New Law on Imported Drywall Falls Short

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Joanne and Jim Haseltine in 2010. The Haseltines are replacing the drywall in their River Wilderness home at their own expense, because their builder has refused to do anything about the problem.

Joanne and Jim Haseltine in 2010. The Haseltines are replacing the drywall in their River Wilderness home at their own expense, because their builder has refused to do anything about the problem.
Joanne and Jim Haseltine in 2010. The Haseltines are replacing the drywall in their River Wilderness home at their own expense, because their builder has refused to do anything about the problem.
WASHINGTON — For nearly four years, victims of contaminated Chinese-made drywall have sought help from the federal government to solve a problem that has wreaked havoc in thousands of homes across the country.

On Monday, President Barack Obama signed a new law aimed at the tainted drywall. The law, passed in the waning hours of the 112th Congress, seeks to implement standards to prevent future problems with bad drywall.

But a 100Reporters review of the legislation shows that the law is unlikely to provide relief to current and potential victims of contaminated drywall. It does little to prevent the sale of tainted homes to unsuspecting buyers. Absent from the law are meaningful standards to insure that new drywall — both imported and domestically produced — does not release potentially hazardous levels of sulfur gases.

In addition, after lobbying pressure from industry, the law hands off virtually all responsibility for writing a handful of new rules to drywall manufacturers themselves, rather than government regulators.

As a result little may actually change for those whose finances and health have been severely impacted by the tainted drywall.

Drywall, also known as wallboard, gypsum board or Sheetrock, has long been used to build the interior walls of most U.S. homes. But during the housing boom, and after the devastating 2005 hurricane season that included Katrina, drywall stockpiles in the U.S. ran short. A number of suppliers and builders turned to imported gypsum board from China.

Large quantities of the Chinese drywall arriving on U.S. shores, however, turned out to be contaminated — releasing noxious and corrosive sulfur gases such as hydrogen sulfide and carbon disulfide into the air of homes built with it.

At least 550 million pounds of drywall arrived from China between 2006 and 2008, shipping records show — enough for 60,000 average-sized houses. Since then, tainted Chinese drywall has turned up in thousands of homes, corroding wires and pipes, causing smoke detectors and electronic devices to fail, and resulting in a host of respiratory ailments, nosebleeds and sinus problems plaguing affected homeowners, their children — even their pets.

(Records compiled by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and ProPublica in 2010 found about 7,000 affected homes involved in lawsuits or tax abatement programs; the number has continued to grow since then.)

Fixing a tainted home requires essentially gutting the house down to the studs and rebuilding — frequently at a cost upwards of six figures. But some builders and investors have engaged in dubious and incomplete fixes, selling off the still-tainted houses to unsuspecting buyers. To date, federal regulators have not stepped in to require disclosures that could help prevent those practices.

The federal government’s investigation, headed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, never used its existing authority to crack down on the companies responsible, or to determine the cause of the sulfur emissions and how extensive the health effects could be. Meanwhile, the safety commission found itself outmatched, and lacking in strong enforcement powers to pursue companies overseas in China, or to force a drywall recall.

Surrender on Standards

Though its intentions were always limited, the newly enacted Drywall Safety Act started out with more teeth when Rep. Scott Rigell, a Republican from Virginia Beach, first introduced it last year. At its inception, the bill aimed outright to make the buying, selling and using of contaminated Chinese drywall illegal. It called for tainted drywall to be “treated as a banned hazardous substance under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act” and as “an imminent hazard under section 12 of the Consumer Product Safety Act.” (That section details enforcement mechanisms for going after products presenting an “imminent and unreasonable risk of death, serious illness, or severe personal injury.”)

However, by the time Rigell’s bill got through the House Energy and Commerce Committee — a panel known on Capitol Hill for opposing new environmental regulations — the bill was reduced to calling only for better identifying marks on drywall, and for a standard on “sulfur content.” It further allowed regulators to simply defer to an industry-developed voluntary standard.

The National Association of Homebuilders opposed even the weakened bill, citing fears it would broaden the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s authority. “Homebuilding is already a highly regulated industry,” the group wrote in September to House Speaker John Boehner. The builders wanted more assurances that industry, not the government commission, would write any new rules — however modest — for drywall.

The homebuilders’ association pressed its case in the Senate, persuading Louisiana Republican David Vitter to place a hold on the bill. As a result, the Senate redrafted the legislation to designate a specific drywall working group within ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials), a business association that develops voluntary standards, to write the rules.

That working group, dominated by drywall manufacturers themselves, has been mired in delay and in-fighting for years — unable to even agree on basic guidelines for repairing homes with bad drywall. This past summer, it essentially went dormant altogether.

The National Association of Homebuilders declined to answer questions. A spokesman for Vitter did not respond to requests for comment.

The Senate version calls for the Consumer Product Safety Commission to essentially defer to ASTM’s standards, even if they later change. If the industry group changes its “sulfur content” standard in future years, the commission will have only 90 days to review it.

