Company: We Didn't Make Toxic Drywall

Rotting, damaged drywall. George and Brenda Brincku and their family had to abandon their dream house because of noxious fumes and health concerns tied to contaminated drywall. Chinese manufacturers are blamed for the product, but the Brinckus were told their drywall was 100 percent American. CBS

A major American drywall manufacturer said Tuesday that test results show their product is not defective and the source of problems for one Florida home.

George and Brenda Brincku of Alva, Florida say their house, which was built in 2004, has deteriorated and become uninhabitable because of contaminated drywall. Chinese manufacturers were implicated as the source of the bad drywall in the U.S.

But the Brincks claim - and can document - that their home was constructed only with American product that came primarily from one of the nation's leading domestic suppliers, National Gypsum.

CBS News Investigates reported on the Brinckus' case last month.

National Gypsum, which is based in North Carolina, hired an independent engineering firm from Illinois to investigative. Experts cut out several samples of drywall throughout the Brinckus' home over the course of seven days in early March.

"Tests results clearly show that wallboard is not the problem in the home," a statement from National Gypsum says. Furthermore, "none of the wallboard exhibited the problem characteristics of the Chinese-produced board."

Nancy Spurlock, a company spokesperson, told CBS News that extensive lab testing included a "jar test" in which none the drywall from the Brincku home reacted like a defective piece of Chinese-made drywall did. Spurlock also said air testing confirmed there was no "detectable level of sulfur compounds in the home."

See images of defective drywall and learn more from the Florida Department of Health.
"I am shocked," said Brenda Brincku. "I can't believe they would deny that we have defective drywall."

The conditions in the Brincku home were so bad that the family was forced to move out. The family also says they meet four of the five criteria that the State of Florida established for identifying defective drywall.

Those criteria are the "presence of sulfur-like or other unusual odors" in the home, "observed copper corrosion," "documented failure of air conditioner evaporator coil," and "confirmation by an outside expert or professional [of] the presence of premature copper corrosion."

The Florida Department of Health posted a series of photos on their Web site showing the type of damage the defective construction material causes. The Brinckus claim that six of the photos are from their home.

"Clearly they have a problem," says Spurlock. "But, it's not the wallboard."

Susan Smith, a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Health told CBS News she could not comment on specific homes and says their focus is to "determine if any health risks are involved."

In January, reports first started surfacing of foul-smelling drywall that was causing a variety of structural problems inside Florida homes. Since then, controversy has swirled and spread to hundreds of homes in several states. Some homeowners have filed lawsuits and investigators have pointed a finger at at drywall imported from China during a U.S. housing boom in 2004 and 2005. But the root cause and how widespread the problem may be have yet to be determined.

Spurlock says National Gypsum is willing to help the Brincku family investigate what damaged their home. The Brinckus, however, have spent thousands of dollars so far trying to fix the damage and they are not sure how they are going to survive financially.
  • Pia Malbran

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