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Insurers Dropping Chinese Drywall Policies

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posted on Oct, 22 2009 @ 09:27 AM
reply to post by endisnighe

That's excellent information, which I hope will be reassuring to people who have used USG's products or have it in their homes. It's not so reassuring for those who've used Knauf's products, though. Clever, that. A Chinese company with a German-sounding name...

Hmmm... I know that Knauf wallboard is used here where I live so I'll have to follow-up on that.

I think we can take USG at their word. They would be well aware that their statements are bound to wind up on the Internet and in the media, so they obviously would be insane to say such things about their products if they were untrue.

It was probably best to remove any identifying email data. Not because it's secret, but because someone could happen upon this thread years hence when the info is totally different. Also, I think it's better from the point of view of the ATS terms and conditions of use.

Many thanks for your efforts in getting this info and posting it.


posted on Oct, 22 2009 @ 12:09 PM
that is exactly what they sent me when i emailed them! i believe them tho. was it signed by a chris curtiss or someone else? just curious if it is a mass produced email in the wake of questioning
and mike
yes it is kind offunny how a chinese product has a german sounding name now that i think about it isn't it? i don't think i have ever heard of nor seen that companies name or products here in pa. altho never put anything past the germans as history has taught us(and i'm 1/2 german so i know lol)

posted on Oct, 22 2009 @ 12:20 PM

Originally posted by Bunch
When people are going to realize that nothing made in China is realiable. Drugs, food, products, nothing!! For the Chinese the word quality dont exist in their disctionary. I rather buy expensive drugs here in the US than buy some cheap generic made in China.

Dont buy China!

I would have to concur. I have a friend in the food business who went to China product shopping and saw at one plant them drying tea leaves for production using car exhausts. The kicker......the cars were using leaded gasoline.

Tasty Tea there............

Here's a funny article quoting a Chinese man who makes the junk we buy, pretty funny, if it wasn't true.....

posted on Oct, 22 2009 @ 08:29 PM
reply to post by pavil

now that tis very interesting. do you hsve a way to prove that??

posted on Oct, 22 2009 @ 09:24 PM
reply to post by bigfoot1212

Just his second hand account. I had no reason to doubt him as he travels to China often with his job and goes to production/manufacturing locations as part of his job. I thought it was odd to use cars to dry out leaves and he said it was just so they could produce that much more at one time, the main line was at peak capacity already.

I also know of a Chrysler person who knows for a fact that the Chinese use inferior materials in parts for their domestic versions of some Chrysler vehicles. It has caused certain parts to basically rot out after about 2 to 3 years, parts that normally would last a decade or more if they were made to spec.

I would be interested in the chemical composition of many Chinese products, the Melamine in infant formula comes to mind. I wonder if there is a website for such things?

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 08:45 AM
reply to post by pavil

i doubt there is a website for that- but if you are a good searcher(which i'm not) you may be able to find something somewhere. i have the feeling tho it will have to be a specific product and i doubt they will list the ingredients. but it is worth a try.
funny you bring up the thing about car parts too- i have said for years they make cars to die not long after the warranty to trap people into buying anew one and hence the banks get a new loan out of them.
and the germans-the best machinists of all time arguably- but had a few follies-they put magnesium in the engine blocks of volkswagons. i know this because being a volunteer fireman for years we would occasionally get a car fire we couldn't put out and literally melted the pavement or concrete

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 12:57 PM
While that report about using car exhaust sounds pretty shocking, at the same time it's so over the top that I expect it's true. It's just so outrageous and even a bit bizarre that it's not the sort of thing a person would normally make up.

If nothing else, the Chinese have always been very resourceful. It's one reason why their culture has lasted for thousands of years. And that's what is so sad about all this. Frankly, with the enormous human and natural resources they have at their disposal, the Chinese should be capable of making the best products in the world in almost any category. But the problem is, when you have a totalitarian regime in place, you can expect that due to the massive bureaucracy that inevitably goes along with it, there are going to be endless opportunities for cutting corners to line a few pockets while (I expect) slipping some money under the table to a some officials so they'll look the other way.

In spite of any propaganda that's thrust upon us, the Chinese people are not all happy-happy-happy with their wonderful worker's paradise Communist system; they see a very few who make megabucks, while most workers make no more in a month than we make in a day. This leads to resentment with the jobs they often are compelled to do, and a lack of any real pride in their work.