Gases that Count

But by focusing on “sulfur content” at all, the new law ensures no meaningful standard will be developed to keep drywall safe.

That is because to date, the federal government has not determined what is actually causing the drywall to release corrosive sulfur gases.

Theories have abounded: everything from contaminated gypsum mines, to problems with synthetic gypsum made from the byproduct of coal-fired power plants. The root cause could even reside in a faulty production process, or it could be a combination of such factors.

But four years after the problem first publicly emerged, the federal investigation has never reached a conclusion.

That leaves only one definitive way to test whether a piece of drywall is contaminated: measure the levels of gases the drywall releases, and their ability to corrode metals such as copper. If the sulfur gas emissions, also known as out-gassing, can corrode copper, then the drywall is conclusively tainted.

“The out-gassing is the only thing that matters,” said Michael Foreman, head of Foreman & Associates, which has been investigating tainted drywall since the crisis first emerged. “That’s why what you need is a standard for what’s an acceptable level of sulfur gas emissions from drywall. That would keep this from happening. Looking at sulfur content is a joke.”

A standard based on limiting emissions — much like what’s been enacted for formaldehyde levels allowed from composite wood products — would get to the root of the problem, Foreman said. It would both keep builders and consumers safe from bad drywall entering the marketplace, and would compel manufacturers to figure out what materials caused the emissions in order to control them.

“If we have a standard for out-gassing, then it takes care of the problem. It’s really as simple as that,” he said.

But that’s not what the new law calls for.

Legal Relief in Limbo

Meanwhile, affected homeowners have faced an uphill legal battle. Thousands of lawsuits combined in a New Orleans federal court have been ongoing for nearly four years. But the Chinese manufacturers have shown little interest in cooperating. (The exception is a Chinese subsidiary of German conglomerate Knauf Group.)

The ability of Chinese companies to skirt the U.S. court system did not go unnoticed by lawmakers crafting the new Drywall Safety Act. The act declares it the “sense of Congress” that the Chinese government “direct the companies that manufactured and exported problematic drywall to submit to jurisdiction in United States Federal Courts and comply with any decisions issued by the Courts for homeowners with problematic drywall.”

However, the “sense of Congress” language carries no legal weight, and there is little to indicate Chinese authorities will change their stance absent strong diplomatic pressure, which thus far has never been applied.

In fact, a much stronger legislative effort was launched in the last Congress requiring all overseas manufacturers doing business in America to submit to U.S. jurisdiction. Initially it appeared to gain traction.

But the Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act lost momentum after industry groups denounced it as costly and a threat to jobs. In Dec. 2011, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Organization for International Investment released a joint letter saying the bill imposed “burdensome requirements on legitimate companies based in the United States and abroad.” The measure failed to advance.

This year, however, proponents are set to try again.

Kate deGravelles, federal relations counsel at the American Association for Justice, which represents plaintiffs’ attorneys, said a new bill will likely be reintroduced in the House this spring. She said not only do Americans harmed by defective products like Chinese drywall have little recourse, but American-based companies remain at a disadvantage over foreign manufacturers who can ignore quality control while escaping the consequences.

“U.S. businesses are playing by one set of rules, and foreign manufacturers that profit from American consumers are playing by another,” deGravelles said. “We feel that has to change.”

Silence from Lawmakers

Lawmakers who sponsored the drywall bill were largely unwilling to answer questions about it, despite issuing glowing press releases touting the measure as an important step.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va) declined to answer questions on the record, and instead only provided a previous news release, where Warner said the bill meant “more Virginians will not have to go through similar nightmares.”

Even Rigell himself, the Virginia Beach congressman who first introduced the legislation, was reluctant to talk. His office did not respond to requests for comment.

A spokesman for Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said only that many lawmakers felt passing something was better than nothing at all.

“It’s not a perfect bill, but it’s the best we could do under the circumstances,” said Nelson spokesman Bryan Gulley. “We can’t let these companies off the hook, we’ve got to keep the heat up on the Chinese. So this bill is a way of keeping up that pressure.”

Meanwhile, Foreman is not optimistic the ASTM drywall committee empowered by the new law can overcome its conflicts of interest. He would know: he sits on the panel.

Foreman said early on, ASTM could have assigned the contaminated drywall issue to another working group. The industry organization has committees that deal with air quality issues, with environmental hazards, with caustic or damaging chemicals, among others.

But the organization decided to let the drywall committee — which includes numerous drywall manufacturers themselves — attempt to identify the flaws in their own product.

“That was a mistake, I feel. It became a political hot potato,” Foreman said. “But we can’t go back and rewrite history, so we are where we are.”

Aaron Kessler

Aaron Kessler

Aaron Kessler is an award-winning journalist who for nearly a decade has investigated a wide range of subjects from financial crimes by corporations and individuals, to politics and government abuses at the local, state and federal levels, to terrorist financing networks.

