During the recent housing boom, when materials were in short supply, many American construction companies imported a Chinese made dry wall. Estimates put the amount imported in the 500 million pound range and a possible 100,000 homes in America.
While the building materials were used nationwide there seems to be a concentration in Southern states. Due to the concentration, health departments in Virginia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Florida, and Washington are investigating the use of this material and its adverse effects on home owners.
The bulk of the material entered the states with the rebuilding of destroyed communities due to Gulf Coast hurricanes in 2006. The reason for the large boom after that was because of a short supply of domestic materials and also the cheaper price. According to an AP report, a home owner saved $1,000 on his home building cost due to the use of the Chinese dry wall.
The Miami Herald has an informational Q&A about the Chinese dry wall and how you can figure out if your house, apartment or condominium was built with the material. If you live in the South in a house or apartment built after 2004, please check out this information.