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National Gypsum Refute Claims Their Product Has Caused Problems Like Chinese Drywall

National Gypsum Company announced today the results of its investigation of a house whose owners claim the company's wallboard has caused the same problems experienced with wallboard produced in China. Test results clearly show that wallboard is not the problem in the home, and none of the wallboard exhibited the problem characteristics of the Chinese-produced board.

George and Brenda Brincku of Alva, FL, claim they have experienced the same "rotten egg" smell in their home which has occurred in homes with Chinese-produced wallboard. And, they claim something in their wallboard has caused air conditioner coils and other metals to blacken. In publicized reports, they have said all of their wallboard came from National Gypsum Company.

National Gypsum engaged Packer Engineering, an independent, international engineering and consulting firm headquartered in Naperville, IL, to take samples from each wallboard panel in the home. During the seven-day period when the engineers were in the home, there was no "rotten egg" smell. Air testing confirmed there was no detectable level of sulfur compounds in the home. Tests of the wallboard samples show the board does not cause blackening even in the extreme conditions of laboratory testing, with temperature and humidity conditions far more severe than in any home setting.

The engineers went into the attic of the Brincku home to check the wallboard in the ceiling and to make other observations. All of the board in the ceiling was produced by National Gypsum. Exposed copper wiring in the attic was not blackened, indicating the wallboard was not producing any gasses that could cause such a problem. This confined attic space would provide the hot, humid conditions which would have accelerated blackening of the copper if the wallboard were the cause.

The Brinckus had earlier cut a sample from a piece of their wallboard and sent it to a professor at MIT for testing. The Brinckus showed the engineers the board from which the sample was taken. Packer Engineering confirmed the board was not manufactured by National Gypsum, but by one of its competitors. Although the Brinckus had earlier claimed all the wallboard in their home was from National Gypsum, the engineers actually found wallboard from at least three and possibly four manufacturers (one piece of wallboard could not be identified as to manufacturer). Chemical analysis by Packer showed that all of the different boards in the home had substantially the same composition.

The report on the Brincku sample by Dr. Thomas Eager's test at MIT stated it contained 50 percent cellulose, and he therefore concluded it was "defective." Packer Engineering tests show the wallboard identified by Mr. Brincku actually had a four percent cellulose content. National Gypsum believes it would be impossible to make wallboard suitable to sell and install that had a 50 percent cellulose content.

Packer Engineering tested a known piece of Chinese wallboard to compare it with the wallboard found in the Brincku home. In a laboratory test, the Chinese board was placed in a jar with water. Copper and brass strips were suspended above the board. The jar was sealed and heated to 175 degrees. The copper blackened in 16 hours. The lab did the same test with National Gypsum board taken from the Brincku house. After three weeks, the copper has not blackened.

Gypsum wallboard has been produced in the United States for over 100 years, and the Brinckus' claim is the only one of its kind against domestic producers. National Gypsum has produced wallboard exclusively in the United States since 1925 and in the past decade has manufactured nine billion square feet in the state of Florida alone. That is enough wallboard to complete 900,000 homes. The company has never had a claim similar to the Brinckus'.

"We have many decades of experience producing quality wallboard," said Jerry Carroll, senior vice president of Manufacturing Operations and Engineering. "In an effort to respond to the Brinckus' concerns, our company has worked with them to find the source of the problem in their home. They agreed to allow us into their home and to have an independent engineering firm take and test wallboard samples. National Gypsum cleaned the home thoroughly during and after the sampling and agreed in advance with the Brinckus to replace and finish all the wallboard in their home. Our company is still awaiting their okay to complete this job, and we are willing to continue to work with the Brinckus to find the actual source of the problem in their home."

While National Gypsum wallboard is not part of the problem associated with Chinese-produced wallboard, the company is working with consumers, customers, and government agencies to provide information and find a solution.

National Gypsum, based in Charlotte, NC is a leading supplier of wallboard, drywall finishing products, and cement board to the construction industry. In addition to its wallboard plants, it operates its own paper mills and gypsum mines and quarries. Primary products include Gold Bond(R) BRAND gypsum board, ProForm(R) BRAND drywall finishing and PermaBase(R) BRAND cement board products.

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