Chinese Drywall Defects a Growing Concern

Since we first blogged about Chinese drywall, homeowners in at least 19 states, including Washington and California, have reported problems associated with defective drywall.

Late last year, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) began receiving complaints about damage to homes constructed with drywall manufactured in China. The drywall reportedly contains elevated sulfur levels, which have been linked to corrosion and other damage. To address this growing problem, the CPSC established a Drywall Information Center to address consumer concerns about sulfur-tainted drywall. According to the CPSC, 419 reports have been filed. Homeowners commonly complained of a “rotten egg” smell, health concerns, and corroded and damaged metal components in their homes.

On May 21st, the U.S. Senate held hearings on the topic. Louisiana Senator Mary L. Landrieu stated that 550 million pounds of drywall have been imported to the United States from China. She also speculated that more than 100,000 homes could be affected nationwide. In response, Senator Landrieu sponsored the “Drywall Safety Act of 2009,” a bill aimed at banning Chinese drywall imports until the government promulgates appropriate standards.

As Senator Landrieu said during the hearing, “this defective product is not just a concern for homebuilders or homeowners, but is a concern for many other professions in both the public and private sectors.”

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