Durability + Design
About  |  Subscribe  |  Advertise  |  Connect 
Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook


Download our FREE e-book! Advances in Architectural Coatings Technology

D+D News

Main News Page

New Law Targets Chinese Drywall

Friday, January 11, 2013

More items for Maintenance + Renovation

Comment | More

Federal lawmakers say a new bill will help relieve some of the nightmares associated with tainted drywall and keep the product from reentering the U.S. market.

Toxic drywall imported into the U.S. from China between 2004 and 2008 has caused damage and health problems for thousands of homeowners. Numerous lawsuits have been brought by those affected, including a global class action that settled with distributors and producers for $80 million.

toxic drywall
Swartz & Swartz

The new law will make sure unsafe drywall won’t be sold in the U.S. and that drywall manufacturers are held accountable, backers say.

The Drywall Safety Act of 2012 passed the U.S. Senate on Jan. 1 and the House of Representatives on Sept. 19 and was awaiting President Obama’s signature Thursday (Jan. 10) morning before going into effect.

Seeking Compliance from Chinese

The legislation urges the Secretary of Commerce to "insist" that the Chinese government make that country's manufacturers of "problematic drywall" pay for harm caused by the defective products.

The bill also urges that Chinese companies "submit to jurisdiction" of the U.S. federal courts in cases involving problem drywall.

The law also requires that drywall sheets be labeled with a date and name of manufacturer, in accordance with ASTM C1264-11.

In addition, the law requires the Consumer Product Safety Commission to develop a limit on the sulfur content in drywall—the cause of the problem in "toxic" drywall, according to experts—or adopt a "voluntary standard" set by the industry. The law requires this standard to be promulgated within two years.

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and other supporters say the legislation will “make sure unsafe drywall won’t be sold in the future and that drywall manufacturers are held accountable.”

“Many Louisiana families were faced with the nightmare of building or repairing their homes with toxic drywall after Hurricane Katrina, and I want to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” said Vitter.

Taking Issue

However, reports like this one on Propublica.org say the act was "watered down" under pressure from homebuilding industry groups.

The first version of the bill (the Contaminated Drywall Safety Act of 2012), proposed in March 2012, would have designated Chinese-made drywall as a banned hazardous product in the United States and imposed civil or criminal penalties on sellers and users.

However, the current act simply asks an industry association committee made up of mostly drywall manufacturers and builders to develop voluntary limits on sulfur content in drywall for the government to enforce, reports ProPublica. Further, the measure does not include any "preventative standards," the report argues.

The act has also been criticized for lacking "teeth to hold accountable the Chinese companies implicated in much of the faulty drywall," according to an op-editorial in Southwest Florida's Herald-Tribune.

Wikimedia Commons

Drywall is used to make interior walls and ceilings.

Still, many of those homeowners affected by the toxic products have welcomed the recent political action on the issue, according to various news outlets.


Tagged categories: Building materials; Chinese drywall; Drywall; Government; Laws and litigation; President Obama; Residential Construction

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Keim Mineral Coatings
Translucent concrete stains for new and old concrete

Penetrating, translucent mineral silicate stains harmonize uneven concrete color and blend patches and repairs, without the "painted" look. Will never peel.

Dumond Chemicals Inc.
Watch Dog® Wipe Out
Porous Surface Graffiti Remover

is formulated to effectively and easily remove existing graffiti from porous/unpainted masonry surfaces 15-30 minutes without surface damage while being both safe for the applicator and friendly to the environment.

PPG Protective and Marine Coatings Group
Industrial strength performance in ONE can.

Now get the durability and protection of two components in one can: Amercoat® ONE, PSX® ONE and Sigmadur ONE.

AGC Chemicals
Structural Steel Tiara Dazzles Atop Skyscraper With LUMIFLON® Coating

LUMIFLON based coatings
can last up to, 30 years
without fading, offering a low-maintenance solution that retains color and gloss and can be field-applied.

KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office
KTA Inspection Instruments

Eliminate Application Uncertainties:
• Moisture Content
• Ambient Conditions
• Surface Preparation
• Coating Thickness
Call 1-800-KTA-GAGE

Hanley Wood Exhibitions

Atlas Material Testing Technology

Helping You Put Your Products To The Test

• Outdoor Accelerated
• Laboratory Testing
• Accelerated Weathering

www.atlas-mts.com atlas.info@ametek.com


Technology Publishing Co., 2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@durabilityanddesign.com

The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker


© Copyright 2012-2015, Technology Publishing Co., All rights reserved