ToxicTrailers.com was launched after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when the government spent more than $2 billion on FEMA trailers with high levels of formaldehyde that sickened thousands of people. The FEMA trailer tragedy exposed what is a widespread problem in RVs, mobile homes, modular buildings and even conventional buildings that use pressed wood products. Unfortunately, as we approach the tenth anniversary of Katrina, formaldehyde regulations are not being enforced in the U.S., and people's health is at risk. If you are having burning eyes, congestion, sore throat, coughing, breathing difficulties, frequent sinus infections or rashes, and difficulties concentrating, you may have a formaldehyde problem. For questions or to share your story, write firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Good article here discusses not just formaldehyde but how ethyl alcohol can be a problem in some RVs. https://axleaddict.com/rvs/Are-Dangerous-Chemicals-Lurking-in-Your-RV Excerpt: A reader recently wrote to tell me about a situation that he and his wife endured after purchasing their new RV. They took it on a vacation and, as a result, ended up becoming horribly ill and going to the emergency room three times, twice during their vacation and once again after they got back home. Eventually they discovered that their health problems had been caused by exposure to formaldehyde and ethyl alcohol which were both present in their new unit. These chemicals can be toxic to human beings, and both are used in the manufacturing of certain materials that are in campers, travel trailers and motor homes. Formaldehyde The most dangerous chemical found in recreational vehicles is formaldehyde. This product is used most often in embalming and also as glue in building materials which can leak toxic gasses into the air in hot, humid weather and cause splitting headaches, upper respiratory problems, nosebleeds and even asthma. In worst case scenarios, this carcinogen can cause death. In a health advisory put out by ABC News the public has been told that there has been an upsurge in these types of RV traveler problems because manufacturers are returning to the previously banned practice of using cheaper materials that allow Formaldehyde to leak into recreational vehicles. This is should not be the case since prices for recreational vehicles are at an all time high. As such, manufacturers should not need to cut corners, especially when doing so can be dangerous for the people who buy their products. Since most RVs have some level of formaldehyde in them, travelers who are using products such as hand sanitizers and mouthwash may find that the negative effects of the alcohol in those products become exacerbated. This will significantly increase their chances of developing serious health problems. Ethyl Alcohol Another toxic chemical found in RVs is a colorless liquid called ethyl alcohol (ethanol). Also known as alcohol, it is one of the main ingredients in wine, beer and liquor. When used in alcoholic drinks that are casually consumed, it is not generally harmful, but if you ingest it straight, it is so toxic that it can kill you. Long term use of alcoholic drinks is known to cause many health problems aside from alcoholism such as cancer, nervous system damage, heart disease and psychiatric problems. It can also be lethal if it reaches a concentration above 460 mg per 100 mg of blood. If you want more details about its history and dangers, you can find them here....
Monday, July 9, 2018
The following New York Magazine article says EPA is hiding proof the formaldehyde causes cancer During a Senate hearing in late January, Ed Markey asked then-EPA director Scott Pruitt about a little rumor that he’d overheard. “It’s my understanding,” the Massachusetts senator said, “that the EPA has finalized its conclusion that formaldehyde causes leukemia and other cancers and that [the] completed new assessment is ready to be released for public review, but is being held up.” “You know, my understanding is similar to yours,” Pruitt replied. Formaldehyde is one of the most ubiquitous industrial chemicals in the United States. It’s in much of the wooden furniture that Americans sit in, the body wash they clean themselves with — and, for those who live in the vicinity of a major refinery, the air that they breathe. And here, the director of the agency responsible for protecting the American people from toxic chemicals was saying, under oath, that he was vaguely aware of a report linking formaldehyde to a variety of terminal illnesses. If that report were released — and its findings independently verified by the National Academies of Sciences — then the EPA would strengthen restrictions on the chemical’s use, while cancer patients could draw on the findings in class-action lawsuits. The effect of all this would be to force industry to reduce its reliance on formaldehyde — and thus, to reduce the number of Americans who suffer from the ravages of leukemia, nose and throat cancer, and a variety of less severe respiratory ailments. See rest of story at http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/the-epa-is-hiding-proof-that-formaldehyde-causes-leukemia.html
Monday, May 28, 2018
Very sad to see EPA once again working for industry instead of the people... Pressured by industry, U.S. EPA slows formaldehyde study release Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under pressure from the chemical industry, has delayed release of a study detailing cancer risks from formaldehyde, according to internal communications seen by Reuters, potentially keeping important health information from the public. Top EPA officials have declined to review the study or be briefed by its experts on the findings, the internal communications showed. The EPA already lists formaldehyde, used in building materials like plywood and foam insulation, as a probable carcinogen. The new report is expected for the first time to detail its links to leukemia. The report, an update of the EPA’s existing human health assessment of the widely used chemical, was completed by scientists from the agency’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) late last year and must go through a months-long internal review process before it can be issued to the public for comment. The delay could further heighten scrutiny of EPA, already fending off complaints that it and the White House considered blocking a study on water contamination by PFOA and PFOS, chemicals used in Teflon and firefighting. Politico reported on May 14 that a Trump administration aide had warned release of that study would cause a “public relations nightmare.” The Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy group, said delaying the report fits a broader pattern of the agency’s political leadership interfering with public health research. “By sweeping scientific assessments under the rug, EPA fails to fulfill its mission of protecting public health. The public has the right to know about public health threats,” said Yogin Kothari, UCS Washington director. The EPA told Congress in early February it expected to start the agency review process for the formaldehyde assessment “shortly,” according to the EPA staff communications. But in follow-up communications between agency employees in late April, one career staffer wrote that EPA Chief of Staff Ryan Jackson, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum, and Wehrum’s deputy Clint Woods had not given their permission to initiate the review and had refused offers from EPA scientists to brief them on it. “No office in the EPA is interested in formaldehyde,” the staffer wrote. The 60-to-90-day agency review and a subsequent inter-agency review of a similar duration must happen before the study can be issued for public comment. Prior to the communications, the chemistry industry’s main lobby group, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), had been pressuring the EPA to avoid drawing links between formaldehyde and leukemia in its assessment. EPA’s deputy assistant administrator of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Nancy Beck, previously served as director of regulatory science policy at the ACC. Beck is not named in the communication.