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.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

brain cancer and formaldehyde

My stepfather was diagnosed with a brain cancer the same kind Kennedy has. He had perfect health no drinking, smoking or other bad habits. He is in stage 4 and maybe with radiation and kemo he can live up to 5 years. FEMA tested his trailer and the results was 77 PPB.

MS Cottages test high in formaldehyde

The Mississippi Cottages developed as an alternative to the toxic Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) trailers and mobile homes may have unacceptably high formaldehyde levels themselves, according to test results released by the Sierra Club.

Responding to concerns about travel trailers being cramped, uncomfortable and making disaster victims sick, FEMA granted $281 million to the State of Mississippi to develop FEMA’s Alternative Housing Program to develop safer and more comfortable emergency housing for victims of natural disasters. The contracts granted by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), however, went to some of the same manufacturers that produced the toxic FEMA mobile homes.

“With the start of hurricane season upon us, all we ask is for safe, healthy, emergency housing,” said Becky Gillette, formaldehyde campaign director for Sierra Club. “The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has plans to test the Mississippi Cottages, and we urge the agency to require manufacturers to remediate any units with high formaldehyde levels.”

Sierra Club, working with WLOX ABC Channel 13 in Gulfport, recently tested five Mississippi Cottages using kits from Advanced Chemical Sensors. Three of the Cottages came in over 0.1 parts per million (ppm), the level at which the EPA and American Lung Association say health effects can occur. The other two Cottages tested above the long-term exposure limits recommended by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

The Mississippi Cottages are larger units that were designed to be cleaner and safer than the infamous FEMA trailers and mobile homes. But the test results suggest that the new Cottages may not have solved the formaldehyde problem. Families currently live in at least 2,500 Cottages, and many more still live in FEMA trailers or mobile homes, including those that have been purchased by the occupants. Many of these people are sick from high formaldehyde levels.

FEMA had announced that it would only purchase emergency housing that tested below 0.016 ppm—much less than what Sierra Club has found in the new Cottages. FEMA made that decision after testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed high formaldehyde levels in FEMA trailers, recreational vehicles and mobile homes (see http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehhe/trailerstudy/.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Washington Post on formaldehyde

Check out the news section of this webpage on the right for a link to the very comprehensive and well-researched article in the Washington Post Sunday on the formaldehyde problems. This is the best news article on the topic since Amanda Spake's article in The Nation. Here is an excerpt that tells the story in a nutshell:

Weak government contracting, sloppy private construction, a surge of low-quality wood imports from China and inconsistent regulation all contributed to the crisis, a Washington Post review found. But each of the key players has pointed fingers at others, a chain of blame with a cost that will not be known for years.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

formaldehyde and brain cancer

With the attention on brain cancer due to the sad news about Sen. Ted Kennedy's tumor, there are new reports that formaldehyde increases the risk of brain cancer for pathologists and embalmers who work with formaldehyde who have an increased risk of developing brain cancer. Who knows the effect of large numbers of people being exposed to formaldehyde up to 24 hours per day in their FEMA trailers, mobile homes and other housing such as modular houses and manufactured apartments?

Monday, May 19, 2008

FEMA selling toxic trailers to residents

Note there is an excellent article today by Gannett News reporter Ana Radalet revealing that FEMA is offering to sell trailers to families even after the trailers have tested high in formaldehyde. Check out the link under toxic trailer news.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Newspaper does story on Truckee apartments

Please check out good story in Sierra Sun linked on the right part of the page under toxic trailer news. It is a story about the manufactured apartment complex in Truckee CA that was discussed in an earlier blog.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

modular homes high in formaldehyde

I have a friend who, along with her family and the dog, have suffered much the past few years. The doctors gave them no idea as to what was causing their health issues. They had numerous symptoms, watery eyes, headaches, blood disorders and their dog had seizures and finally died. They had suspected that perhaps it might be formaldehyde poisoning, after news from FEMA and Hurricane Katrina, which stemmed from either carpets or kitchen cabinets. They own a modular home. They have conducted expensive tests and they show that the formaldehyde level in their home is four times higher than the acceptable rate.
What can be done about this problem in many homes when many people are totally unaware of what is making them ill? Our friends have now learned that there are many other people who have modular homes in the area who suffer the same health issues as they and again, doctors have no clue as to what is doing it.
Do you have any advice?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

formaldehyde in baby furniture!

Baby nursery cribs, changing tables, and dressers can emit formaldehyde at levels linked with increased risk of childhood allergies and asthma, according to a new report released today by Environment California Research & Policy Center. In Toxic Baby Furniture: The Latest Case for Making Products Safe from the Start, Environment California Research & Policy Center worked with an independent laboratory to determine whether formaldehyde emissions from common baby nursery furnishings significantly contribute to indoor air pollution.

“One toxic chemical after another, we’re finding them in our children’s products at levels known to contribute to significant health problems ranging from asthma to cancer. Unfortunately, formaldehyde is just the latest example,” said Rachel Gibson, report author and staff attorney for Environment California. “Right now, through the Green Chemistry Initiative, California has the opportunity to provide real protections to children by requiring the replacement of toxic chemicals with safer alternatives.”

Monday, May 5, 2008

2002 travel trailer still high in formaldehyde

Note: A test kit was sent to the following person in North Carolina. His test results came in at 0.183 ppm which is very high. EPA recommends a maximum level of 0.1 ppm and for long-term exposure the concentrations should be far, far less. No wonder the family was having problems!


I bought my 2002 Coachman travel trailer (28ft) brand new in 2002. I noticed, on hot days especially, and with the windows closed, a very strong irritating interior air. The eyes and nose would burn with a headache soon afterwards. I figured it would dissipate over a short time and didn't give it much thought. I am still having the problem but not as acute. Hope we can get some help with this problem. I have two kids that use the camper with us and was always worried about there airways being affected. I have been trying to sell it for almost a year now with no luck. Help.