About ToxicTrailers.com

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 4becky@cox.net.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

RV makers LOVE formaldehyde...

Just last week, I spoke with two representatives from Forest River, a manufacturer in Indiana. One representative candidly told me that they actually apply formaldehyde to their paneling after they receive it. It is their belief that it helps to preserve the product.

For some time now, we have searched and searched for a trailer, RV or modular home that is nearly formaldehyde-free and has very minimal VOCs. We actually want to buy a couple units. One for Michigan and one for Gulf Coast of Texas. We're retired seniors and plan to spend our time in the best living comfort offered by either area.

For some time now, for more than one year, I have searched to find safer units that we can buy. Please understand that I'm not being entirely academic with this pursuit. We actually want to buy a couple of units.

The net result after all my searching is that there are NO safe (or safer) units built by ANY manufacturers of travel trailers, mobile homes, RVs or modular homes.

At first, most of the manufacturers blame the carpeting for formaldehyde emissions. However, when pushed, they also will reveal that none of their products are formaldehyde-free, and that includes vinyl, permanent press draperies, carpet, paint, insulation, paneling, cabinets, construction adhesives, subfloor and sheathing OSB. Just about NOTHING in their units, regardless of the manufacturer is formaldehyde-free or contains low-VOCs.

Unfortunately, the alternative solution is NOT to buy a stick-built house. Most of the construction materials contain toxins. And all of those toxic materials are used by the majority of builders, nationwide.

For those people who are interested in safer building materials, and in preserving their own health, we have established a blogsite that features safer alternatives. Nearly every unsafe product in use today can be switched for a safer product. People just need to know, so they can begin requiring those materials when they purchase a housing unit.

The blogsite is http://www.saferbuildinglivingston.blogspot.com/

To bring about a change, consumers need to inform the manufacturers and builders of all types of housing that they are aware that the majority of their components are toxic. Then people need to insist on safer materials. Otherwise, they will refuse to buy.

Manufacturers contend that the formaldehyde-laden materials are more economical and therefore are required to be used, so the manufacturer can remain competitive.

Well, if consumers balk and refuse to purchase, then the manufacturers will be forced to respond as a requirement to stay in business. But as long as immense quantities of toxic-laden units are purchased, such as the infamous FEMA trailers, the manufacturers have no reason to change any of their methods or materials.

Bob Gramer, Michigan