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CPSC Investigation Finds No Problem Drywall or Environmental Factors Linked to Ft. Bragg Deaths

Release Date: February 10, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Conclusions from a broad investigation by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) presented to Ft. Bragg military officials and families today, found no evidence either of problem drywall or environmental factors linked to the deaths of three infants. This investigation confirms the results of previous analysis of Ft. Bragg homes by others, which also found no link to problem drywall.

Studies conducted by the nationally recognized firm Environmental Health and Engineering, Inc. (EH&E), under contract with CPSC, looked at the drywall to see if it met the criteria established by CPSC and other federal agencies for identifying “problem” drywall. EH&E also studied the indoor environment and the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning system to determine if possible environmental factors may have contributed to the infant deaths.

The EH&E report presents data from samples taken from two homes at Ft. Bragg where three infants died.

All chemical and physical testing and evaluation established that the drywall in the two homes studied did not contain the factors that identify problem drywall other than the time period of construction.

EH&E’s environmental testing included nearly 400 different tests conducted for fungi, metals, pesticides, PCB’s, organic compounds, aldehydes, and volatile organic compounds in the water, air, and dust. From all this testing, only the levels of two pesticides, permetherin and cypermetherin, were found to be in the high, normal range. All other pesticides were either not detectable or in the low range.

CPSC recommended to Ft. Bragg that additional pesticide testing be conducted of dust samples previously collected, to better estimate the concentrations of pesticides that could have been present in the homes at the time of the deaths. Ft. Bragg is currently working with EH&E on detailed testing of these pesticides.

CPSC is in the final stages of completing its scientific investigation into problem drywall. For additional findings from the Interagency Drywall Task Force’s investigation, visit www.DrywallResponse.gov

Release Number
11-125

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.

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