It was the same here (in what is now the Czech Republic) when it was still joined with Slovakia and known as the Czechoslovak Soviet Socialist Republic. People did their jobs but few really gave a damn because the pay was minimal, the Czechoslovak crowns they earned were not to be taken out of the country without govt permission, and they deeply resented having some bigwigs in Russia telling them how they were supposed to live. So it was a philosophy of "We'll pretend to work and you'll pretend to pay us."

And that's about how it is in China, and it's very typical of Communist nations. In Communist systems, virtually all people are guaranteed jobs -- in fact refusing to work is often a crime -- but the pay is low, most people cannot travel freely, and the ruling class (which in theory doesn't exist) swan around in their limousines and drink Chivas Regal.

Getting back to China and its products, have a read of this snippet from a blog at consumer reports [dot] org, dating from June 2007:

Here are some startling statistics: The number of Chinese-made products that are being recalled in the U.S. has doubled in the last five years, helping to drive the total number of recalls in this country to an annual record of 467 last year. Chinese-made products account for 60 percent of all consumer-product recalls, and 100 percent of all 24 kinds of toys recalled so far this year. Even China’s own government auditing agency found that 20 percent of the toys made and sold in China had safety hazards.

The source for this quote can be found here.

100% of all toy recalls were for Chinese-made toys.

Great track record, right?

It doesn't look like things are going to improve any time soon. As I live in a former Communist country -- where the vast majority of Czechs hated the Russian-imposed regime but were terrified of being sent to the Uranium mines (or worse) if they publicly voiced their opinions -- I can assure you that things in China are not going to drastically improve while their present system of government remains in place.


posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 01:31 PM
reply to post by JustMike

Like I said, the reports are second hand, but I have no reason to doubt their veracity. Both people who told me those stories are regularly involved with either buying things made in China or overseeing the production of things manufactured there by license deals for Chinese domestic consumption. They have no reason to lie to me about such things, so I take them on their word.

Quality control is not the overriding concern of most Chinese manufacturers. Cost drives everything there.

Here is a secondary source confirming what my friend saw:

Tea leaves, the iconic Chinese export, can now be added to the list of suspect food products. William Hubbard, former deputy commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, told National Public Radio about one Chinese manufacturer’s practice of drying tea leaves by using truck exhausts. “To speed up the drying process, they would lay the tea leaves out on a huge warehouse floor and drive trucks over them so that the exhaust would more rapidly dry the leaves out,” said Hubbard. “And the problem there is that the Chinese use leaded gasoline, so they were essentially spewing the lead over all these leaves.” Hubbard noted that the FDA only inspects about one percent of all food and food ingredients coming into the country, and tests only about half of one percent.

[edit on 23-10-2009 by pavil]

[edit on 23-10-2009 by pavil]

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 05:10 PM
reply to post by pavil

Thanks for the additional source. Like I said, it's believable simply because it's such an appalling practice.

I know they mentioned this problem of leaded gasoline, but of course as they were using trucks in that latter-cited example, then it's likely they ran on diesel. And that would not be great for enhancing the subtle flavor of the tea either...

This doesn't get better, does it?
I've been trying to imagine what else they might have messed up and that we don't know about yet.


posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 06:31 PM

Originally posted by JustMike
I've been trying to imagine what else they might have messed up and that we don't know about yet.

Yep, that's the scary part. I wonder what has already transpired and we didn't even have a clue about it.

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 07:10 PM
USG is good stuff there's a plant by my house in Michigan, I've been in the plant used their product.
Gold Bond is about the best drywall I have seen, I believe it is made in the U.S.A. .

Georgia Pacific is junk, I don't use their drywall products, they were sued in Cal for their OSB wood product, it was suppose to last at least 20 years and was failing in 10.

Is that Georgia, Russia, can't be good ole Georgia, U.S.A. .

China = Junk = Products bought and used by America Fools.

Of all the things I like, I like Asbestos,

They did put Asbestos in plaster products at one time.

