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U.S. Names Problem Drywall Makers

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has released the names of drywall manufacturers whose products emitted high levels of corrosive hydrogen sulfide after installation in homes.

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) tested samples of the now-infamous Chinese drywall for CPSC.

The finding: The top 10 reactive sulfur-emitting drywall samples were all produced in China. Some had emission rates 100 times greater than non-Chinese drywall samples. A strong association exists between hydrogen sulfide and metal corrosion.

Homeowners have reported that the tainted drywall corrodes wiring, plumbing and other metals; emits a foul odor; and causes health problems. Countless lawsuits have been filed over the drywall, which was manufactured mostly in 2005-06 and used in new U.S. residential construction, particularly in the South. Many of the complainants are seeking near-rebuilding of their homes.

“Homeowners who have problem drywall in their homes are suffering greatly," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “I appeal to these Chinese drywall companies to carefully examine their responsibilities to U.S. families who have been harmed and do what is fair and just.”

On May 24-25, U.S. officials pressed the Chinese government to facilitate a meeting between CPSC and the Chinese drywall companies whose products had been used in the U.S. homes. The issue was raised at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue meetings in Beijing, the highest-level bilateral forum for the two nations to discuss a broad range of issues.

The CPSC listed these Chinese drywall samples as the Top 10 emitters of hydrogen sulfide, from the highest to the lowest. In some cases, more than one sample from the same company was tested. The manufacturing year follows.

• Knauf Plasterboard (Tianjin) Co. Ltd. (2005)

• Taian Taishan Plasterboard Co. Ltd. (2006)

• Shandong Taihe Dongxin Co. (2005)

• Knauf Plasterboard (Tianjin) Co. Ltd. (2006)

• Taian Taishan Plasterboard Co. Ltd. (2006)

• Taian Taishan Plasterboard Co. Ltd. (2006)

• Shandong Chenxiang GBM Co. Ltd. (C&K Gypsum Board) (2006)

• Beijing New Building Materials (BNBM) (2009)

• Taian Taishan Plasterboard Co. Ltd. (2009)

• Shandong Taihe Dongxin Co. (2009)

The consumer agency also noted, however, that other Chinese drywall samples—including some produced several years later by the same offending companies—had low or no detectable emissions of hydrogen sulfide.

Drywall samples manufactured in the U.S. in 2009 also passed muster. Those companies are (in alphabetical order):

• CertainTeed Corp.

• Georgia Pacific Corp.

• Lafarge North America

• National Gypsum Company

• Temple-Inland Inc.

• USG Corp.

Last month, CPSC released the results of drywall emissions tests by LBNL. Those studies showed a connection between certain Chinese drywall and corrosion in homes. In addition, the patterns of reactive sulfur compounds emitted show a clear distinction between certain Chinese drywall samples manufactured in 2005/2006 and other Chinese and non-Chinese drywall samples.

CPSC has spent more than $5 million to investigate the chemical nature and chain of commerce of problem drywall. Earlier this year, CPSC and the Housing and Urban Development Department issued a protocol to help consumers identify problem drywall in their homes. Last month, the agencies issued remediation guidance to assist impacted homeowners.

For more information, visit http://www.cpsc.gov/.

   

Tagged categories: Drywall; Health and safety

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