Inspectors to check drywall

Planning inspectors will begin examining the origins of drywall used in new constructions to ensure no contaminated sheetrock from China is used locally.

Drywall, or sheetrock, imported from China, has reportedly made numerous people sick who are living in new homes built with the tainted material in the United States.

Director of planning, Kenneth Ebanks, said the Department of Planning had contacted stores selling drywall, or sheetrock, and determined none were importing it from China.

‘We have checked with some local suppliers on island and none of them apparently are importing the Chinese drywall. We are not aware that it has been used in any buildings locally.

‘We have now instructed our inspectors to pay close attention to sheet-rock to see, when they are doing inspections, whether any is being used,’ Mr. Ebanks said.

Residents of five US states have complained of falling ill due to tainted drywall in their homes. The drywall was imported between 2002 and 2006, during a building boom in the US.

Complainants say it emits sulphurous odours, like rotten eggs, and corrodes wiring and air conditioning coils. People living in such houses have also complained of health problems, such as sinus infections, headaches and sore throats.

More than 200 people in Florida alone have submitted complaints to the Florida Department of Health.

The Chinese government has launched an investigation into the source of the drywall.