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US CPSC Establishes Sulfur Limit in Drywall

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recently mandated that drywall will now be subject to Section 4.7 of the ASTM C1396-14a “Standard Specification for Gypsum Board”. The final rule citing the now mandatory product safety requirement, was published in the US Federal Register 23 January 2015[1], takes effect 22 July 2015 and requires drywall to be compliant with an orthorhombic cyclooctasulfur limit of 10 ppm.

The CPSC has received over 4,000 reports from consumers in 44 states of problem drywall[2]. Complaints range from blackening, tarnishing, and corrosion of metallic components installed near drywall, to minor health effects. The CPSC has stated the most common health complaints have been “irritated and itchy eyes and skin, difficulty breathing, persistent cough, bloody noses, runny noses, recurrent headaches, sinus infections, and asthma attacks”[3].

The vast majority of the reports of problem drywall have originated in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The most common years of installation of the reported problem drywall are 2006-2007. This combination of location and the installation timeframe directly coincides with the devastating Atlantic hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005. These seasons saw storms of record intensity and frequency leading to over $216 billion dollars in property damage to Atlantic coastlines[4,5]. Subsequent years saw a construction boom in effort to rebuild communities.

In response to the growing number of problem drywall complaints, President Obama signed the Drywall Safety Act of 2012[6]. The act designated the American Society of Test Methods (ASTM) with researching and determining a standard for the sulfur content in drywall.

As with certain other general use products for which CPSC rules apply, domestically manufactured or imported drywall requires general conformity certification (GCC) under the Consumer Product Safety Act of 2008 (CPSIA).

SGS is committed to providing information about developments in the regulations for consumer products as a complimentary service. Throughout our global network of laboratories, we are able to provide a wide range of services including physical/mechanical testing, analytical testing and consultancy work for technical and non-technical parameters applicable to a comprehensive range of consumer products. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

Email SGS Hong Kong Ltd. at mktg.hk@sgs.com for enquiries or visit http://www.sgsgroup.com.hk/.


[1] Federal Register

[2] CPSC

[3] CPSC state

[4] 2004 Atlantic Hurricane Season

[5] 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season

[6] Drywall Safety Act

Content provided by SGS Hong Kong Limited
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