38 COMMENTS

  1. We are American drywall victims and appreciate Aaron’s story exposing the truth. Aaron & Joaquin did an excellent job reporting on American drywall. The story was featured on ProPublica & Hearld Tribune website called American-Made Drywall Now Finds Itself Under Fire. Remember Nelson’s office picked me (Brenda) an American drywall victim to testify on the behalf of all toxic drywall victims. We also asked Senator Rubio to show up to the hearings to ask questions about what the victims have gone through & he did show up. We shouldn’t be criticizing the people that are trying to help us.

    The Drywall Safety Act has totally fallen short on standards for both American and Chinese drywall manufacturers. How can these companies and homebuilders regulate themselves? It’s like the fox watching the henhouse. These companies continue to lie to the American people about what is going on in the manufacturing process. These companies keep playing games with us. We are treated with no respect, no common decency and no place we can call home.

    • Since you brought it up, lets tell the real truth about how you went to Washington to testify. Sen Nelson wanted a Veteran to testify, but Richard Kampf wrote a scathing letter to Sen Nelson stating he didn’t need a veteran, but you should be the one to go. You said that you were there to represent all toxic drywall victims? The only people that you talked about were yourself and Colleen. There is a transcript of the hearing. Don’t you have Contaminated American Drywall? At that time there were many people hurting in the surrounding counties, and they could have used your representation when you spoke. I was also one of those people, who needed my story told, not my name but my story. I, like others by the time you testified had already had my 6-7th hospitalization, and I would think that those facts would have been important to tell our Legislature. The Chinese Drywall is different than the American, and you can’t group them together, even though the end results are the same. This is why all the Victims of Contaminated American Drywall are getting no where today, because everyone was sucked into fighting the fight for the Chinese Drywall. Look at the Attorneys and that will answer my question. How many are searching for American Drywall Clients? I don’t care who gets in my path, as I am on a mission to tell it like it is. Only the truth counts, and let the chips fall where they may. The damage has been done to my body, whatever time I have left I would like to enjoy with my family and friends. My Contaminated United States Gypsum Drywall did more harm to me in 4 years, than over 40 years of Agent Orange. No one, and I mean no one, can stop me now. So whoever wants to bring it on — have at it!

      • Your last statement says “no one, and I mean no one, can stop me now. So whoever wants to bring it on — have at it!” Nobody is trying to stop you from taking action. I am sure that if you present pertinent information to a reporter they will gladly write your story. I am sure all American homeowners look forward to hearing what you have discovered. We are all trying to get to the final answer as to how this happened and how we can ensure that it will not happen again in the future. It would be nice if these angry comments could end and be turned into productive work for the good of all victims, you on behalf of American drywall homeowners. Most of the drywall testimony was about American drywall as Brenda could only speak from her own experiences. While she did bring in the Chinese Drywall she only had 5 minutes to speak and her comments were mostly about her story with National Gypsum drywall and the story of another American Drywall homeowner that was living in a tent. For homeowners like yourself, who want their story told, they need to speak to reporters and also speak to their legislators to let them know what is happening and that they need to step up and assist all American Families dealing with toxic drywall. This situation is frustrating to all victims. This toxic drywall disaster has shown just how broken both our legal system and our government system are when it comes to protecting American citizens.

        • Why are you talking to me as if you don’t know who I am? I was there for you the last almost 4 years. One question: How come you never spoke up or for about any of us American Drywall Victims? Yet in Joaquin’s latest article in Pro Publica, you listed your American & Chinese Defective Drywall Facebook page.(in comments section only as you were trying to solicit a new member) You didn’t speak of Contaminated American Drywall in the main article.

          • Of course I know you who are. I am not talking as if I don’t know you. I speak up for the American drywall victims all of the time with reporters, and our government representatives. In the few sentences that were written about me in Joaquin’s article there is no mention of Chinese or American Drywall. Besides I don’t have American toxic drywall I have Chinese. You have American toxic drywall and you should be out there telling your own story. It is not up to me to tell your story Charles. We all tell the story of the drywall that we have in our homes. Soliciting a new member? Telling people whose lives have been destroyed by toxic drywall to join a FB group of families that are living the same disaster is not soliciting it is letting these families know that there is somewhere to go to learn from others in the same situation.

      • Charles, When Nelson’s office asked me to testify, I was asked to represent all the drywall victims in Florida not just the American toxic drywall victims. I was asked to share my testimony on how toxic drywall had an impact on our family & business. I was told one of the reasons I was picked was because we were business owners. Nelson’s office wanted to show the impact it had on business owners & how this affected Floridans.

        I was very honored to be chosen out of thousands of victims & that Senator Nelson picked an American drywall victim. It was only fair that I represent all the victims. All the victims have suffered unbelivable hardship with finances & illneses. We are all on the same side & we need to stay focus on who we are fighting against. I wished the day I testify I had all week to share everyone’s story. I made it a point to let all the Senators know that American drywall was a problem too. It was very difficult to say everything that I wanted to say in five minutes & then have no idea what questions will be asked from the Senators. It is very stressful to try to represent thousands of victims & to know that I was their only voice that day.

