CPSC & HUD Issue Guidance on Repairing Homes With Chinese Drywall

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today issued interim remediation guidance to help homeowners struggling to rid their properties of problem drywall linked to corrosion of metal in their homes such as electrical components.

Earlier this year, HUD and CPSC issued a protocol to help identify problem drywall in the home. Today’s interim remediation guidance is being released in recognition that many homeowners want to begin remediating their homes and offers a next step to homeowners whose homes have been determined to have problem drywall.

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 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.

This interim remediation protocol is being released before all ongoing scientific studies on problem drywall are completed so that homeowners can begin remediating their homes. CPSC will continue to release its scientific studies as they are completed.

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.

Source: CPSC, CDC, EPA, HUD Drywall Information Center

Interim Guidance on Homes with Problem (read: Chinese) Drywall

The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have issued an interim guidance document on the best approach to identifying problem (a.k.a. Chinese) drywall.  The document states that the guidance is based primarily on the presence of metal corrosion in homes.

Prerequisite (must meet both criteria) to warrant further consideration:

Visual inspection must show:

  1. Blackening of copper electrical wiring and/or air conditioning evaporator coils, and
  2. Drywall must have been installed between 2001 and 2008

Additional corroborating evidence (must have at least 2 of the following conditions for drywall installed between 2005-2008 and at least 4 conditions for drywall installed between 2001-2004):

  1. Corrosive conditions in home, as evident by the formation of copper sulfide on copper metal test strips placed in the home for 14-30 days, or the confirmation of sulfur in the blackening of grounding wires or condensation coils.
  2. Confirmed markings of Chinese origin for drywall in the home.
  3. Strontium levels in drywall samples greater than 1200 ppm.
  4. Elemental sulfur levels in drywall samples exceeding 100 ppm.
  5. Elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide, carbonyl sulfide and/or carbon disulfide emitted from drywall samples tested using ASTM Standard Method D5504-08.
  6. Corrosion of copper metal to form copper sulfide when copper is placed in test chambers with drywall samples collected from the home.

A copy of the document can be found HERE

CPSC, EPA, HUD, CDC, and ATSDR Release Initial Chinese Drywall Studies


The interagency task force on Chinese drywall is releasing today the initial results of several studies that begin to assemble pieces in the overall Chinese drywall puzzle. The investigation continues and
additional reports will be released in November.

In sum, the three studies released today are:

  • Elemental and Chemical Testing: The study of the elemental and chemical composition of 17 drywall samples shows higher concentrations of elemental sulfur and strontium in Chinese drywall than in non-Chinese drywall.
  • Chamber Studies: Preliminary results of ongoing testing to detect gases emitted from drywall
    in laboratory chambers show higher emissions of total volatile sulfur gases from Chinese than
    from non-Chinese drywall.
  • Indoor Air Studies: Indoor air testing of 10 homes in Florida and Louisiana was conducted to
    identify and measure contaminants and to inform a drywall home indoor air testing protocol.
    This data from a small sample of homes, allows preliminary observations of certain chemicals in
    the indoor air. The tests did not detect the presence or found only very limited or occasional
    indications of sulfur compounds of particular interest – hydrogen sulfide, carbon disulfide, and
    carbonyl sulfide. Concentrations of two known irritant compounds, acetaldehyde and
    formaldehyde, were detected in both homes with and without Chinese drywall, and at
    concentrations that could exacerbate conditions such as asthma in sensitive populations. The
    levels of formaldehyde were not unusual for new homes, however, and were higher when the
    homes were not air conditioned.


Safety & Social Media? CPSC Joins the Movement

(from the CPSC)

web_201In keeping with its commitment to protect the lives of children and families, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is launching “CPSC 2.0,” a comprehensive social networking initiative that will make lifesaving and other safety information more accessible to consumers. Utilizing a variety of technologies and social media sites, CPSC will rapidly expand its reach to millions of consumers.

“Through social media, CPSC can directly reach millions of the moms, dads and others who need our safety information the most,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.

Today’s launch coincides with CPSC’s Furniture and TV Tip-over Education Campaign. By educating parents and caregivers about the dangers of unstable furniture through dramatic video, blogging and podcasting, CPSC hopes to raise the public’s awareness of tip-over dangers in the home.

Future CPSC 2.0 content will address other safety issues in and around the home in engaging, consumer-friendly ways.

Chairman Tenenbaum added, “Safety can often be achieved through education, and we plan to use every available technology to keep Americans informed.”

Consumers can find CPSC on its “OnSafety” blog, which has messages, articles, videos, podcasts and other information. The site also has a ‘Recall Widget’ tool that anyone can easily add to their Web site. CPSC will also have an official presence on a YouTube channel, a Twitter page, and a FlickR page.