On Friday April 2, 2010, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued “interim remediation guidance” to homeowners impacted by Chinese manufactured drywall. The two Federal agencies are advising homeowners that “problem drywall” should be removed and replaced along with other components the drywall may have corroded.

The agencies relate that completed studies show a connection between certain Chinese manufactured drywall and corrosion in homes. CPSC continues to study potential long term health and safety implications.

CPSC has released a staff report on preliminary data from a study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that measured chemical emissions from samples of drywall obtained for CPSC as part of the federal investigation. The hydrogen sulfide emission rates of certain Chinese drywall samples were 100 times greater than the rates of drywall samples, which were not produced in China.. Hydrogen sulfide is a potentially corrosive gas that has been suspected of causing the corrosion associated with Chinese drywall. According to the interim guidance, the patterns of reactive sulfur compounds emitted from drywall samples show a clear distinction between the certain Chinese drywall samples manufactured in 2005/2006 and non-Chinese drywall samples.

“Our investigations now show a clear path forward,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “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.”

The HUD/CPSC interim guidance can be found here.

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report can be found here.