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.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Safe Seal has no data to support claims?

On 12/22/10 10:24 AM, "Linda Kincaid" (nanosafety@gmail.com) wrote:

I tested Safe Seal on a couple of night stands, and it made no difference at all in formaldehyde emission.  Richard contacted the manufacture for test data.  After some waffling, the company admitted they have no data to support their claims that Safe Seal reduces formaldehyde emission.
 
Have the teacher contact me directly if she wants us to walk her through testing.  Perhaps we can identify sources and target specific changes that would help.  For starters, keep the windows open.
 
Linda

classroom trailer making teacher sick

Dear Toxic Trailers:

For the past two years I have been teaching in a very poor duplex trailer. By the end of second period my eyes look as though I have been on an all night drinking binge. But more importantly, I feel as if I have become completely ADHD - I lost all ability to concentrate for long periods of time. This makes it difficult to teach and grade. I have been teaching for fifteen years, and I moved into a trailer when my district transferred me to another high school mid year to replace a fired teacher. It is not a new trailer, but has been in district for a long time and moved around from school to school depending on population.

Is there something I can do such as paint over the walls with kilz or anything? I have requested an inside classroom, but no luck.

Thank you for your reply.

Marianne

Marianne: Unfortunately, we have found that formaldehyde levels can remain at unsafe levels even after ten years. It is a myth that the formaldehyde just evaporates. I know other teachers who filed complaints with OSHA and either got settlements or were moved inside. Unfortunately, in one case the inside classroom had been remodeled with toxic materials and also made the teacher sick (the teacher may have developed Multiple Chemical Sensitivities by then).

It appears that poor quality trailers are the worst...as they age, they can get leaks and mold that alone are a major health problem, and combined with increased formaldehyde outgassing are even worse.

Here is one paint product that can be used to seal in formaldehyde. I can’t guarantee it will make your classroom trailer safe. Sad to think all your students are also being exposed to a toxin that can make it difficult for them to concentrate and lead to serious health problems.


http://www.afmsafecoat.com/products.php?page=2

Safe Seal
Safecoat Safe Seal is a multi-use, waterbased, low gloss sealer for highly porous surfaces such as particle board, plywood, processed wood and porous concrete. Used primarily to reduce toxic outgassing: in particular, it is highly effective at sealing in formaldehyde outgassing from processed wood such as plywood, particle board and pressed wood. Safecoat Safe Seal is virtually odorless on application and odorless once cured.
SCS CERTIFIED - LEED QUALIFIED

Monday, November 22, 2010

Formaldehyde from furniture as big a problem as homes

My testing has shown formaldehyde can be a problem in tightly sealed "green" homes.  Well, we are now finding that furniture is as much of a problem as the homes themselves. We have a half dozen families that have experienced illness from formaldehyde exposures.  In most cases, the primary source was furniture.
 
Linda

________________________
Linda Kincaid, MPH
Industrial Hygiene Services
20255 Glasgow Drive
Saratoga, CA 95070
(408) 998-4642

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Missouri RV Dealers warn against buying used FEMA trailers

The Missouri RV Dealers is warning against people buying used FEMA trailers at an auction in Ozark:
“We do not consider them safe and they do not comply with the standards the federal government imposes on our manufacturers and yet the federal government is allowing these inferior trailers to be sold”.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Will health problems disappear after leaving toxic housing?

Hi,

I've been living in a manufactured home for ten years. I've been sick for the past couple of months with nausea, vomiting, coughing, shortness of breath, headaches... I've been in the hospital twice and they have taken blood six times, 3 cat scans, and one chest x-ray. They sent me home after three days this last time and I was still sick but not as sick as when I went in. I began to think it was environmental. And I looked up "sick home" on google and found you.

My question is this: Do you know if I'll get better if I simply move out of this house? And how long would it take? The lung doctor gave me an inhaler that helps a little. I am willing and able to move to a stick built house and I'm about ready to believe that will help. But I wonder if I'll ever really get better.

Thanks, Gloria in Arizona

Gloria:

If you have high formaldehyde levels, ten years is a long time to be exposed. I do know some of the Katrina families got better after leaving the trailers, but their exposure wasn’t as long as your’s (however, some of their exposure in the new travel trailers may have been higher). Some people retain a cough that doesn’t go away even after getting into safer housing. Moms report some of their kids have rashes that won't go away. I would say test your home to see what levels you are dealing with but even that is problematic. People can become sensitized to formaldehyde over long exposure, and then react to small amounts that wouldn’t have bothered them in the past.

