Chinese Drywall - I Think We Need To Recall China

For a long time now, I am signed on to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to receive their emails. The send me recall notices. I told them which things I wanted notices on – consumer products, toys, tools, electrical, etc. – and they send me emails when testing orders a recall. I do it to help myself be a better home inspector.

Some days I get four or five. I get them nearly EVERY DAY.

I cannot keep up with it all! I do not know how the CPSC keeps up with it all! They must have a quillion employees. I am forever writing down products, brands, serial numbers – it is a never-ending effort.

And it is shocking!

Here is my problem – for the categories that I am emailed about, way over 90% of the recalled products are manufactured in China. Maybe 1 or 2% of the recalls are manufactured here. I realize that a huge portion of the Chinese economy comes from trade with the United States. You’d think they would want to be more careful. Enough of this could have a serious economic impact on them. Well, that is, if we wise up...

Question: The Chinese are NOT incompetent people. Why aren’t they more careful?

Answer: Since they are not incompetent people, it must be intentional.

It has been insidious. It is pervasive! So many of the products we use everyday are produced in China. It is a huge list. And a frightful one. Food (and DOG food) that is tainted and deadly. Clothing, and pajamas, and sheets, and curtain material and furniture material that will quickly and easily burn, and not to mention toxic and damaging drywall.  Baby toys that are full of lead and mercury, and do not need to be. Video and computer games that have embedded programming worms that will damage computers, or make it easy to obtain information from them.  Light fixtures that have insufficiently-sized wiring and will burn. Circuit breakers, which look EXACTLY like those produced by American manufacturers, that are meant to cause a fire in time. Improperly sealed batteries that will leak poisons – poisons not found in our batteries. And these batteries look just like ours.

The list goes on and on.

It used to be that this, and other cultures of piracy, only used to mimic successful products for the profit of selling knock offs at a cheaper price (that is, after someone else’s brains, entrepreneurship, and risk taking got a popular product to market). Now the piracy seems intent on doing damage.

The emails continue to come.

One has to wonder – with all the good work the CPSC is doing to catch this stuff, what all is getting in that they are NOT catching?

One has to wonder.

When I see the sticker, “Made in China,” I shy away. But their products are impossible to avoid.

I think we need to recall China.

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Betsey (not verified) | Mon, 07/23/2012 - 21:12

I think the problem with China is they don't have the standards for safety that we have, which is why they are able to produce products so cheaply. We perpetuate the cycle because we outsource our products to be made in China instead of being willing to pay more for products that are regulated in the US. I don't think it's intentional, I simply think China is a country that wants economic success and we're helping them get there by outsourcing and purchasing goods manufactured in China.

Westchester hardwood flooring (not verified) | Sun, 04/08/2012 - 19:46

Yes, there do seem to be a lot of issues w/ products from China, and that is certainly true for flooring. I think that economically, there is an incentive to do this because statistically, it will still work out for them. It's very sad.


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Jay performs inspections Monday through Saturday, throughout Northern Virginia, from his office in Bristow to Leesburg and Centreville, to Great Falls and Vienna and everywhere in between!