The number of reported cases of tainted drywall from China continues to expand. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that, since July, defective Chinese drywall has been identified in two additional states, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, and that an additional 202 reports have been filed, bringing the total number of reported cases to 810. In a status update sent to Congress on Aug. 11, CPSC said a total of 23 states and the District of Columbia have reported cases of tainted drywall, although the majority of reports continue to come from Florida, Louisiana and Virginia. CPSC says it has received
As reports grow of health problems and metal corrosion suspected of coming from U.S. imports of Chinese-made drywall, federal agencies are moving ahead on a multipronged investigation of the material. Initial results of laboratory and in-home tests are due in August and September. Photo: AP/Wideworld Chinese drywall suspected in health problems, metal corrosion in 21 states. The Consumer Product Safety Commission told Senate Appropriations Committee leaders on July 6 it has received 608 reports of Chinese drywall problems from 21 states and the District of Columbia. That is a sharp increase since May 21, when CPSC testified at a Senate
Several U.S. senators are pushing federal agencies to step up their response to reported health problems in houses with drywall imported from China. Lawmakers have in hand a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency analysis showing that unlike the U.S.-made product, Chinese-made drywall contains sulfur and two other organic compounds that occur in acrylic paint. EPA’s study, released on May 19, also says Chinese drywall samples had 10 times the level of strontium found in U.S. wallboard. Photo: AP/Wideworld EPA analysis shows Chinese-made drywall contains sulfur not found in U.S. product. The lawmakers used a May 21 hearing of the Senate consumer
Following a 45% decline in the global steel market, one of the world’s largest steel producers is putting the brakes on production. Luxembourg-based Arcelor Mittal, which is a major producer of reinforcing bar, among other construction materials, has virtually shuttered its Cleveland plant. Arcelor Mittal says it does not know when steel-making operations would resume. In related news, U.S. Steel announce on May 19 it is closing most of its steelmaking operations at its plant near Birmingham, Ala., which will affect 1,300 of 1,700 workers.
Amid a growing chorus of complaints, two U.S. Senators have introduced legislation to recall Chinese-made drywall and to ban further imports until federal safety standards are developed. Meanwhile, Florida’s governor has asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help the state develop and implement chemical-testing strategies. Slide Show Photo: Florida Dept. of Health Chinese-made drywall could be the cause of household corrosion and sulfur smells. Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.) introduced legislation on Mar 30 pressing the Consumer Product Safety Commission to recall Chinese-made drywall and work with federal testing labs to determine the exact level
While cement remains the most widely used building material in the world, its ubiquity has proven to be a blessing and a curse for large cement companies. Stalled construction worldwide has spurred a dramatic slump in sales for the three largest cement manufacturers, Cemex, Lafarge and Holcim, whose acquisition debt has just made financial matters even worse. Photo: C.J. Schexnayder / ENR Cemex’s only presence at World of Concrete was a mixer in the Peterbilt booth. With prospects dour for 2009—Cemex expects demand to drop 15% in the U.S. this year—the pressure on the firms’ bottom lines has only increased.
Like many contractors stung by the recession bug, Al Luchterhand is scratching around for new ways to apply his firm’s people and skills. “We’re looking to move into infrastructure,” says the co-owner of Las Vegas-based Sun City Landscapes Inc. “It is what it is,” he says. “You’ve got to adjust.” Speaking at a quiet residential development along with Caterpillar Inc. officials in Henderson, Nevada, on Feb. 2, Luchterhand echoed what was heard on the other side of town at the annual World of Concrete show, held on Feb. 3-6. The landscaper mirrors its Peoria, Ill.-based supplier but on a much
One of the most noticeable absences at the World of Concrete trade show in Las Vegas earlier this month was Cemex — the third largest cement producer and largest in North America. In fact, the only trace of the Monterrey, Mexico-based firm this year was a truck on display in the Peterbilt exhibit painted with the company’s distinctive red, white and blue design. Photo: C.J. Schexnayder A photograph of a cement truck painted with the Cemex logo in the Peterbilt exhibit at this year’s World of Concrete show in Las Vegas, NV. Photo: C.J. Schexnayder A Cemex plant south of
Jack Wilson admits it: He welcomes the rising price of asphalt. It’s not a concrete bias—he is a 40-year contracting veteran who worked impartially with both asphalt and concrete. But now that asphalt milling and repaving is more expensive, he believes the time has finally come for his asphalt overlay invention to gain a wide audience. Photo: Polycon Proprietary overlay creates a protective seal over existing asphalt, eliminating need for constant milling Related Links: America May Gain from Materials Designed To Stretch Your Stimulus Dollars Packing in Particles Yields 100-Year Concrete Mixes Long-Life Composite Bar Receives Second Chance Cylindrical Solar
Speaking like someone who has run a construction operation before, Juan Carlos Terroba complains about how wasteful and time-consuming a project can be. “Look at how much concrete is tested,” says the former Mexico-based concrete producer. “It’s ridiculous. It goes way beyond your normal quality-control standards.” Photo: Icrete/Joelwoolhead Batch process & fits more aggregate into voids for a ‘fluffier’ long-life mix. Related Links: America May Gain from Materials Designed To Stretch Your Stimulus Dollars Asphalt ‘Armor’ Is Wearing Well Long-Life Composite Bar Receives Second Chance Cylindrical Solar Cells Set Broad New Energy Curve Terroba recently left his family’s large, ready-mix