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.

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