Law empowers feds to set drywall sulfur threshold, track board production

Sources: Office of Representative Scott Rigell (VA-2), Washington, D.C.; CP staff

President Obama has signed into law the Drywall Safety Act of 2012, the most far-reaching response yet to performance problems plaguing product imported from China during much of the past decade. Owners of homes and buildings containing the imported drywall have cited the high sulfur content product’s tendency to corrode mechanical and electrical system components.

The Drywall Safety Act sets chemical standards to limit the amount of sulfur that can be present in domestic and imported drywall, allowing the Consumer Product Safety Commission two years to promulgate a rule pertaining to sulfur content; requires the Commission to update its remediation guidelines to prevent contaminated drywall from being reused or recycled; expresses a sense of Congress that China must be held accountable for the damage imported product has caused in American buildings; and, institutes a labeling requirement so defective drywall can be traced to the manufacturer.

“This is a bill about protecting American families—their health and financial well-being. Too many of our friends and neighbors have suffered because of the effects of Chinese drywall in their homes, and this bill ensures that preventative standards are in place so no American family is faced with the hardship and heartache from contaminated drywall ever again,” says Rep. Scott Rigell (VA-2), who introduced the legislation in the House last summer, and credits his Virginia colleague, Senator Mark Warner, for helping move a companion bill through the Senate.