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, January 9, 2008

FEMA trailer problems affect ability to work and entire lifestyle

I am writing to you as a result of my conversation with a representative from the CDC, my existing health issues and also after hearing about the deaths and numerous health related issues which others have been having from living in their FEMA trailers resulting from their exposure to formaldehyde.

MY SYMPTOMS- Since I began staying into my FEMA trailer, I have had a constant cough and nasal drip, then when I would go out of town for a few days it would go away. I have had a constant tired feeling as though I was coming down with a cold or the flu. There was an incident where I was out of town for about two weeks and when I opened the door, there was a strong odor and my eyes began to poor with water. Immediately, I called FEMA maintenance and was told to open the windows to air it out. I told her that I was not going back into it and that leaving the door open would have to air it out on it's own. They disbursed someone to come out that day and check out my trailer and I was informed by their contracted maintenance personnel that they have been having problems related to formaldehyde and people getting sick.

I never thought that my major issue listed below could possibly be a direct result of formaldehyde exposure from living in my FEMA trailer at the time. But then after all of this time of hearing and reading about the numerous deaths and health issues concerning others who have been living in their FEMA trailers I began to have my concerns. In the beginning, I was commuting back and forth for work and was only in my trailer a few nights a week but I noticed that I had a cough and when I would leave it would go away. I then became sick with upper respiratory infections in November of 2006, December 2006, January of 2007 and again in late April of 2007. Remembering even in between these dates, I never really felt like I was well. I always felt tired as though my body was trying to come down with an illness of some sort.

On the evening of 5/17/07, I began to experience extreme pressure in my head (similar to congestion, or my not being able to pop my ears after departing from an airplane), then I noticed an excruciating loud noise in my head coupled by extreme dizziness and shortly after I learned that I could not hear anything from right ear. This came on suddenly with no warning signs. I went to an otolarynologist on 5/18/07. He ran a series of tests, CT scan, MRI, hearing, auditory, etc. He began treating me with high dose antibiotics for 10 days, acyclovir for 7 days, predinisone, antivert, nasonex, allfen, zanax and ambien CR. He asked me if I'd had any recent bouts with sinus problems or upper respiratory problems. I explained to him that I had and gave him a description of how I'd been feeling. He told me that due to the recent upper respiratory infections, I must have had a virus or something that settled into my inner ear which caused these damages. The auditory tests have shown only slight improvement in my hearing. But to date, I am still experiencing all of the symptoms daily.

At the present time, I currently have another upper respiratory infection and I am on a very high dose of antibiotics again.

I am very concerned that my problems could be caused due to my exposure of formaldehyde in my FEMA trailer. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with someone from the Sierra Club to learn in more detail what I should do in regards to testing, etc. and what steps I should take to resolve this most serious and urgent matter. This has affected my ability to work as well as my entire lifestyle. I look forward to hearing from someone as soon as possible; I can be reached by email or my phone number is 228-860-0000.

Thanks so very much,

Natalie J. Olier'

Note: After posting this message Natalie tested her FEMA trailer. It came in at .41 ppm, one of highest levels of formaldehyde we have seen in any of the FEMA trailers tested. This trailer was a Travelstar by Starcraft manufactured in Nov. 2005 and delivered in Dec. 2005 to Nathalie.