        We were hoping that Senator Warren would of picked a Chinese victim from VA so that would have given us 5 extra minutes to talk about what all the victims had gone through but that didn’t happen. There was several people who had Chinese drywall that had traveled to Washington D.C. that day & I need to make sure I represent all the toxic drywall victims. In my speech I let the Senators know how our federal government is very broken. I wanted the Senators to understand how devasting it is to have a home built with toxic drywall & what the victims had gone through over the years.

  2. We are American drywall victims and appreciate Aaron’s story exposing the truth. Aaron & Joaquin did an excellent job reporting on American drywall. The story was featured on ProPublica & Hearld Tribune website called American-Made Drywall Now Finds Itself Under Fire. Remember Nelson’s office picked me (Brenda) an American drywall victim to testify on the behalf of all toxic drywall victims. We also asked Senator Rubio to show up to the hearings to ask questions about what the victims have gone through & he did show up. We shouldn’t be criticizing the people that are trying to help us.

    The Drywall Safety Act has totally fallen short on standards for both American and Chinese drywall manufacturers. How can these companies and homebuilders regulate themselves? It’s like the fox watching the henhouse. These companies continue to lie to the American people about what is going on in the manufacturing process. These companies keep playing games with us. We are treated with no respect, no common decency and no place we can call home.

    • Since you brought it up, lets tell the real truth about how you went to Washington to testify. Sen Nelson wanted a Veteran to testify, but Richard Kampf wrote a scathing letter to Sen Nelson stating he didn’t need a veteran, but you should be the one to go. You said that you were there to represent all toxic drywall victims? The only people that you talked about were yourself and Colleen. There is a transcript of the hearing. Don’t you have Contaminated American Drywall? At that time there were many people hurting in the surrounding counties, and they could have used your representation when you spoke. I was also one of those people, who needed my story told, not my name but my story. I, like others by the time you testified had already had my 6-7th hospitalization, and I would think that those facts would have been important to tell our Legislature. The Chinese Drywall is different than the American, and you can’t group them together, even though the end results are the same. This is why all the Victims of Contaminated American Drywall are getting no where today, because everyone was sucked into fighting the fight for the Chinese Drywall. Look at the Attorneys and that will answer my question. How many are searching for American Drywall Clients? I don’t care who gets in my path, as I am on a mission to tell it like it is. Only the truth counts, and let the chips fall where they may. The damage has been done to my body, whatever time I have left I would like to enjoy with my family and friends. My Contaminated United States Gypsum Drywall did more harm to me in 4 years, than over 40 years of Agent Orange. No one, and I mean no one, can stop me now. So whoever wants to bring it on — have at it!

      • Your last statement says “no one, and I mean no one, can stop me now. So whoever wants to bring it on — have at it!” Nobody is trying to stop you from taking action. I am sure that if you present pertinent information to a reporter they will gladly write your story. I am sure all American homeowners look forward to hearing what you have discovered. We are all trying to get to the final answer as to how this happened and how we can ensure that it will not happen again in the future. It would be nice if these angry comments could end and be turned into productive work for the good of all victims, you on behalf of American drywall homeowners. Most of the drywall testimony was about American drywall as Brenda could only speak from her own experiences. While she did bring in the Chinese Drywall she only had 5 minutes to speak and her comments were mostly about her story with National Gypsum drywall and the story of another American Drywall homeowner that was living in a tent. For homeowners like yourself, who want their story told, they need to speak to reporters and also speak to their legislators to let them know what is happening and that they need to step up and assist all American Families dealing with toxic drywall. This situation is frustrating to all victims. This toxic drywall disaster has shown just how broken both our legal system and our government system are when it comes to protecting American citizens.

        • Why are you talking to me as if you don’t know who I am? I was there for you the last almost 4 years. One question: How come you never spoke up or for about any of us American Drywall Victims? Yet in Joaquin’s latest article in Pro Publica, you listed your American & Chinese Defective Drywall Facebook page.(in comments section only as you were trying to solicit a new member) You didn’t speak of Contaminated American Drywall in the main article.

          • Of course I know you who are. I am not talking as if I don’t know you. I speak up for the American drywall victims all of the time with reporters, and our government representatives. In the few sentences that were written about me in Joaquin’s article there is no mention of Chinese or American Drywall. Besides I don’t have American toxic drywall I have Chinese. You have American toxic drywall and you should be out there telling your own story. It is not up to me to tell your story Charles. We all tell the story of the drywall that we have in our homes. Soliciting a new member? Telling people whose lives have been destroyed by toxic drywall to join a FB group of families that are living the same disaster is not soliciting it is letting these families know that there is somewhere to go to learn from others in the same situation.

