For once I agree with Trevor Butterworth of Stats, who asks “where is the outrage?” when it comes to the question of why people are not getting worked up about the issue of Chinese drywall emitting hydrogen sulfide gas. But then he quotes another “eco-logic” blogger who writes:
As to the usual fear entrepreneurial “green” groups such as NRDC, EWG, and US-PIRG, since there is no evil American corporation to blame this on–thus not fitting their Marxist tendencies–they are silent, even though real health effects are being experienced by real people. Here lie exposed the true colors of the Greens, along with their usually supportive chemophobic federal agencies.
Of course that isn’t true at all, Knauf is one of the world’s largest building materials manufacturers and is eminently sue-able in America and Europe. And we know from the asbestos and urea-formaldehyde days that these things get fixed without bailouts.
And we certainly haven’t been ignoring it, having been covering it since January. Trevor might want to read:
Toxic Drywall Rotting Houses, Sickening Occupants in Florida
Update: Toxic Drywall Could Be All Over The Place
Chinese Drywall Update: Mainstream Media Takes Notice
Thousands of Homeowners Sick from Toxic Chinese Drywall
In November the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a report stating:
there was a strong association between the problem drywall, the hydrogen sulfide levels in homes with that drywall, and corrosion in those homes; (2) while hydrogen sulfide and formaldehyde concentrations were associated with corrosion, hydrogen sulfide was an essential component.
Hydrogen sulfide is corrosive, and according to Wikipedia “is considered a broad-spectrum poison, meaning that it can poison several different systems in the body, although the nervous system is most affected.” In lower concentrations it “can result in eye irritation, a sore throat and cough, nausea, shortness of breath, and fluid in the lungs. These symptoms usually go away in a few weeks. Long-term, low-level exposure may result in fatigue, loss of appetite, headaches, irritability, poor memory, and dizziness.”
The CDC report concludes:
Based on the scientific findings of the studies completed to date, particularly the fifty-one home report released today, the Interagency Task Force can begin a new phase by developing (1) a protocol to identify homes with corrosive drywall and (2) a process to address the corrosive drywall and its effects. The Task Force’s work will serve as a foundation upon which informed decisions can be based by homeowners and local, state and federal authorities
Sounds like a plan. Sounds like a complicated issue at the early stages. Sounds like if we were jumping up and down more, Trevor would be complaining that we are letting our emotions get ahead of the science, before there is any real scientific data.
But for him for his blogger buddy to complain that we are not jumping up and down enough because we are Marxists is a bit silly.
By Lloyd Alter, Treehugger, November 30, 2009.