Columbia Analytical Services


Odor-Emitting Wallboard Raises Health and Safety Concerns


Recent news reports suggest that wallboard may be causing odor problems and potential safety concerns for some homeowners, initially reported from Florida.

Certain wallboard materials in the presence of heat and humidity may emit odors, cause corrosion of wiring in homes and lead to health concerns.

Preliminary reports stated that the suspect materials came from China; however, state and federal health officials are currently researching numerous sources as well as any potential health hazards. Columbia Analytical has been performing analyses to support these efforts.

Columbia Analytical is one of a very few laboratories in the United States that can test for a wide range of compounds in air. Their expertise includes the testing of air samples or samples of the wallboard material itself. Please contact the laboratory at 805-526-7161 for more information or to obtain a quote.

Learn more about Chinese Drywall Testing

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14 Responses to “Odor-Emitting Wallboard Raises Health and Safety Concerns”

  1. Jed Zimmerman Says:

    I sell UV-C light units. I live in Florida and close to the communities that have been affected by this issue.

    If you know of any studies linking the use of UV irradiation with Sulphur or other wall board materials, I would be grateful.

    Thank you,
    Jed B. Zimmerman
    President, MindMatters Inc.

  2. Columbia Analytical Says:

    Hello Jed!

    We are not aware of any studies linking UV irradiation with any wall board materials.

  3. sam calandra Says:

    simple question.
    what are the minerals in the drywall coming from china?
    Why are there so many problems with manufactured products coming from China?
    Why are the American people not protected from dangerous products coming here from other countries?

  4. admin Says:

    Hello Sam!

    Minerals in drywall materials may not be the culprits causing the problems that have been reported. That information is not known at the present time, but we hope to have an answer soon. As to the other questions you asked, we are not the proper authorities to answer them. We are an analytical laboratory that tests samples for various substances.

  5. Rebecca Says:

    Is there enough data yet to track when/where the affected products were sold? I’m nowhere near Florida, and the house we just bought is 10 years old, but the walls in one room give off an awful smell. I suppose it’s possible that wallboard was replaced after the home was originally built, but I’m at my wits end trying to trace this nauseating odor.

  6. Columbia Analytical Says:

    Hello Rebecca,

    You may follow the FL DOH’s “step by step self assessment guide” to determine if you have the suspected Chinese drywall in your home. Here is the link to the website:
    http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/community/indoor-air/inspections.html

    There might be other things causing odor in your home. If you still have any questions please feel free to contact us.

  7. Claire McKibben Says:

    Could my wallboard be causing headaches? It was installed just before I heard about the problem of wallboard coming from China, but I don’t know if mine did. I live in Northern California.

    I do not notice a smell, but the headaches began after installation 5 years ago.

  8. ralph guerriero Says:

    i’m looking to buy town house in lauderdale by the sea. from a builder you you know if the w/b was used in that area and when was this w/b used in fl.from when to when when was pulled from mkt. or is it still being used and sold thanks ralph

  9. Columbia Analytical Says:

    Hi Ralph, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission is currently researching your questions among others. I would recommend that you visit their website and/or contact them for the most up to date information about distribution of Chinese wallboard.

  10. Julius Christian B. Eustaquio Says:

    It is a good thing that you made a study about that matter so that I may able to improve the Investigatory Project that I am persuing concerning that matter. Thank You very much for that info

  11. jacque Says:

    wondered what happens to wallboard when it gets wet?

  12. Columbia Analytical Says:

    Jacque, aside from issues unrelated to the “Chinese Drywall” corrosion phenomenon (e.g. structural integrity, mold issues), we do know that moisture and heat tend to accelerate the corrosion phenomenon. Our laboratory has set up chamber tests using suspect drywall and a piece of copper tubing, added de-ionized water to the chamber and incubated at an elevated temperature for several weeks. After several weeks the copper tubing in those chambers is discolored and/or corroded.

  13. Colleen Horner Says:

    Has seizure symtoms been linked to this drywall problem?

  14. Columbia Analytical Says:

    Hi Colleen, for health related concerns, you may try contacting your state’s department of health or the CPC: http://www.cpsc.gov/info/drywall/index.html. The Florida Department of Health has section dedicated to Chinese drywall concerns: http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/community/indoor-air/drywall.html

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