      • Charles, When Nelson’s office asked me to testify, I was asked to represent all the drywall victims in Florida not just the American toxic drywall victims. I was asked to share my testimony on how toxic drywall had an impact on our family & business. I was told one of the reasons I was picked was because we were business owners. Nelson’s office wanted to show the impact it had on business owners & how this affected Floridans.

        I was very honored to be chosen out of thousands of victims & that Senator Nelson picked an American drywall victim. It was only fair that I represent all the victims. All the victims have suffered unbelivable hardship with finances & illneses. We are all on the same side & we need to stay focus on who we are fighting against. I wished the day I testify I had all week to share everyone’s story. I made it a point to let all the Senators know that American drywall was a problem too. It was very difficult to say everything that I wanted to say in five minutes & then have no idea what questions will be asked from the Senators. It is very stressful to try to represent thousands of victims & to know that I was their only voice that day.

        We were hoping that Senator Warren would of picked a Chinese victim from VA so that would have given us 5 extra minutes to talk about what all the victims had gone through but that didn’t happen. There was several people who had Chinese drywall that had traveled to Washington D.C. that day & I need to make sure I represent all the toxic drywall victims. In my speech I let the Senators know how our federal government is very broken. I wanted the Senators to understand how devasting it is to have a home built with toxic drywall & what the victims had gone through over the years.

  3. Aaron Kessler when you first were a reporter with the Herald-Tribune in Sarasota, I thought that maybe you had potential. But then you showed your true Journalistic colors when you wrote all the articles on Chinese Drywall, and yet you failed to mention anything about Contaminated American drywall. I guess maybe you had your sights on something bigger, like the wanna be Erin Brokovitchs’. I wrote to you, talked with you on the telephone, and gave you data, just like many other Victims with Contaminated American Drywall had done. But you screwed all of us, as a Journalist it was your job and your duty to cover all the story, not just what would help elevate your career. You actually harmed me as well as other Victims, because of your failure to report the TRUTH, many of us are still very sick. Even to this day and in your report you are trying to blame the causation of the drywall on something other than the sulphur. Since March 18, 2011, the CPSC has had Identification Guidelines established for Problem Drywall. These guidelines fit both CHINESE and AMERICAN drywall if it is problematic. I have American drywall – United States Gypsum. I am also a 100% Disabled Veteran, but I don’t need your help! I have put up my own website called Contaminated American Drywall dot com. Saturday I am shooting a you tube video, where all the truth will be told. I am paying for all of this with my own funds, therefore I don’t have someone’s hand stuck up me making my lips move. When the real truth comes out, and it will, everyone will know that the Contaminated American Drywall is the real story. This will make the Chinese issue look like small school. So when all the media comes running down South to hear the truth, you might as well just stay up North. All the Victims can handle everything here, we don’t need Rigell, Vitter, Nelson, Rubio, and the rest of the sellouts to get in our way.

  4. Aaron Kessler when you first were a reporter with the Herald-Tribune in Sarasota, I thought that maybe you had potential. But then you showed your true Journalistic colors when you wrote all the articles on Chinese Drywall, and yet you failed to mention anything about Contaminated American drywall. I guess maybe you had your sights on something bigger, like the wanna be Erin Brokovitchs’. I wrote to you, talked with you on the telephone, and gave you data, just like many other Victims with Contaminated American Drywall had done. But you screwed all of us, as a Journalist it was your job and your duty to cover all the story, not just what would help elevate your career. You actually harmed me as well as other Victims, because of your failure to report the TRUTH, many of us are still very sick. Even to this day and in your report you are trying to blame the causation of the drywall on something other than the sulphur. Since March 18, 2011, the CPSC has had Identification Guidelines established for Problem Drywall. These guidelines fit both CHINESE and AMERICAN drywall if it is problematic. I have American drywall – United States Gypsum. I am also a 100% Disabled Veteran, but I don’t need your help! I have put up my own website called Contaminated American Drywall dot com. Saturday I am shooting a you tube video, where all the truth will be told. I am paying for all of this with my own funds, therefore I don’t have someone’s hand stuck up me making my lips move. When the real truth comes out, and it will, everyone will know that the Contaminated American Drywall is the real story. This will make the Chinese issue look like small school. So when all the media comes running down South to hear the truth, you might as well just stay up North. All the Victims can handle everything here, we don’t need Rigell, Vitter, Nelson, Rubio, and the rest of the sellouts to get in our way.

  5. That is because to date, the federal government has not determined what is actually causing the drywall to release corrosive sulfur gases.

    Excellent article by Aaron Kessler on the shortfall of legislation on Chinese drywall.
    I was glad to see the forthright statement regarding the need to identify the root cause of the gas emissions emanating from contaminated drywall. This is essential to to establish meaningful standards. As Aaron states ”Theories have abounded: everything from contaminated gypsum mines, to problems with synthetic gypsum made from the byproduct of coal-fired power plants. The root cause could even reside in a faulty production process, or it could be a combination of such factors.”

