Gypsum wallboard: Gypsum may be reasonably inert and extremely low in VOC emissions. However, additives used to produce mold-proof gypsum wallboard (i.e., "green board"), fire-resistant gypsum wallboard, or to improve the workability of the slurry during manufacture may include compounds that emit VOCs. Careful product selection and review of emissions testing data is necessary to assure that appropriate materials are chosen. Recycled paper covering both sides of gypsum wallboard may contain chemicals from previous uses, and additives or chemicals used in the production of the paper itself. Note that VOC emissions from gypsum wallboard can sometimes be significantly reduced by "painting" or laminating the surfaces. The more impervious the coating or covering, the greater will be the reduction in VOC emissions from gypsum wallboard. However, VOC emissions from surface treatment materials must be considered.
Gypsum wallboard can act as a sink for other VOCs in indoor air. Avoid exposing unpainted gypsum wallboard to indoor environments where emissions from other VOC sources exist. Taping and topping compounds can contain considerable quantities of VOCs, so emissions testing data for these products is also critically important. Use ventilation and heat to accelerate the drying process of these materials. Protect wallboard from exposure to contaminants and excessive moisture prior to installation.
Where possible, select material to reduce the need for paints, wallcoverings, or porous wall finishes in buildings. Most commercial structures are built using metal studs, a good selection for persons with MCS. Wood studs can emit terpenes and pinenes.