WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 18, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are issuing an updated remediation protocol for homes with problem drywall. A study conducted on behalf of CPSC by Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, finds no evidence of a safety hazard to home electrical systems. Sandia simulated long-term exposure of wiring and other electrical components to hydrogen sulfide gas, which is associated with problem drywall.
Based on this study, CPSC and HUD staff, representing the Interagency Task Force on Problem Drywall, are no longer recommending the removal of all electrical wiring in homes with problem drywall. This change in the government’s protocol may reduce the cost of remediation for many homes.
After simulating more than 40 years of corrosive conditions that could exist in problem drywall homes, Sandia staff did not observe any acute or long-term electrical safety events, such as smoking or fire. Corrosion and blackening of the exposed electrical components did occur and was observed to be consistent with the characteristic corrosion reported to CPSC by thousands of consumers. Based on this study, it is the belief of the staffs of CPSC, HUD and Sandia that long-term exposure of wiring and other electrical components to hydrogen sulfide gases does not indicate a safety hazard to a home’s electrical systems.
With these changes, the remediation guidance for homes with problem drywall calls for the replacement of all:
* problem drywall;
* fire safety alarm devices, including smoke and carbon monoxide alarms;
* electrical distribution components, including receptacles, switches and circuit breakers; and
* gas service piping and fire suppression sprinkler systems.
CPSC and HUD staffs are also issuing an updated identification guidance , which broadens the range of installation years of affected homes to include homes where drywall was installed as late as 2009. Importantly, the drywall installed in 2009 had been previously imported during the years 2006-2007 and does not represent any new importation of problem drywall.
The staffs of CPSC and HUD believe that following the updated identification and remediation protocols will enable homeowners to correctly identify homes containing problem drywall and comprehensively remediate those homes to address any potential health and safety issues associated with the problem drywall.
CPSC is in the final stages of completing its scientific investigation into problem drywall. For additional findings from the Interagency Drywall Task Force’s investigation, visit www.DrywallResponse.gov.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $800 billion annually. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed to a significant decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Under federal law, it is illegal to attempt to sell or re-sell a recalled product.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772, teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit www.cpsc.gov/talk.html. Consumers can obtain this press release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov. To join a free e-mail subscription list, please go to www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx.
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