If you have a choice of other housing, go for it. Hope you get better quickly! It is really sad that millions of people are in this type of housing, and so many get sick without ever realizing the culprit.

Becky

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pregnant women, children & asthmatics more at risk from formaldehyde

See this notice from Environmental Building News:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a draft assessment of the dangers of formaldehyde that finds that pregnant women, children, and asthmatics are particularly susceptible to the health effects of inhaling the chemical.
Formaldehyde was already a known carcinogen; the draft assessment just released by EPA adds information about its non-cancer effects, which include eye, nose, and throat irritation, decreased lung function, decreased immune system function, neurological damage, and reproductive damage.
The assessment will inform the information on formaldehyde in EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), which provides information on the known health risks of over 540 chemicals. EPA surveys the available scientific and medical literature on a given chemical, issuing draft reports for public comment before they become part of IRIS.
Formaldehyde is commonly found in building materials, including in binders used in composite wood products and in some insulation materials (see “All About Formaldehyde”). IRIS is online at www.epa.gov/iris/

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

formaldehyde free plywood now available

Consumers should know that there are alternative glues now made from soy that don’t outgrass formaldehyde. Formaldehyde free plywood doesn’t even cost any more than the stuff that poisons you! You can purchase this at Home Depot.
http://www.columbiaforestproducts.com/PureBond.aspx:

The original cost-competitive decorative hardwood plywood without the formaldehyde. PureBond® is Columbia Forest Products' exclusive formaldehyde-free innovation for hardwood plywood manufacturing.

Replacing traditional urea formaldehyde (UF) hardwood plywood construction with non-toxic, soy-based PureBond® enables Columbia to eliminate any added formaldehyde from standard veneer-core and non-UF composite hardwood plywood core panels. That's great news for our employees, our customers and the air we all breathe.

Friday, August 27, 2010

FEMA coached people on how to get low formaldehyde test results

CNN ran a story last night about how FEMA coached disaster victims whose trailers had failed formaldehyde tests about how to retest and get lower numbers in order to buy their trailer from FEMA. The Picayune couple profiled in the story initially tested at 77 ppb when the limit for being able to purchase the trailer was 40 ppb. FEMA came out to retest and told them to open all the windows, and keep it cool and aired out while testing. The test was taken at only 56 degrees, and came in below 40 ppb. Formaldehyde levels greatly increase with heat and humidity. But people can't live comfortably at 56 degrees with all the windows open. When the Syries were tested by CNN this week when it was hot and humid, they tested at 117 ppb--which is over the limit for what you should be exposed to for even 15 minutes. It is three times over the limit set by FEMA. The Syrie's have been living in a formaldehyde fog now for five years, and both are sick. They have nowhere else to live.

Some FEMA trailers failed three tests even with FEMA coaching people how to get low numbers. And guess what happened to those trailers? They were auctioned off to the public and given to Native Americans. They are being used to house oilfield workers on the Gulf Coast and North Dakota. Many people are at risk because of the government's negligence in selling these trailers government testing had proved was hazardous.

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2010/08/27/obrien.fema.trailers.cnn?iref=allsearch

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cancer research donor fights designation of formaldehyde as carcinogen

Jane Mayer with the New Yorker has reported that "at the same time that David Koch has been casting himself as a champion in the fight against cancer, Koch Industries has been lobbying to prevent the E.P.A. from classifying formaldehyde, which the company produces in great quantities, as a “known carcinogen” in humans."
While research has shown people exposed to higher amounts of formaldehyde had significantly higher rates of leukemia, Koch Industries has been a large funder of members of Congress who have stymied the EPA., requiring it to defer new regulations until more studies are completed, Mayer's reports.
Ironically, David Koch has had prostate cancer--which is an epidemic in this country because of toxic chemical exposure--but did not recuse himself from the National Cancer Advisory Board, or divest himself of company stock, while his company was directly lobbying the government to keep formaldehyde on the market.
Koch Industries subsidiaries have given major campaign contributions to the Formaldehyde Senator David Vitter of LA, and also to James Inhofe, R-Okla., both of whom have worked hard to to make sure the poisoning continues.

