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Are your health problems caused by your drywall?

When you first move into your new house, you understand that there might be some changes to make before you feel like you can call the new place home. For example, you might be anxious to rip out the carpeting and replace it with sleek laminate flooring. Or you might be worried about the size of the shade tree outside and want to have it cut down before a branch falls and damages your roof. However, some new home buyers in Illinois and elsewhere may find themselves dealing with something that significantly lowers their property value and even affects their health.

Many homes across several states, including Illinois, were renovated with drywall outsourced from China, states the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Why is this a problem, you might wonder? The Chinese drywall in question was manufactured with substandard materials and contains a chemical called hydrogen sulfide. As it leaches into the air, the chemical has been found to damage plumbing and appliances and cause adverse health conditions in residents of the affected homes.

Reportedly, there was a shortage of U.S.-made drywall after the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, leading many homes to be renovated or built with the foreign material. There have been more than 4,000 claims blaming Chinese drywall for air conditioners and refrigerators breaking down repeatedly, as well as health symptoms including difficulty breathing, irritated eyes, sore throats, nosebleeds and coughing. It can be challenging to begin the claims process if you suspect you have Chinese drywall, which may necessitate experienced counsel. As such, this information should not replace the advice of a lawyer.