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, 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.