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Feds issue final word on tainted drywall

BY Brae Canlen

The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), in its final report on tainted drywall, has issued a set of updated recommendations that may lower the cost of remediation for some homeowners.

The updated remediation guidance is based on studies just completed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on potential long term corrosion effects of problem drywall on gas piping, fire sprinkler heads, and smoke alarms. 

The key finding is that none of the studies performed at NIST found corrosion associated with problem drywall that provided evidence of a substantial product safety hazard. Some smoke alarms and fire sprinkler heads showed small changes in performance due to accelerated corrosion, but these changes were generally within accepted industry standards, the report said. 

As a result, the CPSC and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) no longer recommend the removal of gas service piping or the replacement of glass bulb fire sprinkler heads in homes with problem drywall. This change may reduce the cost of remediation for many homes. However, both agencies recommend that these devices be inspected and tested to make sure they’re working properly. 

Other final guidance issued from the agencies call for the replacement of all  problem drywall; carbon monoxide (CO) alarms; electrical distribution components, including receptacles, switches and circuit breakers, but not necessarily wiring; and fusible-type fire sprinkler heads.

CPSC’s investigation into problem drywall, much of it imported fro China, began in early 2009. The inter-agency effort involved HUD, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as members of the Federal Interagency Task Force on Problem Drywall.

As part of the investigation, the CPSC requested that the CDC consider undertaking a comprehensive study of any possible long-term health effects. The agency also contracted with several highly-respected technical organizations, including Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Environmental Health & Engineering Inc. (EH&E), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), NIST, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to study possible health and safety issues connected to imported Chinese drywall.

In February 2011, CDC indicated that the best scientific evidence available at that time did not support undertaking a long-term health study. Another study that was conducted by the USGS found no evidence of microbiological activity or a microbiological source of sulfur-gas emissions from gypsum rock or problem drywall, including samples taken from affected homes. These results were just released on Sept. 15. 

To date, CPSC has received 3,905 reports from residents of 42 states and the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico, who believe their health symptoms or the corrosion of certain metal components in their homes are related to problem drywall. CPSC believes there may be as many as 6,300 U.S. homes with problem drywall.

 

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k.lol says:
Feb-14-2012 02:52 pm

My main concern is how will
My main concern is how will people be able to pay the fee or manage to get a private health insurance if they belong to the category of low incomers or, even worse, if they don`t even have a job at all. I assume that health care is strongly related to some some economic fields that dictate the wealth average level of the population. I agree that they won`t necessarily guarantee full coverage on non 12 step rehab assistance, since this is not a vital need of healthcare, but they must grant at least some basic services. Because we must be reasonable and admit the distinctions between basic healthcare needs and effective private wellness services.

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AZEK partners with masonry supplier

BY Brae Canlen

AZEK Building Products, a manufacturer of PVC-based molding, trim and decking, has entered into a strategic alliance with VAST Enterprises, a maker of composite masonry products. Under the agreement, AZEK Building Products has purchased an interest in VAST and will make the VAST brand available to AZEK’s distribution network. AZEK and VAST will collaborate on sales and marketing initiatives to drive brand awareness among architects and contractors, according to the announcement.

Based in Minneapolis, Enterprises makes landscape pavers, permeable pavers, roof pavers, and deck and patio resurfacing pavers with 95% post-consumer recycled rubber and plastics. VAST composite pavers feature an innovative grid system engineered to reduce installation time and effort. At one-third the weight of comparable concrete products, they are a lightweight alternative for rooftop walkways, paths, patios and decks.

"This partnership elevates the VAST brand and brings it to a much larger audience of architects, project planners and contractors," said Andy Vander Woude, the chief executive of VAST Enterprises. "AZEK has led the conversion from wood exterior trim and decking to cellular PVC, just as we are striving to establish composite pavers as a replacement for concrete and clay bricks in hardscapes."   

Eric Jungbluth, CEO of CPG International, AZEK’s parent company, said: "Both companies manufacture highly engineered, low-maintenance exterior products that offer exceptional performance and longevity. VAST composite masonry products represent the future of alternative paver materials, a category with enormous growth potential."

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CertaSpec roofing-spec tool goes online

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Valley Forge, Pa.-based CertainTeed Corp. introduced a new version of CertaSpec, designed to make proposal generation and spec writing easier for roofing contractors and specifiers.

The new web-based version of CertaSpec, its roofing spec writing software, includes updated LEED information as well as the ability to create customizable accounts, which provide more efficient project tracking and more readily accessible technical product information.

“With our new web-based version of CertaSpec, we hope to make this useful tool even more accessible to a larger number of roofing professionals,” says Barbara McDonough, commercial roofing marketing manager for CertainTeed’s Roofing Group. “The features we’ve added in this version will help our customers to save time and track their projects more easily.”

CertaSpec allows users to quickly write accurate residential and commercial roofing specifications for job submittal packages. Live updates are routinely made, keeping the system current and accurate. Once specifications are finalized, the system generates submittal package materials that can be printed, emailed, or saved electronically. 

 

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