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Chinese Drywall Investigation

Chinese drywall is under investigation as federal agencies find safety concerns. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission have discovered tainted Chinese wallboard manufactured between 2005 and 2007 in over 100,000 homes throughout Florida, Louisiana and Virginia. The drywall has been subject of a federal investigation regarding chemical emissions. The CPSC with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory measured emissions from samples and found that some of the Chinese drywall samples had emission rates of hydrogen sulfide 100 times greater than other samples. Home owners who participated in the study reported a "rotten egg smell" in homes with the tainted Chinese drywall. The CPSC issued a statement Friday, April 2, 2010 suggesting the removal of the Chinese drywall, as well replace any electrical components and wiring, gas service piping, fire suppression sprinkler systems, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors.

The burden of cost to replace the contaminated drywall is a subject of much concern. Homeowners in Florida contacted the Federal Emergency Management Agency to request assistance in dealing with the Chinese drywall and resulting replacement issues. FEMA rejected assistance because the drywall issue did not meet federal requirements. Inez Tenenbaum, Chairman of the CPSC believes Congress should assist homeowners in repair and replacement costs. Tenenbaum suggested :"Our investigations now show a clear path forward. We have shared with affected families that hydrogen sulfide is causing the corrosion. Based on the scientific work to date, removing the problem drywall is the best solution currently available to homeowners. Our scientific investigation now provides a strong foundation for Congress as they consider their policy options and explore relief for affected homeowners."

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