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 25, 2009

bah humbug to Sen. David Vitter

A big “bah humbug” to Sen. David Vitter for his Christmas Eve victory in getting the EPA to cave in to the Formaldehyde Council with an agreement paving the way for Christmas Eve Senate approval of Paul Anastas as EPA's director of research and development. David Vitter was holding up the confirmation of Anastas in order to do the bidding of the Formaldehyde Council, which wanted a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) review of the formaldehyde toxicity research as a way to delay and dilute effective regulations of this dangerous chemical.
Jonathon Tilove reported in the Times Picayune today that EPA had resisted Vitter's pressure, contending the NAS review would delay its ability to issue a risk assessment and new safety standards.
Vitter has received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from formaldehyde interests.
Predictably, the Formaldehyde Council (FC) was delighted that EPA agreed to allow NAS to review the literature. Betsy Natz, executive director of the FC, said "In his time in Washington, Sen. Vitter has acted as a firm advocate in favor of sound science in the development of public policy, consistently resisting the injection of agenda-driven research into environmental regulation."
How can she say that with a straight face? Resisting the injection of "agenda-driven research?" What can be more agenda driven than helping the Formaldehyde Council's scientific prostitutes biased reviews of scientific studies to be used to counter the overwhelming scientific evidence that formaldehyde causes cancer, breathing problems, and a host of other health problems?
EPA said that the NAS review must be done in an expedited manner. Let's hope that happens, and that NAS doesn't allow biased research reviews paid for by the Formaldehyde Institute to prevent proper regulation of formaldehyde. The Formaldehyde Council isn’t concerned about good science. It just wants to subvert the science and keep the track record it has had for the past 30 years in preventing this dangerous pollutant from being properly regulated.
It is great the Anastas, known as the Father of Green Chemistry, was confirmed. Now let's hope he is able to be effective in harnessing the power of green chemistry to find safer alternatives to carcinogens like formaldehyde in common use in our environment.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

FEMA trailer sales: Don't mention it FAILED formaldehyde test!

We’ve been concerned for some time about the government selling FEMA trailers that contain high formaldehyde levels. Now see that these instruction provided on GSA’s website advise sellers not to tell potential buyers that the unit failed the formaldehyde test.

I know a number of people who unwittingly bought FEMA trailers from dealers who didn’t disclose they were FEMA trailers. These folks have gotten sick, and have no recourse to get their money back. When will the government stop compounding the problem by selling these toxic FEMA trailers? Wasn’t it enough to poison the Katrina\Rita survivors? Now we have to spread the misery around?

Here is what the GSA website says about the FEMA trailer sales:

http://gsaauctions.gov/attachment/41QSCI10035001.HTM

Obvious Damage and/or Comments: Is there any damage on the unit (interior or exterior) that goes above and beyond normal wear and tear? Mention any damaged items found. Enter whether or not the unit has been tested for formaldehyde. If tested we MUST provide the test results. Do not state that the unit FAILED the formaldehyde test.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Vitter YouTube video...

There is a great new YouTube Video out about the Formaldehyde Senator David Vitter:

David Vitter has a dirty little secret. But it is not what you are think. (Vitter's involvement in a prostitution scandal). David Vitter is holding up an appointment to the EPA. Why? Because the formaldehyde industry doesn't want an investigation into the possible cancer causing effects of their chemicals. Vitter took thousands from formaldehyde producers and now newspapers report he is holding up an appointment to protect them. Meanwhile 34,000 New Orleans residents may have been exposed to formaldehyde in FEMA trailers. David Vitter, It is one dirty secret after another.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYqpM1jOhAQ

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Vitter on the defensive for '10

The News Star reports today that Sen. David Vitter from LA lied about his opponent's vote on health care and has misrepresented the climate change legislation...see link to new story on the lower right. Here is an excerpt from the story re the Formaldehyde Senator blocking a key EPA appointment:


"It turns out that the EPA has signaled plans to assess formaldehyde's health effects and its concomitant usage in building materials and household products because studies have found a link between formaldehyde and cancer. An EPA under Anastas would likely restrict the use of formaldehyde in building materials, like the FEMA mobile homes that sickened thousands of Katrina evacuees.

"It turns out that Vitter has received $9,000 from Dow Chemical's PAC, $5,000 from Monsanto's PAC, $5,000 from ExxonMobil's PAC, and $2,500 from the American Forest and Paper Association PAC. The American Forest and Paper Association is a member of the Formaldehyde Council; the other companies are known producers of formaldehyde. Money talks, cancer victims don't."

Friday, November 13, 2009

Porn Star running against Formaldehyde Senator David Vitter

Porn star Stormy Daniels, who is running for U.S. Senate in Louisiana against incumbent Republican David Vitter, said in an interview with Marie Claire that she would provide a contrast to the hypocrisy of the incumbent, a family-values politician who was implicated in a prostitution scandal. See link under news for the story. Also Mother Jones has published a new article titled, David Vitter, R-Formaldehyde.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Toxic Chinese drywall homes have formaldehyde problems, too

(Note: This is in response to a news report showing there are high formaldehyde levels without the ac on in homes finished with toxic Chinese drywall. CDC says the formaldehyde isn't coming from the drywall.)

