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 9, 2008

Oversight Comm. hearing reveal extremely high formaldehyde levels

Testing done by the CDC this past winter revealed formaldehyde levels so high that FEMA decided to try to relocate everyone out of emergency housing as soon as possible. But many have wondered how much higher levels were when people first moved into the trailers two years ago because formaldehyde concentrations diminish over time.

Thanks to Rep. Henry Waxman and the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, we now know that manufacturers tested the trailers and found HUGELY ELEVATED levels of formaldehyde. See except below. These are levels of formaldehyde immediately dangerous to health.

Excerpt from executive summary http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20080709103125.pdf

The documents and interviews show that the trailer manufacturers received complaints about high formaldehyde levels in their trailers from hurricane evacuees and others and tested formaldehyde levels in both occupied and unoccupied trailers. The most extensive testing was conducted over two years ago by Gulf Stream, the largest supplier of FEMA trailers. Gulf Stream found formaldehyde levels at or above 100 ppb in every occupied FEMA trailer tested, with two trailers having levels over 600 ppb. The company found even higher levels — up to 4,000 ppb — in unoccupied trailers waiting to be deployed by FEMA. One contractor hired by Forest River to test a trailer in Illinois found formaldehyde levels above 1,500 ppb and advised the manufacturer to “post signs … stating ‘hazardous – do not enter.’”

Despite these test results, the trailer manufacturers did not warn trailer occupants of the dangerous levels of formaldehyde. Gulf Stream did not tell FEMA the company had found elevated levels of formaldehyde in occupied trailers or warn FEMA not to place families in its unoccupied trailers.