18 Feb 2015
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, 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. 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”.
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. 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).
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 Federal Register
 CPSC state