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CPSC, Chinese Regulators Meet Over Chinese Drywall

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Officials from China’s General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (ASIQ) arrived in the U.S. the week of June 15 to investigate problems with drywall made in their country.

According to heraldtribune.com, officials from the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) met with  the ASIQ regulators earlier this month to discuss technical issues involving Chinese drywall.  The Chinese officials also traveled with a CPSC investigative team to observe inspections and sampling conducted by our agency in one home in Florida and two homes in Louisiana. A spokesperson for the CPSC told heraldtribune.com that discussions with the Chinese delegation were “preliminary”, and had not reached any conclusion.  The discussions will continue over the coming weeks.

As of last week, the CPSC had received more than 500 complaints from people in 19 states, as well of the District of Columbia,  involving Chinese drywall.  Homeowners living with the material have reported  that it fills homes with a putrid, “rotten-eggs” odor and cause metals to corrode.  Some have complained of sinus  and respiratory problems that occur while they are in their homes.  Many families have had to leave their homes, and in most instances, buildings must be gutted and the drywall replaced to fix the problem.

It is not yet clear how widespread the Chinese drywall problem is, but it is likely enormous. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the U.S. imported roughly 309 million square feet of drywall from China during the housing boom from 2004 to 2007.  So far, problems have been reported in Florida, Louisiana, Virginia, Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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