Drywall supplier knew of problems in 2006

Banner Supply, a Miami distributor of drywall products, knew as early as 2006 that there were problems with Chinese-manufactured drywall but did not warn the public or government authorities, according to the Miami Herald.

Banner—one of the largest distributors of drywall in Florida—had received complaints from builders about odors and concerns about emissions, which it in turn reported to the product manufacturer, Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin (KPT), in late 2006.  KPT replaced approximately 2.2 million square feet of Banner’s drywall supply in 2007.  Banner did not report the problem to government officials or to other customers, however.  In fact, Banner entered into a confidential agreement with KPT, which attorneys in Chinese drywall litigation are trying to obtain.

Earlier in 2006, KPT hired a toxicology company that found the company’s drywall emitted sulfur-containing compounds at higher concentrations than those usually found in the ambient air.  However, KPT concluded that the emissions were not serious enough to report to authorities or the public.

Chinese drywall has since been linked to serious corrosion of household wiring and appliances as well as health complaints. Testing for potential health problems is ongoing.