    It is remarkable that four years after the problem first publicly emerged, the federal investigation has never reached a conclusion. This is not easy to accomplish and will require expensive research which has no commercial incentive for self supporting research institutions. The federal government must support the necessary research.

    Please keep up your advocacy of action to define the root cause of off gassing from contaminated drywall.
    Gerard

  6. That is because to date, the federal government has not determined what is actually causing the drywall to release corrosive sulfur gases.

    Excellent article by Aaron Kessler on the shortfall of legislation on Chinese drywall.
    I was glad to see the forthright statement regarding the need to identify the root cause of the gas emissions emanating from contaminated drywall. This is essential to to establish meaningful standards. As Aaron states ”Theories have abounded: everything from contaminated gypsum mines, to problems with synthetic gypsum made from the byproduct of coal-fired power plants. The root cause could even reside in a faulty production process, or it could be a combination of such factors.”

    It is remarkable that four years after the problem first publicly emerged, the federal investigation has never reached a conclusion. This is not easy to accomplish and will require expensive research which has no commercial incentive for self supporting research institutions. The federal government must support the necessary research.

    Please keep up your advocacy of action to define the root cause of off gassing from contaminated drywall.
    Gerard

  7. Pray tell, how do these new laws help any of us who have all ready remediated our homes? We couldn’t live in ours without becoming deathly ill. Our 2 pets, one had stopped breathing, had seizure and the other an asthma attack when exposed to this stuff! Once out of that environment they have been fine. What does it do to human beings after long time exposure?? Our home was filled with Chinese dry wall! Yet, no one is responsible?! How is this different from disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes etc etc? We didn’t go out looking for a problem either, it found us via China. Now our own government refuses to help us?! Just venting, alittle anygry? You bet.

  8. Pray tell, how do these new laws help any of us who have all ready remediated our homes? We couldn’t live in ours without becoming deathly ill. Our 2 pets, one had stopped breathing, had seizure and the other an asthma attack when exposed to this stuff! Once out of that environment they have been fine. What does it do to human beings after long time exposure?? Our home was filled with Chinese dry wall! Yet, no one is responsible?! How is this different from disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes etc etc? We didn’t go out looking for a problem either, it found us via China. Now our own government refuses to help us?! Just venting, alittle anygry? You bet.

  9. Did you all somehow miss the fact that their is Contaminated American Drywall out there as well…no let’s see, you and Joaquin did an article on it, including us the Mraz’ and the Brincku’s back in 2010 but in trying to give input as to what REALLY is happening you turn to the same people. You all have no clue because you either do not want the real truth or you simply like to stay within the same “circle” of CDW folks. We tried to tell the entire story as to causation through emails and even posted on 100 reporters only to get told by you Mr.Kessler ….to wait. Going back to Mr.Foreman gets the same results, of course….emissions testing is needed but if Sulfur or Sulphur is not the culprit then why is it even in the Legislation per Rigell ? Take a look Mr.Kessler at D.Bruce McMahan, take a look at Shanghai McMahan Pneumatic Conveying Devices in China. That is my Patent, which I worked on for 40 years with my Father, only to be taken away by Big Business. A Wallstreet Tycoon, Hedgefund Manager. He promised us the moon, it is now pumping the very flyash that is poisoning the drywall, etc…..Mine and my Father’s intent was to help the Environment, instead it was …..I will use the term “taken” from us and turned into what it is and where it is now. It was supposed to stay in the United States of America. Before it was “taken”, before this person came into our lives we had Our Mraz Pump in every mine in Florida, we worked with NASA, TECO, every industry in Florida. I have worked with Sulfuric Acid…I know what Sulfur is ….down to it’s core. Our Contaminated American Made Drywall has not only Sulfur but other chemicals as well….I am a former licensed OSHA Trainer, A Licensed Florida Insurance Agent amongst many other things but I am first and foremost now a Poisoned American by the chemicals that “offgassed” from our drywall, American Made Drywall and as to ASTM, you all have missed the boat on that one, going back to 1999 so we will be giving the answers, the Mraz’ will…. to the person that actually took the time to listen , they will have the whole truth and it will be given to the World. That Journalist will tell the tale of American Made Drywall and why it is Poison. Let’s also not forget that on the very fb page yesterday, it was posted that Rigell will be working with the CDW Victims, and that a certain Victim will help in finding out just what it is that the CDW Victims want, to be “made whole”, the American Made Drywall Victims do not get that opportunity….not even in discussion. Does anyone have a clue that the ASTM and the WTO work together? They have to…this is so far reaching as we have stated all along. We suppose that some like to save the info for certain “Documentaries” but we will be sharing with all. I hope if you are the “chosen” one that does or is doing the “Documentary that you do it justice for ALL, not just the CDW Victims…..and we have not even gotten to the Health or Health Registry yet…….Joseph and Julie Mraz Jr.

    • @ Julie……It amazes me that you are going after Rigell like he did something to harm you. Each district has an elected official that represents YOU…..and Rigell is not yours. Why are you not going after your elected officials.

