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, September 26, 2007

RV industry denies problem

As would be expected in an industry publication, the RV industry is denying there is any problem with high formaldehyde levels in trailers.

Here is an excerpt from RV Trade Digest (a link to the article is listed under Toxic Trailer News):

"For the most part, the formaldehyde issue is yet the latest hit job by what Rush Limbaugh calls the drive-by media – reporters acting like gang members who spray bullets into a crowd causing mass panic and hysteria only to calmly drive away unscathed and unnoticed as the gangsters look for their next victims."

This reporter ought to be required to spend just one weekend in a camper like Marvin Motes that has tested at over .3 ppm. You literally can't stay in one of these campers 15 minutes without it becoming immediately apparent you are being poisoned. We have gotten calls and email from people all over the country who have suffered from formaldehyde poisoning for a product they paid good money for. Yet instead of fixing the problem, the RV industry just continues to ignore it.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

formaldehyde test below .1 ppm but I'm still sick

I put a formaldehyde test in my kitchen. The reading was 0.06.2. I have been told that this level is no cause for concern, however I still feel like crap......I keep having sinus problems, and I stay tired. I got my blood gas test results from the hospital, and it said everything was normal, however it did not say anything about my formic acid levels. I have been told that this is what should be tested for formaldehyde poisoning. Is this true? Is there some other type of test I should have taken? I will be putting another formaldehyde test in the bedroom today, for I feel that maybe there is some in the dressers, and nightstands....Please e-mail me back for any info, because Im having a hard time getting anyone to tell me what kind of test should be done to detect this in the body....


Melissa: The .1 ppm limit listed on the test kit is not for long term exposure that can be as much as 24 hours per day. Some agencies recommend much lower long term exposure limits. Your test is higher than those levels. The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) Minimal Risk Levels (MRL): Acute MRL: 0.04 ppm (1-14 days exposure); Intermediate duration MRL: 0.03 ppm (>14-364 days exposure); Chronic duration MRL: 0.008 ppm (365 or more days exposure)

It is likely the formaldehyde levels are higher in the bedroom especially right near where you sleep at night close to the particle board. I don't know how useful the formic acid testing is as one woman we know got a low reading for it but has still been quite sick. Best thing is to get out of the camper. FEMA is providing temporary housing assistance and even moving people into trailers.

I need to see a doctor about the recurrence of eye-burning from needing to leave the trailer windows closed in the summer. Do you know whether FEMA takes any responsibility? Do we need to see FEMA's doctors? What sort of treatment can be used to help the symptoms?

Jana Henson, New Orleans

Dear Jana: FEMA doesn't have any doctors, but there is a fax number you can send requests to be reimbursed for medical bills related to formaldehyde. The number is 1-800-827-8112. I know some people with eye problems have been prescribed expensive medications. One woman's eye drops are costing her $60 for a five-day supply. You would have to see a physician to see what might be recommended in your case.


Katrina gets government help in destroying lives

have been living in a fema camper since November 2005 due to Katrina. I had a Sharper Image Ionic Breeze Quadra air cleaner running all the time, I keep one window open all the time and hang a blanket over the screen door with the main door open, summer and winter. Things were iffy, I got sick a lot but got over it each time. Now the air cleaner has quit working and I am going downhill quickly. I have a raging sore throat all the time which improves when I am not in here. I'm exhausted all the time. Not just tired, EXHAUSTED. I can't think clearly most of the time. I've had skin rashes galore. My eyes water and burn the entire time I'm in this camper and I wake up with them just about glued shut every morning. My vision has deteriorated considerably since the storm, but I'm not sure if that's from the camper or not. I'm constantly coughing up God knows what kind of pestilence, my sinuses are just shot. I have no money to go to the doctor, so I'm just stuck. My house is still gutted and will probably not be fixed for several more years. The grant program put my well over 90% damaged house at 62% damage and try as I might, I could not make the money cover it all, so I have almost everything I need to fix it, just can't get past the open inspection or pay for labor or continually renewing the permits. With that being the case, I have little hope of getting out of this thing any time soon. The stress of trying to work to pay my bills, take care of the million things you have to do to rebuild a house and being sick all the time is taking its toll. I am alone, there is no one to do any of this but me. This is looking more and more like a no-win situation. What Katrina didn't take at the start, she's getting now, because there isn't enough of me left to take care of it all. I just didn't think she was going to be getting all this government help!