Issue Date: November 9, 2009
Early Drywall Tests Not Conclusive
Studies done by federal agencies trying to pin down the causes and health impacts of reported sulfur emissions from drywall made in China (C&EN, May 4, page 50) have not found much so far. The agencies, led by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, released preliminary findings late last month showing that the Chinese product had more elemental sulfur and strontium than did drywall made in the U.S. Chamber studies of Chinese drywall also showed that it emits higher levels of volatile sulfur gases than does the U.S. product. Tests of the air in 10 homes with the Chinese drywall, however, did not detect any appreciable concentrations of hydrogen sulfide, carbon disulfide, or carbonyl sulfide. The agencies said additional results will be available at the end of November. On Nov. 3, Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.), introduced a resolution pressing for a recall of Chinese drywall by CPSC and additional health studies on the as yet "unidentified organic compounds" in the drywall.
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