Active Standard: C1396 / C1396M - 14
This change is being proposed in response to the Drywall Safety Act of 2012 (DSA 2012). The final version of DSA 2012 passed the United States Congress on January 1, 2013, and was signed into law by President Obama on January 14, 2013. DSA 2012 directs the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to promulgate a final rule pertaining to drywall manufactured or imported for use in the United States that limits sulfur content to a level not associated with elevated rates of corrosion in the home within two years of the date of the enactment of the Act. The requirement for CPSC to promulgate a final rule does not apply if CPSC determines that a compliant voluntary standard, which addresses sulfur content, is or will be in effect not later than two years after enactment of DSA 2012. The voluntary standard must be developed by Subcommittee ASTM C11.01 and pertain to drywall manufactured or imported for use in the United States. Given the consensus nature of the ASTM standards process, the members of the Gypsum Association believe that it is preferable to address the directive mandated by DSA 2012 via the voluntary standard option permitted by the Act. During a July 9, 2013, Task Group WebEx conference, the Consumer Product Safety Commission presented data from a study of problem homes. The data documents that the drywall in the problem homes had measured elemental sulfur (S8) levels of between 11 and 830 ppm. The Association is recommending that the limit on elemental sulfur be conservatively established to be 10 ppm in Specification C1396. Given the on-going discussions within Subcommittee C11.01, the proposal does not define a specific type of elemental sulfur. The key requirement is that whatever the species of elemental sulfur that is capable of emitting volatile sulfur compounds might be, it cannot exceed 10 ppm. Any emissions also must cause observable corrosion. The specific limit of 10 ppm is conservative and is consistent with the published research. Given the variety of existing and proposed test methods being reviewed and considered by the Subcommittee, no specific test method is cited in the proposed revision at this point. The time constraint imposed by DSA 2012 makes a compelling argument for moving a revision to C1396 in parallel with the continued development of a final test method. Once a specific test method has been approved and the specific species of elemental sulfur has been identified, C1396 can be revised to add a citation to the method and a reference to the specific elemental sulfur species. The members of the Gypsum Association are committed to fully support the on-going work to develop a final test method and appropriate requirements.
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