What I find very interesting is the volume of toxic products coming from China into the United States. During the Cold-War the United States was very worried about subversive attacks on the United States that targeted the general population.

I keep seeing story after story of toxic Chinese products making American citizens sick, decreasing productivity while increasing the cost of care. If we were still holding onto the Cold-War mentality people would being screaming about these events as attacks on US sovereignty.

It might sound a little out there, but the United States has been using subversive tactics for as long as we have been in existence, against the American Indians with Small Pox blankets, in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation, in Iran when they were at war with Iraq, in the Soviet Union, in Central America, in Laos, Cambodia, and the list goes on and on.

I know this seems a little far fetched but we are not talking about isolated incidents, lead in toys, formaldehyde in furniture, sulfur in drywall, melamine in milk, etc, etc, etc.

I'm just wondering when the United States government will say enough is enough??

Thoughts??
Paul Stewart

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Vitter doing bidding of formaldehyde industry

The Baton Rouge Advocate has a story today (link under the news section of this page on the lower right) regarding the Louisiana Environmental Action Network sending out an alert to ask members to contact Sen. David Vitter to remove his hold on an important EPA nomination. Vitter is arm twisting to make EPA agree to do what the Formaldehyde Council wants regarding a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) review of the research regarding the toxicity of formaldehyde before regulating it. Vitter said he had never heard of NAS being used as an industry tool, but the Center for Science in the Public Interest says one in five scientists on NAS panels has a direct financial ties to the companies that stand to benefit from the deliberations—a clear conflict of interest. See http://www.cspinet.org/new/200607241.html or the link under news on this page.

Literally thousands of families in Louisiana were poisoned by formaldehyde in FEMA trailers, and now their Sen. Vitter--who has received significant campaign contributions from industries that emit large quantities of formaldehyde pollution--wants to prevent this harmful chemical from finally being properly regulated in the U.S. If getting caught in a prostitution scandal isn't enough, hopefully Vitter's FormaldehydeGate will turn Louisiana voters to a better choice.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

HUD formaldehyde target level is INSANE!

HUD doesn’t actually have a limit on formaldehyde levels in indoor air but supposedly the composite wood limits are designed to meet a limit of 400 ppb in manufactured housing. This hugely elevated level is enough to knock you down if you walk into it. Here is a response on HUD’s extremely high target levels from expert Linda Kincaid, Master of Public Health, Certified Industrial Hygienist:

The HUD ceiling is 400 ppb formaldehyde?!?!?! The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has set an *occupational* Ceiling Limit of 300 ppb formaldehyde. That means a plumber coming into a home that meets the HUD criterion would be required to wear a respirator. Yet, children live there 24/7 with no protection. Insane!

HUD negligent in regulating formaldehyde

Recently toxic trailers got an email from a family in Arizona whose 5 year old son got very sick from formaldehyde outgassing from a mobile home. They alerted me that the former link on this site to report problems to HUD with formaldehyde no longer works. I wrote and called the HUD official who gave me that link, and there has been no response. This is maddening especially in light of the federal judge removing thousands of FEMA trailer plaintiffs from the lawsuit because, supposedly, they lived in mobile homes and mobile homes have formaldehyde regulated by HUD. But HUD is controlled by the Formaldehyde Council and appears to care little for people's health.

See this response below from Paul Stewart:

Interesting...if you want to file a complaint with HUD about housing discrimination there is an online form:

http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/topics/housing_discrimination

If you want to file a complaint about Multi Family housing you can call a number:

The Multifamily Housing Complaint Line is a service provided by HUD's Multifamily Housing Clearinghouse (MFHC) 1-800-MULTI-70 (1-800-685-8470).

If you want to report abuse in reference to Title 1 issues you can call a number:

To report any fraud or abuse in the Title1 Program, call toll-free (800) 569-4287/ TTY (800) 483-220.

If you want to report fraud or waste there are 4 ways to contact HUD:

You can submit your complaint one of 4 ways:

Online, through e-mail, by phone, or by mail.

Online
http://www.hud.gov/offices/oig/hotline/

By Phone:
Call toll free: 1-800-347-3735
TDD: (202) 708-2451
By Fax: (202) 708-4829

By Mail:
HUD Office of Inspector General Hotline, GFI
451 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20410

BUT of course...if you want to report a problem with Manufactured Housing HUD wants you to start by taking matters into your own hands by contacting the manufacturer and then if you do not achieve positive results...now get this...Contact your STATE agency and then and only then...if your state does not have such an agency you can WRITE a letter and send it Snail Mail to HUD..good grief...who is HUD working for anyway???

