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, 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