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.

Friday, December 14, 2007

More testing isn't the answer...

FEMA\CDC announced yesterday they will FINALLY begin the testing of FEMA trailers for formaldehyde that was promised last summer in a congressional hearing. See the Native Times article dated 12-13-07 under toxic trailers news.

Testing done by Sierra Club, testing done by EPA and testing done by attorneys involved in lawsuits regarding formaldehyde all show that formaldehyde is a serious problem in nearly all of the units. That includes mobile homes as well as RVs. Instead of another round of testing, FEMA needs to immediately purchase some formaldehyde free emergency housing. That type of housing is available. Since the problem has already been well established, why is FEMA being so slow to act to replenish the stock of housing needed for emergencies from manufacturers willing to use building materials that don’t make people sick?

Another issue is remediation. With FEMA having purchased more than $1 billion worth of these campers, it should be joining with the CDC to evaluate various remediation tools for reducing formaldehyde to safe levels. Unfortunately, on the Gulf Coast very little affordable housing has been rebuilt due to costly requirement to elevate homes out of the flood zone combined with killer insurance rates. Many thousands of people simply don’t have any other option than the FEMA housing that has been provided to them. FEMA and CDC need to evaluate the different types of techniques to reduce formaldehyde to see if this could be a cost effective solution to the problem.

Also, it is troubling that FEMA\CDC have decided to undertake this testing at the time of year when formaldehyde emissions would be expected to be at their lowest levels. Formaldehyde outgassing increases with heat or humidity, so it seems no “accident” that FEMA—which promised last summer to quickly begin a testing program—has delayed and delayed until the coldest weather of the year.

Becky Gillette