Senators Seek Funds for Chinese Drywall Study

U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson, (D-Fla.), and Mary Landrieu, (D-La.),on May 20 introduced an amendment they co-authored to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill to combat defective imported drywall.

The amendment requests $2 million for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to expedite the investigation of Chinese-made drywall, which is suspected of causing corrosion in homes and health concerns throughout Florida, Louisiana, and other states.

"Evidence suggests that that there is a real serious issue here," Landrieu said. "Hundreds of people have called my office very concerned about the smells, the corrosive impacts of the product and its health effects. It is very important that consumers get to the bottom line of what this product is, how it is manufactured, and what the health ramifications are. Our amendment will help the Consumer Product Safety Commission investigate these questions."

"We need definitive answers now on whether Chinese-made drywall is causing health problems," said Nelson. "If more testing is required, then we need to make it happen." Funds provided by the Nelson-Landrieu amendment would mean that results from tests conducted on the Chinese drywall could be available in as soon as six months. Inaction by Congress may delay CPSC's and the Environmental Protection Agency's testing by as much as one year. The $2 million allocated by the amendment would also fund a public information campaign for impacted homeowners.

"This imported drywall issue has pervaded all areas of Louisiana that have been involved in the rebuilding effort," Landrieu said. "But now the problem is even more widespread than we originally believed. When Sen. Nelson and I started working on this issue, we thought it was isolated to Florida, Louisiana, and other parts of the Gulf Coast. We are now getting reports from across the country, from California to Wisconsin to Virginia. This challenge is not just facing the Gulf Coast—this defective product is truly a problem facing our whole nation. That makes this $2 million for the CPSC even more important and urgent. We cannot afford further delay."