If you have a problem with your manufactured home, the first thing you should do is contact the business who sold you the home or the manufacturer that produced the home, to try to resolve the problem. If that fails, you can file a complaint. Include a description of the problem, along with copies of any correspondence or contacts with the retailer and the manufacturer to resolve the problem. Also include:

  Your name, address and a telephone number where you can be reached during the day;
  The name of the manufacturer;
  The serial number and model number of your home;
  The label number (the red tag on the back of the home);
  The date purchased; and
  The name of the business who sold you the home.

Send your complaint to your State Administrative Agency or, if your state doesn’t have such an agency, send it to:

Manufactured Housing and Standards Division
Office of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs 
Department of Housing and Urban Development 
451 7th St. SW, Room 9152 
Washington, D.C. 20410-8000

Friday, September 25, 2009

Katrina survivors hit once again...

It feels like the Katrina\Rita survivors have been once again been let down by the federal government in the decision by a federal jury in New Orleans against the plaintiffs in the first FEMA trailer trial. It is like being back to square one when the government denied for 2.5 years that formaldehyde was a problem in the FEMA trailers. It is too bad none of the jurors ever lived in a travel trailer so high in formaldehyde that it made your nose bleed, eyes water, sinuses seize up, constantly cough, etc. This is a "bellwether" trial, meaning that the outcome is not legally binding, but will be used to help allow parties to decide if a settlement would be the best way to resolve the issue. THe next bellwether trial is scheduled to start Dec. 6.

This is very disappointing, but remember we are up against powerful business interests that have made millions of dollars by making sure formaldehyde is not regulated in the U.S. to protect people's health. Here is a comment from an public health advocate that puts it in perspective:

Remember that it took YEARS to bring down Big Tobacco – and a long trail of defeats that left prosecutors believing the tobacco companies were untouchable. But when that first case finally broke for the plaintiffs, the eventual outcomes were the largest in history.

We are fighting for the right side. And we are just beginning to fight.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Comic relief" in trial not funny to formaldehyde victims

The following came from Courthouse News (to see entire article, click on link at Toxic Trailer News). This sure isn't funny to the people who lived in these FEMA trailers that made their eyes burn, noses bleed, and throats sore--not to mention hospitalizations and long-term cancer risks. And after reading this, I had to wonder. One of the symptoms of formaldehyde exposure is difficulty remembering--short term memory problems. I wouldn't think the chairman of the company that sold $500 million worth of formaldehyde laden trailers to FEMA would actually be working in the factory and\or live in the toxic trailers himself. But now I'm wondering....he sure seems to have the symptoms.


NEW ORLEANS (CN) - Lengthy videotaped testimony from Gulf Stream Coach's chairman of the board provided some comic relief Tuesday during the second day of the trial accusing manufacturers of poisoning people with formaldehyde from FEMA trailers after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. When Jim Shea Jr. was asked what "protocol" his company gave to people who were "sensitive" to formaldehyde, Shea responded, "To turn on the air-conditioning full blast and open the windows." Shea's repeated forgetfulness during three hours of questioning was occasionally broken by a direct answer, which sometimes filled the courtroom with laughter, as in his comment about air-conditioning with the windows open.

Becky

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Keystone still not taking responsibility

It looks as though Keystone still is not taking responsibility for their trailers nor are their dealerships who sell their units. In december 2008 I purchased a 2008 Keystone Cougar. I had recently sold my Newmar Kountry Aire and downsized since we were going to be staying in Texas for a while. My son had been injured in Iraq and we decided to stay near him while he recuperated and had his surgery. He had his last surgery last month.

We went to a local dealership in Georgetown, Texas (Crestview). I grant you they were very helpful in helping us purchase our trailer.

Recently since the weather warmed up, a bad, bad, gagging odor developed in my trailer. I had the carpets cleaned and furniture cleaned to eliminate any odors that may be coming from that, which there were none. I was awakened at 1 am and had to litterally crawl out of my bed down the steps outside the trailer to try to breath. For several weeks I had a raspy voice, severe coughing episodes, my eyes looked like hamburger meat. I have sores on my legs that have appeared within the past 2 weeks.

I took the unit back to the dealership and they searched for mold, but that was not the odor. They then told me it must be gasses from the glue. They said when it warmed up it happens. These toxins were so bad that airing out the trailer did not work, in fact I opened the trailer up and ran fans every day. They said they would get a machine that should suck the odors out of the walls and it would be fine. When I asked them if my trailer would be safe they would not guarantee it would not come back.

When I asked what they would do if it came back their response was "I would never buy back your trailer!"

One thing that really ticks me off. Crestview knew Keystone had problems with the levels of high formaldehyde issues, but never disclosed it to us. So they were kind and loving while we wanted a trailer and now can care less that the product they sold us is a toxic death sentence to us.

