Toronto lawyer and Tarion director Bob Aaron says that toxic Chinese drywall "may become the biggest environmental crisis to hit North American homeowners and builders in decades."

The defective drywall is decidedly carcinogenic and may be radioactive. This product emits noxious sulfuric gases that can damage HVAC components and corrode electrical wiring inside of walls. Not surprisingly, these gases pose a serious threat to human health and can render affected homes uninhabitable. Any home owner or condominium corporation faced with Chinese drywall in their home or building faces a daunting challenge and must consult quickly with engineering, health and legal experts.

Thankfully, relatively little of this defective product was imported into Canada and only a tiny portion may have found its way to Ontario. No significant cases have yet been reported in Ontario.

In contrast, the problem is quite widespread in the Southern U.S. and has spread north, generating a large-scale response by lawmakers, consumer protection watchdogs and construction litigation attorneys. Protective laws are being passed and multiple class action lawsuits are already underway.

Considerable information on the topic is available in the blogosphere, particularly by American construction law attorneys. An entire section is devoted to Chinese drywall at The Construction Litigation Blog of Stark & Stark in New Jersey and a Chinese Drywall Blog was recently launched by Wolfe Law Group of Louisiana and Washington states. Both are good resources.

We’ll be watching for local developments. Post a comment below with any news or tips you may have.