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In a report released Tuesday the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, said that limited testing in two Florida homes revealed sulfur and two organic compounds associated with acrylic paints in Chinese made drywall. Those chemicals were not found in four samples of American made drywall.

Shipping records reviewed by The Associated Press indicated that potentially tainted Chinese building materials exceeded 500 million pounds during a four year period beginning in 2004. The drywall may have been used in more than 100,000 houses including houses rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

In addition to emitting a rotten-egg smell and corroding wires, applicances, door handles and even jewelry, the drywall has caused complaints of asthma and respiratory problems. U.S. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida said he experienced these problems when he visited a home in Florida built with the drywall. These problems appear to be particularly prevalent with children.

Senators Nelson and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana have introduced a measure to provide $2 million, mostly to the EPA, for additional testing on Chinese drywall. A Senate panel will conduct a hearing on the issue this Thursday.

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