Senate Passes Bills to Protect Against Toxic Chinese Drywall

RICHMOND—The Senate of Virginia has passed two bills offered by Senator John Miller (D- Newport News) to protect Virginia consumers from the dangers of toxic Chinese drywall and support those whose homes contain the defective product.

 

SB471 prohibits the sale or use of Chinese drywall imported between 2004 and 2007, while SB 298 will keep insurance companies from canceling, refusing to renew or increase rates on homeowners’ insurance just because they have Chinese drywall in their home.

 

“Families who bought homes with Chinese drywall have seen their American dream turn into a nightmare,” said Senator Miller. “These people have done absolutely nothing wrong and they are paying a terrible price.  They don’t have lobbyists.  All they have is us.  The only thing we can give them peace of mind.”

 

SB 298 passed the Senate today by a vote of 32-8.

 

 “This drywall releases compounds and gasses that cause serious health problems and are strong enough to corrode metal,” Sen. Miller said. “The people who own these houses are worried about the health of their children, foreclosure and bankruptcy. They should not have to worry about whether or not their homeowners’ insurance is going to be there if they need it.”

 

SB471, which passed the Senate unanimously on January 26, 2010, protects consumers going forward by banning the sale or usage of defective drywall in a home. It also classifies the material as posing a “substantial product hazard” under the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.

 

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission received nearly 3,000 complaints from households across the country that believe they are affected by tainted drywall with Virginia, Florida and Louisiana reporting large numbers of cases. An interagency federal taskforce showed affected homes to have elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide and formaldehyde leading to corrosion of metal and wiring in the homes. Tainted drywall has also been associated with numerous health problems including irritated and itchy eyes and skin, difficulty in breathing, persistent cough, bloody noses, recurrent headaches, and asthma attacks.

 

 

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