Senator Nelson Slams CPSC for Chinese Drywall ResponseApr 7, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP
A Florida lawmaker is calling for the head of the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to step down over the Chinese drywall debacle. According to nbc-2.com, Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) said during a visit to Cape Coral yesterday that the CPSC is failing in its response to the state's drywall problems.
Nelson made his remarks at a news conference that took place in a home where air conditioning coils have had to be replaced on several occasions because of corrosion caused by sulfur fumes emitted from Chinese drywall. Nelson has sponsored legislation in the U.S. Senate calling on the CPSC to investigate Chinese drywall. He is calling for a massive recall of the product and a ban on imports of Chinese drywall. According to nbc-2.com, the Senator also he wants to make sure those with Chinese drywall in their home have financial help to get it replaced.
But so far, Nelson said he is disappointed in the CPSC's response to the problems. "The CPSC has the legal authority to stop the importation of this stuff and to cause a recall and utilize their legal authority to exact penalties and to seize the assets of these companies. Now, that's what I have asked them to do," said Nelson. "The CPSC ought to exert their powers, now the problem is, you've got a chairman, Nancy Nord that just is not doing their job and the administration is going to have to replace her with somebody that will."
As we reported previously, a five member team from the CPSC is in Florida to test homes with Chinese drywall. Nord's office told nbc-2.com that it was too early in the decision process to issue a recall.
Meanwhile, The Palm Beach Post is reporting that regulators in China have begun their own investigation of drywall made in that county. According to the report, China's General Administration for Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine told the Xinhu news service that it is "very concerned" about reports about problems with the material.
Chinese drywall has been linked to serious problems in homes across the country. In Florida - ground zero for drywall complaints - the health department has received over 150 complaints of Chinese drywall that emits a “rotten eggs” odor and causes metals, such as air conditioning coils, to corrode. The fumes have also been associated with respiratory and sinus problems in some residents. In some homes, the drywall problems have been so severe that families have had to move, and some builders have begun gutting and replacing drywall in the buildings.
Other states reporting drywall problems include Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. According to the consumer group America’s Watchdog, drywall from China was likely used in the Deep South, the Midwest, the Southwest and the Pacific Northwest, including Vancouver, British Columbia, and even Hawaii. Some estimates say Chinese drywall may have been used in as many as 100,000 U.S. homes.