Friday, July 31, 2009

12-year-old FEMA trailer victim has leukemia

The Hattiesburg American has reported that a 12-year-old girl who lived in a FEMA travel trailer and then a FEMA mobile home has acute myeloid leukemia, which has been linked to formaldehyde exposure. The family of Brittany Whittington, who is given a 40 percent chance of survival, is struggling to take care of her while paying medical bills and living expenses.

The article says: "The bills are mounting up and we're finding it tough to pay these expenses and still keep up with such things as their home and auto payments," Knight said.
There are a number of ways that people can choose to help the Whittington family.
"Brittany is a very sweet and very scared 12-year-old girl," Knight said. "Cards and letters of encouragement go a long way to brighten her day."

One thing the really bothers me about the recent Inspector General report criticizing FEMA for failing to respond to the problems with formaldehyde in FEMA housing is that names of the people who covered up and delayed for FEMA were not named and are not being required to take responsibility for their actions. Names aren’t used (like the name of the person in FEMA who received results of Sierra Club tests showing high formaldehyde levels two years before FEMA took action), only titles. No one who is responsible for Brittany’s illness and the illnesses and deaths of many others has so much has had a hand slapped. Meanwhile, families struggle with medical bills and the anguish of lives cut short.

Brittany needs a lot more than a get well card. The government and trailer manufacturers need to be held accountable, and provide health care and other compensation to the poisoned families.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Homeland Security report vindicates whistleblowers

The Homeland Security report on FEMA mishandling the formaldehyde problems in FEMA trails is vindication for the many folks who have posted their stories on this website about suffering from the effects of formaldehyde. These concerns were ignored for two years, and people got sick and some died as a result. It shows there were also well-intentioned people in FEMA who tried to do the best for the people who were suffering, but the FEMA employees were reprimanded and told to downplay the problems.

The report has page after page of information that details just how badly FEMA screwed up. One thing that is interesting is that a FEMA attorney was the FEMA contact (instead of a health and safety officer) and had input in the EPA testing. Those tests showed high formaldehyde levels but still nothing was done for another 16 months or so. We had to do a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filing to get these test results released. A news organization earlier tried to get the results of the formaldehyde tests, and was denied that information.

Quoting from the report: A news network submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the formaldehyde testing results.
FEMA attorneys took the position that:
“The testing was undertaken because FEMA was sued.... The testing is covered under the following exception to FOIA #5 and has been prepared in anticipation of litigation and is covered under deliberative process privilege, the attorney work product privilege and the attorney client privilege.”

However, the decision to do the testing was done BEFORE the lawsuit was filed so this was not a valid reason for denying this information.

We can only hope this report adds to the government’s incentive for settling the lawsuits instead of letting this drag on for years without victims being compensated for being damaged more by FEMA’s formaldehyde than Katrina and Rita. Many have been very harmed not just physically but financially by the high medical bills that have made it so difficult to recover from the storm.

And let's remember. A large number of people are still living in these trailers, and have no choice of other housing. This problem has been particularly hard on the elderly, disabled, and families with young children.

And right now hundreds of these FEMA trailers are being sold by the government to the public on a weekly basis. Supposedly people are being warned about the potential formaldehyde problems, but most will not understand the risk--especially to the most vulnerable people. And trailers can then be resold again and again to unwary consumers.

Becky

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dept. of Homeland Security report critical of FEMA response

In light of today's Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General report, "[Federal Emergency Management Agency] Response to Formaldehyde in Trailers," Sierra Club Formaldehyde Campaign Director Becky Gillette issued the following statement:

"Today's inspector general report is vindication for the Sierra Club's early and persistent efforts to draw attention to the issue of toxic formaldehyde in FEMA trailers. Sadly there is no vindication for the thousands of disaster victims who were forced to spend months living in dangerous conditions while the Bush administration dragged its heels.

"Today's report accurately credits the Sierra Club as the first group to discover the toxicity of FEMA trailers, and I am proud of our leading role in fighting for better disaster assistance and emergency housing for all Americans. Nearly two years before FEMA finally admitted its formaldehyde problem. Sierra Club testing in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama showed that 88 percent of tested trailers had formaldehyde levels above the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recommended limit.

"Sierra Club supports the major conclusions outlined in today's report and calls for the swift implementation of the Inspector General's communications and emergency preparedness recommendations. With the 2009 hurricane season well underway, it will take decisive action to safeguard communities if disaster strikes."

To see the entire report, go to the link under Toxic Trailer News.

Monday, June 15, 2009

photocatalytic oxidation air filters

Note from webpage editor: While www.toxictrailers.com does not endorse any filters or remediation technology until the CDC makes its recommendations from current testing to remove formaldehyde from trailers, many people have written to this site asking for what they can do about their high formaldehyde levels. Some say they have been helped by this product. See below email from Jim Baxter.
While looking for a way to help remove formaldehyde from trailers, I quickly discovered that photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) offered so much more to so many more. Families with respiratory challenges told me they slept better, coughed less, or stopped having to take a child to the Emergency Room in the middle of the night. Given the nature of the RV manufacturing industry, formaldehyde will not be removed voluntarily; however, by alleviating some of the other respiratory challenges we can improve the quality of life.

