Notification from Boral regarding their fire-rated products

Update #4

UPDATED NOTE TO CUSTOMERS FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR – 20 October

I am writing to inform you that we have concluded the testing of our fire-resistant plasterboard products at all three of our Australian manufacturing facilities, and that I can report with confidence that no asbestos has been detected in any of our products.

I had previously informed you that we have been conducting ongoing investigations arising from the detection of small traces of contamination in vermiculite supplied to USG Boral’s Camellia site in New South Wales. Vermiculite is used in the manufacture of our fire-resistant plasterboard products.

Over the past week we have engaged with specialists to identify an appropriate sampling regime across the stocks of the fire-resistant plasterboard in our manufacturing facilities. This involved expert testing across a range of manufacture batch dates for:

  • Firestop® Plasterboard
  • Fire Wetstop™ Plasterboard
  • Multistop™ Plasterboard range (3/3HI, 4/4HI, 5/5HI)
  • Shaftliner™ Mould Stop Plasterboard

Numerous builders in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales have also undertaken their own testing of our fire-resistant plasterboard, and these too have consistently returned clear results with no asbestos detected.

Given the test results now available to us, we can confirm that our products have no asbestos contamination and are safe for use.

These products include:

  • Firestop® Plasterboard
  • Fire Wetstop™ Plasterboard
  • Multistop™ Plasterboard range (3/3HI, 4/4HI, 5/5HI)
  • Shaftliner™ Mould Stop Plasterboard

While the test results now available to us show no asbestos contamination, we initially took the difficult but correct decision to treat the situation with the utmost seriousness, including asking our customers not to sell or distribute our fire-resistant plasterboard products while testing was undertaken. We invoked this precautionary approach because we place the highest priority on the health and safety of our workers and customers.

Our actions were in line with our commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of our customers, employees and the broader community.

We are transitioning to another source of vermiculite which is used extensively by our parent company, the Knauf Group, and by other suppliers of plasterboard around the world.

Thank you again for your patience and support during this difficult period.

Tony Charnock
Managing Director Australia and New Zealand
USG Boral

 

Update #3

FRIDAY 15 OCTOBER 2021 #2 – UPDATED NOTE TO CUSTOMERS FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR

I am writing to update you with positive news regarding our ongoing investigation into the detection of small traces of contamination in supplies of vermiculite, a raw material we have previously imported from China for use in our specialist fire-rated plasterboard products.

I mentioned in my update yesterday that we are continuing to work with experts to undertake confirmatory testing.

I am pleased to confirm that we are continuing to receive results from those experts which confirm that no asbestos has been detected in our stocks of the fire-rated plasterboard manufactured at our Camellia, Pinkenba and Port Melbourne facilities.

We have also been advised that a number of builders in Queensland and NSW have undertaken their own testing of our plasterboard, and that these have also all now returned clear results with no asbestos detected. We are working with some other customers who have received results of tests which will require further confirmatory testing, and we will provide further guidance, if required.

Based on these test results and the emerging picture, it is our view that customers can continue to safely use fire-rated plasterboard

These products include:

  • Firestop® Plasterboard
  • Fire Wetstop™ Plasterboard
  • Multistop™ Plasterboard range (3/3HI, 4/4HI, 5/5HI)
  • Shaftliner™ Mould Stop Plasterboard

Further testing continues across our fire-rated plasterboard products, our facilities and in relation to the vermiculite itself to provide us with further information. We will communicate any developments from that testing, if required.

I expect to be able to provide a further update early next week.

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact your Account manager.

Thank you again for your support and commitment to USG Boral.

Tony Charnock
Managing Director Australia and New Zealand
USG Boral


Update #2

FRIDAY 15 OCTOBER 2021 #1:  UPDATED NOTE TO CUSTOMERS FROM MANAGING DIRECTOR

I am writing to update you on our ongoing investigation into the detection of small traces of contamination in supplies of vermiculite, a raw material we have previously imported from China for use in our specialist fire-rated plasterboard products.

On Tuesday, October 12, I wrote to let you know that a recent routine quality assurance test result had detected very low levels of asbestos in the vermiculite ingredient at our Camellia site in Sydney. I also confirmed that further testing was immediately undertaken, and those results are now beginning to be received.

I also said that samples of vermiculite from our facilities at Port Melbourne in Victoria, and Pinkenba in Queensland, had also been tested through routine quality assurance testing and had not detected any traces of asbestos.

We have taken immediate steps to ensure the health and wellbeing of all employees and customers, including carrying out further tests by NATA-accredited asbestos-specialists on finished plasterboard products at our three production facilities, as a matter of safety due diligence.

While the tests are continuing, preliminary results from our expert’s recent testing, has shown no asbestos has been detected in stocks of fire-rated plasterboard products at our Pinkenba facility. Testing in relation to the fire-rated plasterboard products at our Camellia and Port Melbourne facilities is ongoing, and we hope to provide you with an update in relation to this plasterboard very early next week.

Urgent ongoing testing is underway across our fire-rated plasterboard products, our facilities and in relation to the vermiculite itself to provide us with further information, which we will share.

Despite these encouraging initial indications, we continue to recommend that customers who have supplies of our fire-rated plasterboard should quarantine them and refrain from selling, distributing, or using them until further notice.

These products include:

  • Firestop® Plasterboard
  • Fire Wetstop™ Plasterboard
  • Multistop™ Plasterboard range (3/3HI, 4/4HI, 5/5HI)
  • Shaftliner™ Mould Stop Plasterboard

I expect to be able to provide updated advice on the supplies of our fire-rated products very early next week.

Thank you again for your support and commitment to USG Boral.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Charnock
Managing Director Australia and New Zealand
USG Boral


Update #1

Please CLICK HERE to read a notification from Boral regarding their fire-rated products.

Whilst this letter has already been widely circulated, we want to assure you that we’re monitoring this situation closely and will immediately pass on any information or updates as they come to hand.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on 1300 00 50 52 or [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.