      It also amazes me that you people are slamming Aaron when he has chosen to cover an aspect of this story that most others refused to.
      Do not take your anger out on the ones that are trying to help. You need to mend fences and circle the wagons. All you are doing is alienating many people and making yourself look like a ranting crazy person !!!

      • @ George…..I couldn’t keep my mouth shut after your comments. Our Congressmen/women, and our Senators take an oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. In this oath they swore to protect and defend. It doesn’t matter what state you are from, what matters is that I am an American. I fought for our rights and freedom, and when i see my rights and justice being trampled on, you better believe that i will be one of the first to voice my Constitutional Rights. You ask why maybe some of us might be ticked off? The Drywall Safety Act of 2012, should have made reference to all the American manufacturers by name, just like it listed China. I have United States Gypsum Drywall, am I not a US citizen, doesn’t my drywall company (USG) fall under the same standards as they are demanding of China. And if someone is going to admonish another person, maybe they should have the guts to post there name after there comments, just like I have done.

        • ALl I am saying I’d that if you guys continue to bash the people that are trying to help all you do is make damn sure they ignore you. I agree this bill is not even close to perfect, but you really need to be requesting meetings with your local, state and federal officials and rally they troops. You will get more flies with honey than vinegar.

          • @ George (Who), evidently you know me, but what guys are you speaking of? And as far as rallying the troops, I have tens of thousands waiting in the wings, and believe me they are all fired up! Actually we are not being ignored, it is quite the opposite. You won’t believe the people we have been speaking too!

          • First, I have no idea who you are…….I live in Texas, I am just pointing at the obvious to you……one more question, if you have tens of thousands……are you waiting for the next ice age to bring them out

          • Charles, if there are tens of thousands of homeowners with toxic American drywall they really must speak up and have their voices heard in order to bring awareness to their situation. I don’t understand why they are remaining silent? American families need to know if the issue is this big.

      • @George, the unregistered user: This is Joseph Mraz Jr…first of all, you speak as though you have no class, by being verbally abusive to my Wife…Julie. For your information with my background and with over 32 different Certifications , your obviously incompetent by your mission to help “everyone” , you need to understand one thing. You have already Violated the Federal American with Disabilites Act and the pertaining laws thereof including the 2010 Florida Statutes including the addendums which protect all Disabled Americans, you cannot intentionally inflict psychological abuse upon a Disabled Adult, by verbal abuse, or otherwise by creating psychological harm…. (Disabled person namely my Wife “@Julie” ) who by the way did not post the original statement . We are here to help not harm. but to speak the truth. So circle your group of hypocrites and thoroughly read the Constitution of the United States including the Bill of Rights, and the Preamble , and understand that in your circle of hypocrites maybe you will have to eat your own harmful words, and realize that the word (ALL) means , all of us and we, Our fellow Victim… slept in a tent for 7 months suffering whether our Poisoning was from Foreign or Domestic Drywall , what my Wife has tirelessly fought against with (LUPUS) and now being Poisoned, deserves the utmost respect and gratitude , for it was she that shared VALUABLE information as to CDW via our Remediation permit….remember ? the ships?…if we want to tell the truth, let us all disclose how much monies have and have not been collected so far from the Homeowners via taxes or otherwise…. By the way….don’t forget your Local Veteran. God Bless America and may God help your Soul. If your going to be a Man, walk like a Man, and then talk like a Man and have the guts to man-up with your full name. Joseph Mraz Jr. (Proud Son of a Freedom Fighter) and….. concentrate on the problem at hand, think about ALL of the Victims that have been thrown by the wayside.

  10. Did you all somehow miss the fact that their is Contaminated American Drywall out there as well…no let’s see, you and Joaquin did an article on it, including us the Mraz’ and the Brincku’s back in 2010 but in trying to give input as to what REALLY is happening you turn to the same people. You all have no clue because you either do not want the real truth or you simply like to stay within the same “circle” of CDW folks. We tried to tell the entire story as to causation through emails and even posted on 100 reporters only to get told by you Mr.Kessler ….to wait. Going back to Mr.Foreman gets the same results, of course….emissions testing is needed but if Sulfur or Sulphur is not the culprit then why is it even in the Legislation per Rigell ? Take a look Mr.Kessler at D.Bruce McMahan, take a look at Shanghai McMahan Pneumatic Conveying Devices in China. That is my Patent, which I worked on for 40 years with my Father, only to be taken away by Big Business. A Wallstreet Tycoon, Hedgefund Manager. He promised us the moon, it is now pumping the very flyash that is poisoning the drywall, etc…..Mine and my Father’s intent was to help the Environment, instead it was …..I will use the term “taken” from us and turned into what it is and where it is now. It was supposed to stay in the United States of America. Before it was “taken”, before this person came into our lives we had Our Mraz Pump in every mine in Florida, we worked with NASA, TECO, every industry in Florida. I have worked with Sulfuric Acid…I know what Sulfur is ….down to it’s core. Our Contaminated American Made Drywall has not only Sulfur but other chemicals as well….I am a former licensed OSHA Trainer, A Licensed Florida Insurance Agent amongst many other things but I am first and foremost now a Poisoned American by the chemicals that “offgassed” from our drywall, American Made Drywall and as to ASTM, you all have missed the boat on that one, going back to 1999 so we will be giving the answers, the Mraz’ will…. to the person that actually took the time to listen , they will have the whole truth and it will be given to the World. That Journalist will tell the tale of American Made Drywall and why it is Poison. Let’s also not forget that on the very fb page yesterday, it was posted that Rigell will be working with the CDW Victims, and that a certain Victim will help in finding out just what it is that the CDW Victims want, to be “made whole”, the American Made Drywall Victims do not get that opportunity….not even in discussion. Does anyone have a clue that the ASTM and the WTO work together? They have to…this is so far reaching as we have stated all along. We suppose that some like to save the info for certain “Documentaries” but we will be sharing with all. I hope if you are the “chosen” one that does or is doing the “Documentary that you do it justice for ALL, not just the CDW Victims…..and we have not even gotten to the Health or Health Registry yet…….Joseph and Julie Mraz Jr.