The Centers for Disease Control confirms that PCO is the only technology that removes most of these dangerous toxins from indoor air. PCO is generally difficult to sustain – typically it may work for a month or two and then stop working. This sustainability is the key differentiator with our product. We have a carbon prefilter and a true HEPA filter like many others and they are very helpful. The addition of a PCO chamber that lasts is the patented difference.

Right now there are more than 27 million people suffering with asthma, and over 1/3 are children. Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Disease (emphysema) affects 24 million people. Countless millions suffer with chronic bronchitis, influenza, viral infections, pneumonia, bacterial pathogens and millions more have allergies to animals, dust, pollen spores and common household chemicals. Living in a trailer, the complications of these diseases can easily multiply into full distress or worse.

You can see some of our users describe their situations at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IVx3H8lZk0&feature=channel_page
Jim Baxter, Baxter.J@comcast.net, 574-360-8682
http://wwwclearyourair.com

Friday, May 29, 2009

high formaldehyde in Chinese products

Digital Journal reports today that government officials in Guangdong, the southern province in China and one of its manufacturing centers, found a significant portion of the children’s clothing and furniture are tainted and failed the government’s safety standards.

"The officials found many of the items contain excessive amounts of harmful chemicals according to newspaper, China Daily," The article said. Lin Ruixu, a spokesman for the Guangdong government’s quality watchdog, which conducted the tests, told the China Daily: “The main reason for the excessive content of formaldehyde and heavy metals is the use of substandard raw materials and paints.”

"The officials tested 60 pieces of clothing and found only 31 of them were safe for children to wear. Some of the clothing items contained an excessive amount of formaldehyde exceeding the legal limits. Some items reported false information in the raw materials used.

The testing of furniture showed even worse results, nearly 68 percent of the furniture tested contained excess levels of formaldehyde and heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and chromium. Some of the furniture had mechanical flaws in them.

Formaldehyde a widely used chemical in the industries, is a known carcinogen and can cause adverse reactions in some people."

For the entire article, click on the link on lower right under toxic trailer news.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Smell in Jayco drives family out...

We own a 2005 Jayco Eagle Travel Trailer. We purchased it December of 2004. There was a "smell" in this trailer from the beginning but just assumed it was because it was new. As the summer came upon us the smell got so bad that we can't even walk into this trailer without instant burning of the eyes and throat.... You last about 3 seconds in there until you find yourself running out of there coughing and choking to get fresh air. We have owned this trailer just over 5 years and we love the lay out but CAN NOT deal with this horrible smell. Is there anything we can do about this????

Monday, April 27, 2009

foul smell in MEMA cottage

There is a foul smell in my MS Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) cottage that I have mentioned several times since November to the MEMA maintenance personnel who visited the house. I questioned if there was a hazardous substance such as formaldehyde or Chinese sheetrock possibly the cause of this smell which does not go away. I also have had health problems from day one. Stuffy nose every morning. Irritated eyes, burning nose, hair falling out, and the worst- heavy feeling across my chest and waking up with my heart racing every morning and throughout other times when in the house. A few days ago I almost fainted. I am not normally a sick person. I pride myself in maintaining good health for most of my life.
Well, after complaining the MEMA housing representative called me back to tell me that I would have to find other living accommodations because my lease has expired. He said the cottages would not be rented. He said the house had no Chinese drywall in it. I asked if they would test the house for other possible causes of this irritant, which is affecting my health. He said they could do an air quality test. I then asked if he could put in writing what we discussed since I had a bad memory. He said he "could not".
Who else is having these problems? I wish someone would get together and compare notes. This is criminal all the way around.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earthquake victims in China losing babies due to formaldehyde exposure

There is sad news today that hundreds of women in China have had miscarriages health authorities believe is linked to formaldehyde exposure in the emergency housing--mobile homes--provided after the earthquake. See link to the article under toxic trailer news on the lower right of this page. Most of them had lost their children in the Sichuan earthquake where a lot of children died because of substandard school construction.

"Radio France Internationale also reported on April 17 that volunteer counselors confirmed that the quake victims do suspect that illegal formaldehyde levels in mobile home construction materials has caused the miscarriages and stillbirths."

One woman who lost a son in the earthquake and then had a miscarriage was quoted as saying: "We are so heartbroken by the fact that we have to stay in the mobile homes and we dare not have a baby. The pain is doubled.”

Friday, April 10, 2009

many will go homeless soon...

