe,’ Florida toxicologist David Krause told reporters on a conference call on Monday. ‘We are moving forward on a much more detailed in-depth’ study. The test results released by the state health department on Monday did make one, definitive conclusion: Chinese-made drywall contained strontium sulfide, a material that’s known to have the odor of hydrogen sulfide in moist air. The U.S-made drywall did not contain this material. The most common evidence of Chinese drywall problems is the corrosion of air conditional equipment, which is turning black and failing repeatedly. Homeowners have also complained about respiratory problems they believe are connected to the drywall.” [Developments]