[edit on 23-10-2009 by googolplex]

posted on Oct, 23 2009 @ 10:24 PM
I have been talking to a contractor I know about this. He tells me he has been talking to other contractors around the country about this as well. From what he is telling me the real cost of this may not be known for years. There has been a few fires blamed on damaged wiring that got eat up and some houses flooded from the water pipes getting eat up. The up side is not as many people use copper water pipes as they once did. The cost of removal and clean up is going to put some people out on the street. The carpet and all cloth items in the house can been contaminated meaning there goes your clothes. It can even find its way into the wood of the house to the point that removing the sheet rock would be pointless. He has been hearing that in a lot of the cases it may be cheaper to just bulldoze the house. He said he would tell me more if he found out anything new. This makes me sick.

posted on Oct, 24 2009 @ 12:14 PM
reply to post by fixer1967

If ever there was a "perfect" product for ruining homes this would probably be it. There is no easy fix, and yes in some cases, demolition would have to be a cheaper option than repair.

And will insurance companies foot the bill for house fires resulting from wiring shorts, that were caused by the corrosive gases this Chinese drywall gives off? It seems it's a lottery; some might but others simply won't.

Rotten situation all round. Has there been any definitive word from authorities yet that this stuff is no longer being used? It was still in use just a few months ago (in June 2009), but continuing to allow its use now would be simply criminal negligence in my humble opinion.

And what about action to support those affected and whose insurance co's won't play ball? Is there any kind of safety net that's been set up for them yet? What I find on the web is not very clear.


posted on Oct, 24 2009 @ 11:35 PM
reply to post by googolplex

gold bond makes good sheetrock- more expensive but not very flimsy and is tough- and their spackle is the best definitely. i think they are canadian but don't quote me on that- and to tired to look it up
and you are right georgia pacific sucks- even their lumber does-if you ever build a deck or something order twice as much lumber as you need because you will be sending 1/2 of it back usually

posted on Oct, 25 2009 @ 04:57 PM
i stand corrected on my previous post of never hearing of knauf.
i was doing the brakes on my freinds truck today and looked up and he has knauf insulation in his garage.
now it makesme wonder if it is just as dangerous as the drywall

posted on Oct, 25 2009 @ 05:08 PM
In my profession, I do indoor air quality and mold remediation.

We got a call a couple or three years back to find the mold that was causing this odor. Another company had done the initial mold remediation, and as frequently happens, when the others screw it up, they call us.

We took air samples, and the spore counts were acceptable.

We looked high and low for the source of the problem, and could find nothing. We ended up applying a nano-crystal titanium dioxide coating to the entire inside.

The odor disappeared.

We got a call two years later to return as buyers were told we did a mold remediation. I told them, "No. We didn't do the remediation, we applied the nano-crystal TiO2."

They indicated an odor problem, and confused we went out to investigate. The owner, in preparation for selling, painted over our coating, rendering it negated, and the odor returned.

With more and more long investigation, we discovered that the original mold company after removing moldy sheetrock, put this cheap Chinese crap in, and that was the source of the ongoing odor.

Folks, it sometimes costs a few dollars more, but go with what you know works.

That other company had to come in, tear out all their previous work, and fix it on their own dime.

Only cost them several thousand . . .

posted on Oct, 25 2009 @ 05:27 PM
I have some experience in all this with some contract work done for a major importer of Asian products.

To give some perspective first, the Japanese suffered from the same bad reputation for using inferior goods and workmanship when they started supplying the US with transistorized products and consumer goods.

When they first introduced their car lines to the West, they were using excessively high ratios of scrap steel for their car bodies, which rusted out quickly - compromising their reputation.

They eventually learned quality and reliability were the better route.
China will pick up on this eventually.

For now the emphasis is on competitive pricing which means cutting corners at every opportunity. And the modern Chinese factory administrator has little concern for durability of his products. Much is done below national guidelines despite enforcement.

Chinese wages for skilled workers will in crease fairly soon. Currency differences with a dropping American dollar will eat away at profit marins with exchanges.

Hopefully some savvy entrepreneurs and state governments will find a way to encourage domestic manufacturing to compete with China. Low pay scale but built-in incentives like profit-sharing could be a way to go.

Poor states have little more to lose and much to gain by offering tax incentives to start-up manufacturers. At the very least they might be able to reduce unemployment benefits and welfare rolls.

