AIHA Calls to Expand Corrosive Drywall Research

The American Industrial Hygiene Association is calling on the federal government to expand its epidemiological and medical research on the potential health effects of corrosive drywall (CDW).

The request is in response to AIHA’s review of the Summary of State Health Department Reviews of Deaths Reported to and Investigated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Related to Exposure to Imported Drywall, which was released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health on Jan. 3.

CDC’s review of 11 deaths of occupants in homes with corrosive drywall, which were reported to and investigated by CPSC, stated that exposure to imported drywall was not believed to be a contributing factor in the deaths. CDC further noted that these findings cannot be used to draw broad conclusions about the health impact of residing in or visiting homes with imported drywall.

In October 2010, AIHA published a white paper on corrosive drywall that described several gaps in research previously presented by federal authorities. The white paper references preliminary results of a medical study, which found that some occupants with pre-existing conditions had short-term irritation effects possibly caused by CDW emissions. The physicians reporting these data considered the findings preliminary and recommended further research.

AIHA recommends more focused epidemiological and medical research be conducted on the potential of health effects of CDW. The association also urges the federal government to address this issue as soon as possible so as to prevent any future health problems that might be associated with imported drywall.

The AIHA white paper addresses several other scientific issues related to corrosive drywall emissions, which have not been resolved by the current body of research. AIHA also presents a critical review of the assessment and remediation of homes and other structures impacted by CDW. Download the white paper here.

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