October 25th, 2009 19:48 EST
Chinese Drywall, Now Renamed "Contaminated Drywall"
HUD officials tell Housing Affairs Letter the department is waiting for completion of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) research before a course of action is determined on the alleged harmful effects of so-called "Chinese drywall" used to build or refurbish hundreds of thousands of homes in the United States. But sources say a federal financial bailout for homeowners is possible. To date, the CPSC has received 1,501 official complaints, but thousands more are anticipated as homeowners discover where to register them.
With 27 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico now reporting problems with imported Chinese drywall, the federal government steps in to quell the fury of homeowners beset with uninhabitable houses and health problems. The new head of CPSC, Inez Tenenbaum, is traveling to Beijing to persuade her counterparts to accept some responsibility for the toxic issue. But a resolution appears unlikely.
CPSC and the EPA are about to conclude a joint study on the health and environmental effects of millions of sheets of drywall imported during the housing boom years between 2004 and 2007 when domestic production couldn`t keep pace with demand. About 7 million sheets of Chinese drywall were imported in 2006 alone.
Adding insult to injury, hundreds of new and rehabilitated houses in Hurricane Katrina-devastated New Orleans and vicinity are affected with Chinese drywall, now renamed contaminated drywall " by the federal government to ease tensions with China over the issue. China so far has refused to acknowledge the problem. But Tenenbaum says she will press Chinese officials to help pay for the estimated tens of billions of dollars expected in damages. (Story continues ".For the rest of this EXCLUSIVE breaking news simply click on or cut and paste the link below into your Web browser -- no signup required!)
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