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FTC: Beware of drywall scams

WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns consumers to be skeptical of anyone trying to sell test kits, inspections or quick fixes for problems caused by imported drywall that has turned out to be contaminated.

Some owners of homes that were built between 2003 and 2008 using imported drywall have reported a sulfur smell similar to rotten eggs, deterioration or corrosion of metal components and health issues such as irritated, itchy eyes and skin, a persistent cough and headaches. Although the Consumer Product Safety Commission is studying tests and remediation methods for affected homes, no federal agency has approved any of them.

The drywall, referred to in press reports as “Chinese drywall,” is under investigation by the safety commission and various other government agencies. For more information, read the FTC’s alert, “Defective Imported Drywall: Don’t Get Nailed by Bogus Tests and Treatments,” at www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt164.shtm.

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