Broward News

Expert Says Chinese Drywall Comes With Fungus, Bacteria, and Fecal Matter

Defective drywall from China is full of bacteria and fungus and, in at least one case, fecal matter.

That's according to Spiderman S. Mulholland, an expert in building inspections. Mulholland says the drywall is so corroded with bacteria that it's likely causing health issues for those who live in homes built with the defective wall board.

Mulholland announced his findings Sunday at a conference in Orlando for owners of homes with Chinese drywall. He told the hundred or so homeowners that he and his team spent 20,000 hours and about $500,000 testing Chinese drywall.

The defective drywall is in perhaps as many as 100,000 houses nationwide, and

homeowners say the stuff produces gases that corrode metal and cause respiratory problems.

Mulholland, owner of U.S. Building Consultants Inc. in Gainesville, says he tested five samples of Chinese drywall and found evidence of fungi and bacteria in all five.

One sample also included fecal matter, but it's not clear if it's the product of the Chinese manufacturers or the installer.

The bacteria in the drywall is the most alarming, Mulholland said. It's feeding on organic matter, which isn't found in drywall manufactured elsewhere. As it eats the organic matter, it produces the sulfur gases homeowners say plague homes built with Chinese drywall. And the bacteria can become airborne, meaning homeowners are breathing it in.

"We have found major bacterial issues that could lead to significant health issues," Mulholland said by phone this afternoon.

Dr. Patricia Williams, a University of New Orleans toxicologist, also attended the conference and told homeowners to move out if they're suffering from health problems from Chinese drywall.

Mulholland said the bacteria shows that the Chinese drywall was manufactured incorrectly. "There's no alternative to how this is happening. This stuff was made with something that's causing this bacteria to grow."

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Eric Barton
Contact: Eric Barton