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Imported Drywall to be Subject to General Compliance Certification

Friday, January 23, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced that effective 180 days from Jan. 23 (approximately July 23) drywall manufactured or imported for use in the United States will be subject to the general compliance certification requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Act. As a result, drywall manufactured or imported on or after the effective date must comply with the sulfur content limits of ASTM C1396-14a and must be accompanied by a general certification that it complies with all applicable CPSC rules, rules, bans, standards or regulations.

The CPSC began investigating drywall in 2009 after reports from homeowners that they were seeing corrosion of metal items inside their homes, primarily electrical fixtures, appliances, plumbing and air conditioner coils. CPSC staff analysis determined that certain brands of drywall produced around 2006 contain elevated levels of elemental sulfur (octahedral sulfur) and have elevated emission factors for hydrogen sulfide and other reactive sulfur gases known to corrode materials containing copper and silver.

Congress subsequently passed the Drywall Safety Act of 2012, which requires the CPSC to promulgate a final rule that limits sulfur content in drywall manufactured or imported for use in the United States to a level not associated with elevated rates of corrosion in the home unless the Commission determines that a voluntary standard exists that (a) already contains such a limit, (b) is in effect within two years of the enactment of the DSA, and (c) is developed by ASTM International’s Subcommittee C11.01 on Specifications and Test Methods for Gypsum Products.

The CPSC states that it has in fact made such determinations. As a result, the sulfur content limit in the voluntary standard will be treated as a consumer product safety rule under section 9 of the CPSA.

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