Yesterday, I was contacted by a concerned FEMA worker who feels that the recovery has left many behind.  She believes that FEMA will actually pull out on May 1st leaving thousands in south Mississippi homeless.  Many of these individuals are disabled, sick and unable to help themselves.  Many FEMA housing unit  contain formaldehyde and toxic mold contaminated.  CDC appears to adjusting formaldehyde testing in order to get FEMA desired results so that these units can be sold to these victims  It is understood that the CDC formaldehyde test personnel have aired the units and may re-test several times in order to get a favorable results.  Mold and water leaks are present in many units. Remember many of the FEMA personnel who are still working in Mississippi are locals who were affected by Katrina. These employees need their jobs to feed their families and to recover from Katrina, they fear reprisial for speaking out about FEMA self-interest policies.  FEMA restricts the employees from providing information as to where people can find help from volunteer and other resources,  Help get this information out to these needy Mississippians. 
 
Jesse Fineran

Thursday, April 2, 2009

family all to ER since moving into mobile home

My sister's family just rented a mobile home four months ago. Since they moved in they have all had various repiratory symptoms. they have all been to the emergency room and my mother who is living with them had to spend a week in the hospital. They have had recurring sinus infections, bronchitis, dizziness, fatigue and nausea. is it possible to get a test kit for them? They are on a very limited income and are having a hard time because of so many days off. The school is threatening them becasue their two children have been absent so much. If there is any way I could get them this kit, please let me know. Thank you

Dawn

Sick building in D.C. linked to formaldehyde

The Washington Post has an article today (see link at lower right of this page under toxic trailer news) that says workers are getting sick in the new EEOC building in Washington, D.C., and formaldehyde is the suspected cause. In addition to the short- and long-term health impacts to the employees, imagine how this is impacting productivity!! It is ridiculous there are still no standards to protect people from high levels of formaldehyde in buildings...

Here is a quote from the article:
"Just keep your coughing to a dull roar, folks," wrote one worker, "so you don't disturb your neighbors who have the blinding headaches."

Wonder how many millions the government spent in order to make this sick building?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

formaldehyde poisoning from desk and bed set

My sister bought a desk and bed set which over a period of 4 years made her so sick she has long term damage to her respiratory system. Once we finally figured out what was making her sick, it was too late and she will most likely suffer long-term damages. There are no doctors that really specialize in any treatment from formaldehyde irritation that I could locate. Would you have a Doctor(s) that you know from your experience that may help? Margaret

Margaret: It can be hard to find doctors who have a clue how to treat this. You might want to find a doctor occupational and environmental medicine. There is an online doctor finder at this website for the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (www.acoem.org/).
Also, I can’t endorse this because I haven’t heard from people who have used it, but there is one herbal company that sells a formula they claim can help people exposed to formaldehyde. See http://www.modernherbalist.com/products.html
for info on their formula called Formaldehyde Relief, effective detoxification for formaldehyde exposure. Becky

Sunday, March 1, 2009

privately purchased mobile home making family sick

After purchasing a Southern Homes double wide mobile home in 2005 my family started having many unexplained medical problems. First and foremost I started noticing my 3 year old daughter was staying sick with upper respiratory infections leading to pneumonia and even hospitalization. This continued on for a year until a doctor was so concerned with her chronic illness that she was tested for autoimmune disorders.
You can only imagine my struggle with my little 3 year old all the sleepless nights praying and wondering what could be wrong with this little angel. In the mean time my son was 8 and he began having severe noose bleeds and sinus infections. So I am now asking myself what is going on? Within this time frame I also started having problems with shortness of breath and upper respiratory infections. I went to the doctor and now I was diagnosed with asthma. I had never had asthma or problems with shortness of breath but now the three of us are dealing with these unexplained illnesses. I questioned the doctors but no one wants to pinpoint our problems to formaldehyde I am trying to find anyone who can help us.
I hope you can get the message across to the EPA because we still fight a loosing battle. My kids were out of school for a 3 day holiday so this had us home for 5 consecutive days we did not go anywhere and just decided to stay at home and take it easy. Well that turned into both of them going to the doctor on the 5Th day with upper respiratory infections. It always happens this way if we ever have an extended weekend I can look for both of the kids to start with a cough, runny nose or sneezing or just congestion. That will result in upper respiratory infections. Now all three of us are sick. My son's allergist agrees that his symptoms are related to formaldehyde exposure due to the allergy testing we had performed. We are stuck with this mortgage and the manufacturer will not acknowledge us as to there being a problem. The thought has crossed my mind so many times to stop paying the mortgage just so we could be rid of this house that has made my babies so sick. I can deal with my symptoms but watching them sometimes is more than I can bear.
I have worked in the medical field for 10 years and I have seen so many things. I have watched someone die before my eyes but nothing comes close when your children are sick and you know what is causing it and there is nothing you can do. I feel so guilty. I feel like it is my fault because I continue to stay in the house of toxic gases that I know is what is making us all sick. I just pray there will be stronger regulations on formaldehyde and it's usage in homes.