A canny politician getting behind this would benefit him or her, as well as thousands of jobless.


posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 05:21 AM
reply to post by bigfoot1212

Well, knauf make a lot of products, and the insulation uses very different materials from the drywall. But all the same, once bitten, twice shy, right? I wouldn't touch their products unless there was absolutely no other choice available.

reply to post by dooper

Thanks for your post. Much appreciated! There's yet another real-life example of what so many people are either up against already or what awaits them in the future. At least in your case you could show that no liability for this mess devolved to you. Others might not be able to show that so clearly and the court cases will make a bundle for the lawyers...

And again, it shows all too well that "you get what you pay for" is very true!

reply to post by mmiichael

Thanks for posting and especially for mentioning the now-historical angle of Japan's problems, which were especially common in the 50's to the 70's.

While I accept that in an emerging economy these sorts of things often happen, I'd have to disagree with you when it comes to making a direct comparison between Japan and the PRC. The reason is as I stated in a post a few days ago, namely that the PRC 's workers are living under much the same system as those in the former Soviet Union. I won't repeat all the details here; I'll just say that under a Communist system, most workers do not feel motivated to do more than they have to, and they often care very little for the work they are required to do.

I must emphasize that I'm commenting here from the perspective of living in a formerly-Communist country, where I know many people who had to live and work under that regime. They have told me how they felt about it, and their attitudes are reflected in what I wrote.

Yes, there have been efforts by the Chinese govt to deal with these quality-control problems already, but it is quite apparent that for all claims of taking action, they have been spectacularly unsuccessful. The very fact that shipments of this toxic drywall continued after the last bit push for better QC in the building materials industry a few years ago, is evidence of that.

Also, China's economy is still growing year on year, while that of Japan is not doing anywhere near as well. The Japanese have very strong motivations to maintain high standards of quality, because if they are to have any hope of retaining their position among the world's largest economies they now have no choice.

China has no such fears, because in spite of the repeated scandals in many industries, including those with toys, milk, building products, basic drug chemicals and so on, they are still able to grow their economy -- because we (Western nations) still buy their products.

The Chinese now have many nations in a situation where they have to keep buying, because their own industries that used to produce all these products have been outsourced there and there is little likelihood that the big-money companies are going to kiss goodbye to billions in profits from the cheap labor just because of some scandals.

Also, while the wages of Chinese workers might improve a little, they simply cannot increase them to near-Western levels because if they did, their production costs would become so high that -- combined with the need to ship almost all their exports across oceans -- they would find it difficult to secure large contracts.

Quality might improve, but for the above reasons I cannot see it approaching the standards of Japan -- until there is a major and permanent change in China's political system.

Best regards,


posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 05:57 AM
The biggest problem with china is counterfeit parts.
Every thing from nut and bolts to electrical circuit breakers.

posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 06:19 AM
reply to post by ANNED

I know what you mean. In my younger days I spent six years working in a garage where we did all sorts of work ranging from tune-ups to complete engine rebuilds, brakes etc.

Shoddy after-market parts were an absolute bane! Especially brake pads, bearings and other rather important items. We only used parts that we knew would be backed by the manufacturer and supplier, and rarely had any claims (for failures that means). But we often had customers bringing in vehicles that "a friend of a friend" had done for them, where they'd used the cheapest (crummy import) parts that often failed in about 25% of the time that the good stuff would. Or that "didn't quite fit".

Okay, our work cost a bit more but we also guaranteed every job and we stood by that guarantee. We could do that because our mechanics were all trained and knew what they were doing, our equipment was good quality, and the spare parts we used were up to original factory specs. A lot of the "no-name" imported stuff is absolute garbage.

By the way, have you all seen the videos on youtube where they crash test brand-new Chinese cars? Just do a quick search. It's very, very scary to watch...

Rather than embed I'll just give you a link you one:

Chinese Car Crashtest Failure

Note that this test was at 64 km/hr... That's only about 40 mph!

And if you think that was bad, the light truck crash test is even worse. The entire cabin is crushed flat:

Chinese Light Truck Crash Test

The Chinese were hoping to export these to Europe but this test put a stop to that. I hope they never got into the US!


[edit on 26/10/09 by JustMike]

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