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer?currentPage=10#ixzz0xcoROqDa

Friday, August 6, 2010

FEMA trailers sold without formaldehyde warning

We are seeing news reports across the country regarding former FEMA trailers being sold to unsuspecting buyers without the warning stickers for formaldehyde that were supposed to be prominently displayed. WSB-TV in Atlanta says a couple who bought such a trailer recently was lied to and told it wasn't a FEMA trailer, and wasn't warned about the formaldehyde risk.
See: http://www.wsbtv.com/news/24529466/detail.html.

On the first camping, trip the couple who bought the trailer got sick with headaches and nausea. And no wonder! The trailer tested at .323--more than three times what people should be exposed to for even 15 minutes!

From the new report: Wilson also told Strickland that the government's warning sticker was not on the camper. “And it prompts you to the question, ‘Why are these campers back in circulation?’” she said.

GOOD QUESTION! And so much for The Formaldehyde Council lies that formaldehyde in trailers decreases over time to safe levels.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Can you get away with manslaughter if you are FEMA?

The Bush appointed federal judge in Louisiana who is the "very, very good friend" and a former campaign manager for The Formaldehyde Council mouthpiece Sen. David Vitter of LA has removed FEMA as a defendant in all the MS cases over the formaldehyde poisoning of the Hurricane Katrina victims. See http://www.sunherald.com/2010/07/29/2367241/judge-tosses-miss-claims-over.html. The "judge" based his ruling on a MS law that is to protect private people who provide emergency shelter with no compensation. But FEMA received hundreds of millions of dollars in tax money in no-bid contracts for the death traps that were delivered to the Gulf Coast. FEMA was SUPPOSED to know how to provide safe emergency housing. And FEMA actually sold lots of the trailers to people like the couple from Picayune in the blog below, so it did receive compensation.

I frequently see nasty blogs from people who say the people who received free housing after Katrina were dead beats who ought to be glad they weren't living in a cardboard box. What they don't realize is that the people most harmed were elderly and handicapped with nowhere else to live. In some cases FEMA even coached people on how to "condition" the trailers to test lower for formaldehyde so they could be purchased. They told them to air condition the trailer while leaving the windows open--which lowers formaldehyde levels but isn't the way poor people can afford to live with the AC blasting and the windows open.

I'm thinking of veteran Mickey Kissiah of Gulfport who had to live in his FEMA trailer that tested very high in formaldehyde even while dying. A friend came to take care of him, and the friend also got sick from the fumes. Mickey was healthy before he got a FEMA trailer for housing, and used to walk miles every day. He became unable to even walk a block. He was a wonderful man who served his country with honor, and didn't deserve to be killed by FEMA.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Man headed to deathbed if can't get out of FEMA trailer

Charlie, 65, and Barbara Syrie, 55, Picayune, lived in a FEMA travel trailer for two years after Hurricane Katrina before receiving a Cavalier FEMA mobile home that they ended up purchasing because they had nowhere else to live. Both trailers were high in formaldehyde, and the health problems experienced by the Syries have multiplied. “Charlie has been in and out of hospital with pneumonia since January,” Barbara said, who has frequent migraine headaches, a sore throat and whose voice is now permanently hoarse. “He is on three different antibiotics and breathing machine treatments. We need to get out of this trailer. My husband is heading to his deathbed. We bought the shelter dog, and now the dog is ours.”
The Syrie’s lost two beloved cocker spaniels to bladder cancer they believe was caused by the formaldehyde. And now they are seeing lots of former FEMA trailers for sale in their area. They are concerned that the FEMA travel trailers do not contain the warnings that they aren’t supposed to be used for permanent housing as required when GSA sold the trailers at auction. “How can they sell them without warning anyone?” Barbara asks.
If the Syries don’t find alternative housing, Charlie is likely to die soon. If anyone can help, please call 601-798-7966.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Turbo/Maxx Fan Ventilator touted as best remedy?

Maxxair says that “After thorough testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), MaxxAir Vent Corporation's Turbo/Maxx Fan Ventilator was found to be "the single, most effective unit evaluated" in reducing formaldehyde concentration. Decreasing formaldehyde gases in FEMA trailers approximately 79 percent, it outperformed all other tested devices. The CDC's full report can be found at www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehhe/trailerstudy/assessment.htm. For more information, call 800.780.9893, e-mail CustService@maxxair.com or visit www.maxxair.com.