Shannon

Note: This family's trailer, which is three years old, tested this summer at .101 ppm of formaldehyde, which is higher than what someone should be exposed to for even short periods of time.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Comments on Huckabee video

This comment was posted on YouTube regarding the Huckabee YouTube interview (link on the right of this page):

Same problem with RVs for many years. My '02 travel trailer is still toxic with formaldehyde. Last fall we tested the air in the unit and it was much higher than acceptable. Even 6-7 yrs after manufacture, this RV is still pushing out fumes. The industry has been well aware of this problem and keeps it quiet. Good old USA, anything to make a buck, even when it hurts folks.

"scrap" trailers being renovated and used to house people

I talked to to a businessman that sells RVs (recreational vehicles/trailers) and parts. He said that now his major business has become parts sales for FEMA toxic trailers. These are Individuals who purchased scrap FEMA formaldehyde trailers that FEMA tested for toxic air quality and ruled uninhabitable. The purchasers who are seeking parts so they can live in or sell these toxic trailers to unsuspecting victims.

Jesse

Sunday, February 8, 2009

FEMA turned survivors into victims while wasting billions , not helping

FEMA is scheduled to end its Gulf Coast housing program at the end of March. This includes payments for rentals, hotels and the use of trailers/mobile homes. There is a since of emergency among the individuals who are in trailers, in hotels and/or receiving as well as the landlords of rental properties. The people who have are still receiving benefits from FEMA are folks who have not yet rebuilt and/or were renters. They cannot afford and/or unable to to build, purchase or rent. Many of these, soon to be homeless, are unemployed, disabled, sick and elderly. For some reason these individuals fell between the cracks in FEMA's bureaucracy.
These unfortunates will join the thousands of other Gulf Coast residents who became displaced and homeless left in wake of hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike and FEMA. FEMA wasted billions on providing temporary housing to disaster survivors (estimated at $250,000 expense for the use of a $12,000 trailer). FEMA now leaves without providing any permanent housing, solutions or accountability for knowingly exposing hundreds of thousands to toxic chemical agents hidden in FEMA housing. On the Gulf Coast, FEMA is best known for transforming survivors into victims. FEMA employees and friendly contractors made billions while many of their victims live with unknown health risk and despair. It may that longer for many to recover from the disaster that is FEMA, than from the disaster itself. Efforts continue by faith based groups to assist, without this effort more would be facing similar dilemmas

Jesse Fineran

Thursday, February 5, 2009

FEMA trailers still high in formaldehyde

I just tested a Fleetwood travel trailer provided by FEMA to a man in Bay St. Louis. He asked for testing after developing breathing problems. The trailer tested at 0.154 ppm--much more than you should be exposed to for even short periods of time. And remember, this is the coldest time of the year when outgassing should be low. The trailer was three years old, and when he got it, the formaldehyde odor was terrible and caused problems like a runny nose and congestion. SInce formaldehyde levels decrease with age, can you imagine how high this was when he got the trailer? He is now on two medications for breathing problems, but the medicine is only partly helpful.

An article in the Sun Herald recently said 324 families are still in FEMA trailers in Mississippi, but they are being moved out in the next four weeks.

Japan\Europe have gotten low formaldehyde products for 20 years

It is a sad fact that for 20 years suppliers in China have been sending products low in formaldehyde to Japan and Europe, while sending high formaldehyde products to the U.S. that has had no regulations regarding formaldehyde levels in imported products. An article in Furniture Today (link listed under formaldehyde news on the lower right of this page) quotes Bill Perdue, American Home Furniture Assn., vice president of environmental, safety and health issues and standards, as saying: “Many of the industry's suppliers are offshore and have met the European and Japanese standards two decades.” AHFA is supporting formaldehyde regulations.

Monday, January 26, 2009

chemist urges adoption of formaldehyde standards

I am a Ph.D. organic chemist with years of industrial experience with resins made from formaldehyde and other chemicals (see White, K.B., US Patent 6,232,368 (2001), "Ester Cured Binders"). These types of resins are used in the manufacture of various wood products such as particle board.

It states on the EPA website, "The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people."

I strongly urge you and others at the EPA that now is the time for the EPA to protect the American people from the dangers of airborne formaldehyde.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration of the US Department of Labor (OSHA) has taken strong steps to protect American workers from the dangers of formaldehyde. It is time that the EPA also fulfills its mission to the American people and protects them from the dangers of formaldehyde.

Per Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Formaldehydes, Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2008-0627, I would like to strongly urge that the EPA to adopt the California Air Resources Board's (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measure to Reduce Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products, sections 93120-93120.12, title 17, California Code of Regulations.

The CARB regulation sets maximum exposure limits for various wood products such as particle board. In light of the unfortunate, disastrous health experiences of the FEMA trailer residents with high levels of formaldehyde, the EPA should adopt the CARB standards in order to protect the American people (see www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14011193/ and www.toxictrailers.com.

