The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has received about new 270 reports of defective Chinese drywall problems, bringing the total number of reports to at least 877 homes from 24 different states across the country.
The CPSC recently issued an August 2009 update to congressional lawmakers on the status of their investigation into the problems with defective Chinese drywall, which has been blamed for causing foul sulfuric odors, corroding wiring and electrical appliances, and various health complaints.
A website created to track the CPSC investigation, the Drywall Information Center, contains summaries of 44 consumer incident investigations and other information about the defective drywall, including information to help homeowners determine if they may have a Chinese drywall problem.
While the majority of reports received by the CPSC have come from Florida (75%), Louisiana (15%) and Virginia (3%), others have come from consumers in Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia.
Millions of sheets of defective drywall were imported from China into the United States between 2004 and 2007, due to a domestic shortage caused by a housing boom and construction following a serious of hurricanes that struck the southeastern United States. The CPSC has confirmed more 6 million sheets were imported into the country in 2006, and additional temporary support personnel are being brought in to verify more shipments.
In July, the CPSC reported that it started testing at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to isolate specific emissions, and began air sampling in 50 homes. The CPSC also announced that testing for radioactive phosphogypsum has completed and will be available in a few days.
Chinese drywall lawsuits have been filed by home owners throughout the United States against drywall manufacturers and distributers. In June, all of the federal drywall litigation was consolidated and centralized in an MDL, or Multidistrict Litigation. The cases were assigned to U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon, who has put the cases on a “fast track,” with trials involving property damage claims set to begin in early 2010.