The chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission said she would ask China to help pay for the billions of dollars in damage to U.S. homes blamed on Chinese-made drywall.
“I will find out if any discussions are going on in China about the costs, are they prepared to participate in providing funds, and what would it take for that to occur,” CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said ahead of a trip to China next week for a biennial U.S.-China consumer product safety summit.
The CPSC has received about 1,500 reports from residents in 27 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, who blame health problems and property damage on Chinese drywall in their homes. State and local authorities have received similar reports that include homeowner complaints about respiratory problems, bloody noses and recurrent headaches.
The Chinese drywall, also known as gypsum or wallboard, is under investigation for emitting sulfide fumes suspected of causing the homeowner complaints. As many as 100,000 houses across the country have the suspect drywall, most of them built in 2006 and 2007 when a spike in new construction occurred in part as homeowners rebuilt following hurricanes in 2004 and 2005.
The CPSC is under pressure from Congress and homeowners to complete a long-running probe of the drywall problems that involves several federal agencies.
Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat from Florida, recently asked President Barack Obama to include Chinese drywall on the agenda when the president travels to China next month, an aide for Mr. Nelson said.
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