TODAYS GUEST POST IS BY Ryan Melowic, Director of Customer Services at SafeSourcing

March 20th, 2009

China product safety issues are in the headlines again.

However this time it’s not food products. This issue is in the building materials category and is affecting more people than the last two salmonella outbreaks combined. In fact this time it’s drywall that’s threatening residents in Florida and other states. As if these economic times were not difficult enough, this is not something that stressed home owners needed to add to their growing list of worries
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Tens of thousands of homeowners have encountered numerous issues including the smell of rotten eggs, sinus problems, and sulfur gases that can corrode copper coils as well as electrical and plumbing components. Based on import estimates, as many as 60,000 U.S. homes may be affected.

A class action suit has been brought against the manufacture Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin who claims they have tests that show the gases given off by the drywall pose no health hazards. Presently Florida Regulators and the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission are investigating this issue.

These issues have forced some homeowners out of their homes and into rentals. Some of those affected can’t afford to rent additional living space.

Retailers and Contractors are also being negatively affected as well at a time when there is less work and the costs associated with the time it takes to field all the complaint calls as well as the time required to tear out and replace the contaminated drywall. These hours further erode already slim profit margins and net profitability.

Consumers are tired of spending hard earned money on things that harm them. Over the last year or two we’ve seen reports about lead in paint on children’s toys, tainted dog food, baby food, and a variety of other safety breakdowns. What is it going to take to force and monitor policy changes?

Holding suppliers accountable to a growing list of Safety Certifications during Supplier Research is a must in today’s market. Is your present e-negotiation provider referencing twenty-five different Safety Certifications for every supplier if not, consider the consequences beyond just the monetary impact it could have on your bottom company’s line?

As always thanks for reading and look forward to your comments.

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