Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2009 15:27:41 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Subject: Re: Latex degradation, low humidity, Chinese drywall?
In-Reply-To: <48A020E1942E024DB0F2A6B68A1312440783A5EDEC**At_Symbol_Here**>

Rubber degradation really leaps off the page and suggests ozone.  The symptoms are also consistent with ozone (as well as other chemicals such as formaldehyde...then again, chemophobia, as well).  Electronics such as laser printers and photocopiers emit a lot of ozone. I presume you aren't using "ozone air purifiers" (an oxymoronic device if there ever was one) or other sort of electrostatic air cleaner.    If your facility is new, it could be outgassing from furniture, carpets, or drapes.

Drywall would be a very long shot - you'd have metal corrosion issues, first of all.  And second, drywall imports from China only occurred on large scale after Katrina with the peak period 2004-2007.  How old is the building?  If you really want to rule it out, you can cut out a section and see if it says "Made in China" or has the name of a Chinese company printed on the back.

Rob Toreki 

On Nov 18, 2009, at 2:35 PM, Debbie M. Decker wrote:

Please excuse the cross-postings:
I=92m working with a group that works in a secured, containment facility.  The supply air is one pass, the exhaust is HEPA filtered and air change rates are in the 10-15 ACH.  Rubber bands, latex gloves, the gloves on a glove box, rubber stoppers, etc. degrade very quickly in this building - a matter of months.  This causes consternation among my building occupants - =93if latex degrades so quickly, what is this building doing to me?=94
I have done the following:  datalogged temperature, %RH, CO and CO2 twice, at different times of year, for a week.  First set showed extremely low humidity - below 20%rh - all other measurements within customary.  Second round showed %rh in a more normal range - 35-40%rh.  Magnetic fields were at or below background.  No radioactivity was detected.  The building doesn=92t have any weird smells, evidence of mold or water intrusion.  The mechanical system is working as designed, filters in place and without high pressure drop, coils clean, etc., according to my building engineers.
People complain of headaches and stuffy noses, general malaise after working in the building for some period of time.  Someone has suggested Chinese drywall might be a culprit but I don=92t know as it quite fits.
Whaddya think?  All ideas welcome, at this point.
Debbie M. Decker, Campus Chemical Safety Officer
Environmental Health and Safety
University of California, Davis
1 Shields Ave.
Davis, CA  95616
(530)754-7964/(530)752-4527 (FAX)
Co-Conspirator to Make the World A 
Better Place -- Visit and join the conspiracy

Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names
you know and trust.  Visit us at
esales**At_Symbol_Here**  or toll-free: (866) 326-5412
Fax: (856) 553-6154, PO Box 1003, Blackwood, NJ 08012

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.