CPSC fuels debate of toxicity and damage of Chinese drywall

Positive news for those looking for a federal response and action behind the Chinese drywall matter emerged this weekend with a Consumers Product Safety Commission report with a very notable inclusion. As reported by Sarasota’s Herald Tribune, buried within a long, 500-page report on Chinese drywall is a possible health diagnosis for the problems homeowners with the toxic import have been experiencing.

The Herald Tribune notes

The report issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and other agencies posits that victims might be experiencing “neurogenic inflammation” brought on by the “trigeminal nerve,” which branches out behind the face and throat with exposed endings in the nose.

“Many of the symptoms described by occupants of affected homes coincide with those of trigeminal nerve sensory irritation,” the report states.

Chemicals like sulfur compounds, present in sufficient concentrations, can affect the nerve and trigger the inflammation. Symptoms include “sneezing, nasal stuffiness, rhinorrhea, eye irritation, headache, sinus congestion, cough, throat irritation, and wheezing,” the report states.

An important distinction is that the effects can be caused at lower chemical concentrations than what the government considers “toxic.”

That last part, that only minimal amounts of concentration can lead to adverse health problems is highly significant because it showcases that this is not a matter requiring a huge quantity or threshold for suffering. Instead, the chemicals that would cause such an effect need only be slight in concentration. This means there would be less for defendants to use, such as requiring an exorbitant amount to qualify for liability in possible litigation or for a finding of responsibility.

Altogether it is all hypothetical and remains to be proven but such reports help keep momentum going in the pursuit of justice for those facing hardships from the toxic wallboard.

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