It should be noted that the CARB standards are in line with standards already in place in Japan and the European Union concerning formaldehyde emissions exposure from wood products.

The following are key reasons for adopting the CARB regulations for formaldehyde:

• Title 42 part 7412 of the US Code (The Clean Air Act) lists formaldehyde as a hazardous substance.

• The EPA considers that formaldehyde is a probable human carcinogen. It is well documented that exposure to formaldehyde causes serious health problems in humans (see http://www.epa.gov/iris/subst/0419.htm).

• The Occupational Safety & Health Administration of the US Department of Labor (OSHA) has classified formaldehyde as a hazardous and toxic substance. It has strict rules for formaldehyde exposure in the workplace. From OSHA Formaldehyde Regulations – Standards – 29 CFR Formaldehyde – 1910.1048, OSHA has set permissible exposure limit (PEL) = 0.75 ppm and a short-term exposure limit = 2 ppm for formaldehyde in the workplace.

• OSHA requires any product used in the workplace with more than 0.1 % free formaldehyde to have formaldehyde listed as a hazardous material on the material safety data sheet (MSDS) (see www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=22543.

The Clean Air Act is the federal law designed to make sure that all Americans have air that is safe to breathe. Public health protection is the primary goal. The Clean Air Act requires that the EPA set health based air quality standards to protect against common pollutants. Under this act, formaldehyde is listed as a pollutant. The EPA should move to adopt the CARB standards and there by fulfill its mission and its legal responsibility as listed under the Clean Air Act.

American workers are protected from the hazards of formaldehyde in the workplace by OSHA. Japanese and European Union citizens are protected from the hazards of formaldehyde in their homes by various laws setting emissions limits of formaldehyde from wood products. It is time that the American people are protected from the hazards of formaldehyde emissions from wood products by the EPA. This can be achieved by the adoption of the CARB formaldehyde standards.

Many times, one hears that new regulations can not be met by the manufacturers affected by the new regulations. However, the proposed CARB regulations on wood products are presently being met in Japan and the European Union. Hexion, the largest manufacturer of formaldehyde based resins in the U.S. used to make wood products, is already advertising that it has the technology to allow wood product manufactures to meet the new CARB regulations (see http://www.ecobind.com/) with modest additional costs for the change over.

In conclusion, I urge the EPA to adopt the CARB formaldehyde emission standards and thereby protect the American people from the health hazards of formaldehyde.

Best Regards,
Kenneth B. White, Ph.D.
Schaumburg, IL
kenneth.b.white@gmail.com

Monday, January 19, 2009

EPA needs to establish formaldehyde standards

Just weeks into the Government's Katrina recovery effort for the MS Gulf Coast, survivors began complaining about health issues that was consistent to exposure to chemical agents. The local County Emergency Operation Center held daily meetings with the participating Government Agencies representatives. These representatives were requested to investigate why the occupants of FEMA trailers were suffering. Please note that EPA and USCG field response teams who were being housed in FEMA type trailers were also experiencing signs of exposure. OSHA discovered alarmingly high levels of formaldehyde inside and outside of FEMA trailers in Mississippi FEMA trailer staging areas. OSHA representative informed the meeting attendees that OSHA could not do anything to help the citizens, as their responsibility was to workers and industry. Other agencies, including the EPA Incident Commander, claimed that they would meet their legal responsibility and had informed their chain of command about the citizens concerns. This assurance and blind faith in government provided a false sense that the recovery effort would place the health of the survivors as a priority.
Hopefully, the lessons learned will prevent future health risk of the epidemic portions caused by FEMA Temporary Housing Program. Had consistent EPA standards and policies been in place/utilized hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting survivors and workers would not have become victims.

Jesse Fineran
Hancock County Mississippi EMA volunteer
Former FEMA Mobile Home Operations C.O.R.E employee

Monday, January 5, 2009

EPA taking comments on formaldehyde rulemaking

During January, EPA will be taking public comments on regulating formaldehyde. Despite the widespread publicity about formaldehyde problems in FEMA trailers, there is still no national standard for formaldehyde in the indoor air and products such as RVs are still for sale that contain high formaldehyde levels.
The government spent over $2 billion on FEMA trailers, and many of the 141,000 families were placed in trailers with high formaldehyde levels. Most of the FEMA trailers not only can’t be used now, but are costing millions per year for storage. And the FEMA trailer tragedy just exposed what is a widespread problem in RVs, mobile homes, modular buildings and even stick-built homes that experts believe has become worse in recent years because of the increasing use of cheap foreign wood products.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has adopted tough new standards to protect people from formaldehyde. The rest of the nation deserves the same protections. Please tell EPA to adopt the CARB standards for formaldehyde. Mail comments to EPA before the Feb. 2: Document Control Office (7407M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001. Or send e-mail comments to Wheeler.cindy@epa.gov. All comments must be identified by docket identification (ID) no. EPA-HQ-OPPT-2008-0627.