ASTM International Standard Used for U.S. Drywall Act

On Jan. 23, ASTM's standard for drywall (C1396/C1396M-14a, Specification for Gypsum Board) was cited in the U.S. Federal Register, ulfilling a goal of the Drywall Safety Act of 2012 to create a standard for limited sulfur content in drywall.

Specifically, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission determined that C1396/C1396M is accepted as "a voluntary standard for 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." The CPSC action goes into effect on July 22.

President Barack Obama signed the Drywall Safety Act of 2012 into law on Jan. 14, 2013. As a result, ASTM Committee C11 on Gypsum and Related Building Materials and Systems was given two years to develop or revise standards to satisfy the requirements of the law. C11 responded to this mandate by revising three standards:

  • C471M, Test Methods for Chemical Analysis of Gypsum and Gypsum Products (Metric);
  • C1264, Specification for Sampling, Inspection, Rejection, Certification, Packaging, Marking, Shipping, Handling and Storage of Gypsum Panel Products; and
  • C1396/C1396M, Specification for Gypsum Board.

ASTM International member Robert Wessel, Ph.D., FASTM, senior technical director for the Gypsum Association, says, "The Gypsum Association has long been a participant in the standards development process, working closely with ASTM, government, industry and academia. We are pleased with our collaboration with ASTM and CPSC in support of the Drywall Safety Act. This work underscores the ability of representatives from various communities to be able to meet on common ground to effect solutions that enhance consumer safety and confidence."

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