Chinese drywall has been a problem for many American families and now the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission and Housing and Urban Development have released a guidance for remediation of problem drywall. Below is the U.S. HUD and CSPC issued information.
Help is on the way for homeowners struggling to rid their properties of problem drywall linked to corrosion of metal, such as electrical components, in their homes.
The guidance comes from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which had issued a protocol earlier this year to help identify problem drywall in the home.
What's being called "interim remediation guidance" is being released in recognition that many homeowners want to begin remedying their homes and offers a next step to those whose homes have been determined to have problem drywall.
"This guidance, based on the CPSC's ongoing scientific research, is critical to ensuring that homeowners and contractors have confidence that they are making the appropriate repairs to rid their homes of problem drywall," said Jon Gant, Director of HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control.
Based on scientific study of the problem to date, HUD and CPSC recommend consumers remove all possible problem drywall from their homes, and replace electrical components and wiring, gas service piping, fire suppression sprinkler systems, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.Taking these steps, HUD and CSPC say, should help eliminate both the source of the problem drywall and corrosion-damaged components that might cause a safety problem in the home. To view a full text of the remediation guidance, visit the federal Drywall Information Center website.
"Our investigations now show a clear path forward," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "We have shared with affected families that hydrogen sulfide is causing the corrosion. Based on the scientific work to date, removing the problem drywall is the best solution currently available to homeowners. Our scientific investigation now provides a strong foundation for Congress as they consider their policy options and explore relief for affected homeowners."
Completed studies show a connection between certain Chinese drywall and corrosion in homes. CPSC is continuing to look at long term health and safety implications.
CPSC is releasing a staff report on preliminary data from a study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) that measured chemical emissions from samples of drywall obtained as part of the federal investigation for CPSC.The top ten reactive sulfur-emitting drywall samples were all produced in China. Certain Chinese samples had emission rates of hydrogen sulfide 100 times greater than non-Chinese drywall samples. The patterns of reactive sulfur compounds emitted from drywall samples show a clear distinction between the certain Chinese drywall samples manufactured in 2005/2006 and non-Chinese drywall samples.
CPSC is also releasing a study by its contractor, Environmental Health & Engineering Inc., that tested whether sulfur-reducing bacteria are present in Chinese drywall. Eight out of ten drywall samples tested showed no bacterial growth including Chinese samples that emitted high levels of hydrogen sulfide in the LBNL study. One sample of Chinese drywall and one sample of U.S. drywall showed very low levels of sulfur-reducing bacterial growth.
Homeowners who believe they may have problem drywall should immediately report to CPSC by calling 800-638-2772 or visiting the Drywall Information Center. Deaf or hard of hearing individuals may access the phone number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.
Late last year a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of homeowners who claimed their homes were damaged by defective drywall from China.