    • @ Julie……It amazes me that you are going after Rigell like he did something to harm you. Each district has an elected official that represents YOU…..and Rigell is not yours. Why are you not going after your elected officials.

      It also amazes me that you people are slamming Aaron when he has chosen to cover an aspect of this story that most others refused to.
      Do not take your anger out on the ones that are trying to help. You need to mend fences and circle the wagons. All you are doing is alienating many people and making yourself look like a ranting crazy person !!!

      • @ George…..I couldn’t keep my mouth shut after your comments. Our Congressmen/women, and our Senators take an oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. In this oath they swore to protect and defend. It doesn’t matter what state you are from, what matters is that I am an American. I fought for our rights and freedom, and when i see my rights and justice being trampled on, you better believe that i will be one of the first to voice my Constitutional Rights. You ask why maybe some of us might be ticked off? The Drywall Safety Act of 2012, should have made reference to all the American manufacturers by name, just like it listed China. I have United States Gypsum Drywall, am I not a US citizen, doesn’t my drywall company (USG) fall under the same standards as they are demanding of China. And if someone is going to admonish another person, maybe they should have the guts to post there name after there comments, just like I have done.

        • ALl I am saying I’d that if you guys continue to bash the people that are trying to help all you do is make damn sure they ignore you. I agree this bill is not even close to perfect, but you really need to be requesting meetings with your local, state and federal officials and rally they troops. You will get more flies with honey than vinegar.

          • @ George (Who), evidently you know me, but what guys are you speaking of? And as far as rallying the troops, I have tens of thousands waiting in the wings, and believe me they are all fired up! Actually we are not being ignored, it is quite the opposite. You won’t believe the people we have been speaking too!

          • First, I have no idea who you are…….I live in Texas, I am just pointing at the obvious to you……one more question, if you have tens of thousands……are you waiting for the next ice age to bring them out

          • Charles, if there are tens of thousands of homeowners with toxic American drywall they really must speak up and have their voices heard in order to bring awareness to their situation. I don’t understand why they are remaining silent? American families need to know if the issue is this big.

      • @George, the unregistered user: This is Joseph Mraz Jr…first of all, you speak as though you have no class, by being verbally abusive to my Wife…Julie. For your information with my background and with over 32 different Certifications , your obviously incompetent by your mission to help “everyone” , you need to understand one thing. You have already Violated the Federal American with Disabilites Act and the pertaining laws thereof including the 2010 Florida Statutes including the addendums which protect all Disabled Americans, you cannot intentionally inflict psychological abuse upon a Disabled Adult, by verbal abuse, or otherwise by creating psychological harm…. (Disabled person namely my Wife “@Julie” ) who by the way did not post the original statement . We are here to help not harm. but to speak the truth. So circle your group of hypocrites and thoroughly read the Constitution of the United States including the Bill of Rights, and the Preamble , and understand that in your circle of hypocrites maybe you will have to eat your own harmful words, and realize that the word (ALL) means , all of us and we, Our fellow Victim… slept in a tent for 7 months suffering whether our Poisoning was from Foreign or Domestic Drywall , what my Wife has tirelessly fought against with (LUPUS) and now being Poisoned, deserves the utmost respect and gratitude , for it was she that shared VALUABLE information as to CDW via our Remediation permit….remember ? the ships?…if we want to tell the truth, let us all disclose how much monies have and have not been collected so far from the Homeowners via taxes or otherwise…. By the way….don’t forget your Local Veteran. God Bless America and may God help your Soul. If your going to be a Man, walk like a Man, and then talk like a Man and have the guts to man-up with your full name. Joseph Mraz Jr. (Proud Son of a Freedom Fighter) and….. concentrate on the problem at hand, think about ALL of the Victims that have been thrown by the wayside.

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