Federal law requires that drywall manufactured or imported for use in the United States on or after July 22, 2015 must comply with the limitations on sulfur content in ASTM C1396-14a, “Standard Specification for Gypsum Board.”

 

Manufacturers and importers of drywall must certify in a General Certificate of Conformity (GCC) that the drywall complies with the limits on sulfur content in the standard.

 

Federal law also requires that drywall manufactured or imported for use in the United States meet the labeling provisions in ASTM C1264-11, “Standard Specification for Sampling, Inspection, Rejection, Certification, Packaging, Marking, Shipping, Handling, and Storage of Gypsum Panel Products.”  Certification is not required for the labeling requirement.

 

What is drywall?

ASTM uses the more technical term “gypsum board” to refer to the class of products that CPSC refers to as “drywall.”  ASTM C1396-14a “Standard Specification for Gypsum Board” defines “gypsum wallboard” as a product, “designed for use on walls, ceilings, or partitions and that affords a surface suitable to receive decoration.”  There are additional related definitions in the standard, which is available for purchase from ASTM International. 

 

What are the effective dates for these requirements?

All drywall currently offered for sale must meet the labeling provisions in ASTM C1264-11.  The labeling requirements were effective in November 2011.

 

In addition, drywall manufactured or imported on or after July 22, 2015 must comply with the sulfur content limits of ASTM C1396-14a.   

 

What are the limits of elemental sulfur in gypsum products?

ASTM C1396-14a Section 4.7 states that gypsum board must contain no greater than 10 parts per million (ppm) of orthorhombic cylooctasulfur (i.e., elemental sulfur or “S8”) when tested in accordance with the test methods for Determination of S8 in Gypsum Panel Products by Liquid Extraction for Analysis by Liquid or Gas Chromatography in sections 55-65 of ASTM C471M.

 

Is certification required for drywall?

Yes. Drywall manufactured or imported on or after July 22, 2015 must be accompanied by a General Certificate of Conformity (GCC) certifying compliance with the sulfur content limits of ASTM C1396-14a.

 

Where can I find the law?

 On January 14, 2013, the President signed into law the Drywall Safety Act of 2012 (DSA).  Pub. L. No. 112-266, 126 Stat. 2437 (2013).  The sulfur content limit requirement can be found in the “Notice of Determination Under the Drywall Safety Act of 2012,” 80 Fed. Reg. 3466 (Jan. 23, 2015).

 

What problem does this requirement seek to address?

CPSC began investigating drywall in 2009 after reports from homeowners who saw corrosion of metal items inside their homes. According to homeowners' reports, the items primarily involved were electrical fixtures, appliances, plumbing, and air conditioner coils. CPSC used the term “problem drywall” to refer to drywall associated with elevated rates of metal corrosion.

 

This requirement seeks to limit elemental sulfur content to a level not associated with elevated rates of corrosion in the home.

 

View the Federal Interagency Drywall Information Center for more information and background. 

 

Where can I find additional information?

For more information on the requirements for drywall, contact the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

 

  • Office of Compliance (for specific enforcement inquires): e-mail: sect15@cpsc.gov; telephone: (301) 504-7520.
  • Small Business Ombudsman (for general assistance understanding and complying with CPSC regulations): e-mail: Please use our Contact Form, which is the best way to get a fast response; telephone: (888) 531-9070.

 

To purchase copies of ASTM C1396-14a and ASTM C1264-11, contact ASTM International at: www.astm.org or via telephone: (610) 832-9585.

 

This communication has been prepared for general informational purposes only.  This summary document does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice nor does it replace or supersede a manufacturer’s obligations to comply with all applicable laws, regulations, standards, or bans enforced by CPSC. This communication has not been reviewed or approved by the Commission, and does not necessarily represent their views. Any views expressed in this communication may be changed or superseded by the Commission.

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