; AFTER KATRINA: THE CHINESE DRYWALL DEBACLE
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AFTER KATRINA: THE CHINESE DRYWALL DEBACLE

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In the years after Hurricane Katrina's devastation in 2005, home owners in Louisiana, Florida and other flood-damaged states began the formidable process of rebuilding their houses. The first step was to dry out the structures, and to do that they had to rip everything out, including the drywall. Because American manufacturers were unable to meet the demand, many contractors used drywall imported from China. Eventually the work was completed, and people had their houses back once more. All was right with the world. Well, not exactly. First, air conditioners began to break down. The insides of the units began to corrode, and no one knew why. Finally someone realized that there was a correlation between the breakdowns and a pollutant in the Chinese drywall. In Florida, where drywall complaints first surfaced, tests conducted by the state health department found that samples of Chinese drywall contained higher levels of sulfuric acid organic compounds than an American-made sample.

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