Here are three responses to this news from people who have experience with toxic trailers:

*I was told by Keystone MFG. Company to use the Fan-astic Vent in my unit to help exchange the air. I also have a letter from mechanical engineer that the fan will exchange the air so fast that the heating and cooling can not keep up.

*This is basically, dilution is the solution. Pull fresh air in and out goes the A/C—Heat and the formaldehyde(HCHO). What a bunch of bull. The folks from FEMA need to be fired and then some.

*Most trailers do not come with the MaxxAir Vent Corporation's Turbo/Maxx Fan Ventilator and they are very high priced to get a good one. Putting that much money into a toxic trailer that needs to be destroyed is crazy.
We tried this fan, but the amount of water it made inside did not work. We had the air conditioner on high, windows open, double fan in the high bunk area blowing out, and air purifiers running. Bad thing is this made water form condensation on the air conditioner and the air condition vents, and kind of made it like rain under those areas of the camper inside. On top of that, the wiring and the 12-volt system in these trailers is not quite heavy enough to handle the load or the voltage they need.
Bill Lynch, unproud owner of a Forest River toxiccamper

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Obama signs landmark formaldehyde legislation!

See a link to Sierra Club's press release on Pres. Obama signing the formaldehyde legislation under Toxic Trailer News on the lower right...here is an excerpt:

"Without the action of Congress, better regulation of formaldehyde could have taken many years longer," said Becky Gillette, Formaldehyde Campaign Director for the Sierra Club. "This doesn't make up for the illnesses of tens of thousands of families housed in Katrina trailers with high formaldehyde levels. But it is encouraging to see that sometimes our government works for the people instead of for the profits of big corporations. Congress has taken a major step to protect people from unsafe levels of formaldehyde."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

respirators for oil field workers in FEMA trailers?

Great blog from another list:

Subject: Re: [Flood Relief Aid List] Impact Unclear of NIOSH/OSHA Respirator Recommend...

"Impact Unclear of NIOSH/OSHA Respirator Recommendations for Gulf Clean-up Workers"

Question: Do the Respirator Recommendations for the Gulf Clean-up Workers include wearing them in the formaldehyde Katrina trailers that have been brought back for the workers to live in?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/01/us/01trailers.html?_r=1

I am just waiting for a forthcoming plan to put that discarded, toxic Chinese drywall on the beaches to soak up the oil!

Sharon Kramer

Friday, July 2, 2010

Oil cleanup workers being housed in Katrina FEMA trailers

Ian Urbina with the New York Times broke the story Thursday (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/01/us/01trailers.html) that some former Katrina FEMA trailers are being used to house oil spill cleanup workers. There are even plans to put 300 of these on a barge out in the Gulf! People living in these trailers are reporting the same problems with formaldehyde causing burning eyes, sore throat, coughing, etc. that were widespread with the hurricane disaster victims. If you know anyone being housed in these stinking trailers, CNN wants to hear from you. Go to link below.

http://newsroom.blogs.cnn.com/2010/07/01/fema-trailors-from-hurricane-katrina-resurrected-for-oil-disaster/?iref=allsearch

While the middlemen who made a killing selling these trailers--buying them cheap from the government and then jacking up the price eight to ten fold--claim the trailers have aged enough that formaldehyde is not longer a problem. That simply is not true. Recent testing of FEMA travel trailers being auctioned continue to show unacceptably high formaldehyde levels. The problems is particularly acute in hot, humid climates like the Gulf Coast in the summertime.

Very sad these cleanup workers are being exposed to toxic dispersants, burning oil, and oil while at work, and then their "home sweet home" is housing that tested so high in formaldehyde that FEMA evacuated everyone out of them. These workers are getting a triple whammy of toxic exposure.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Congress passes formaldehyde act!

The U.S. House today approved Senate Bill 1660, a bill to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to reduce the emissions of formaldehyde from composite wood products. It was introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and earlier passed the Senate. THANK YOU SENATOR KLOBUCHAR!! With Congressional approval, it now goes to President Obama for his signature to make it law.

This doesn't make up for the tens of thousands of Americans who have gotten sick from formaldehyde outgassing from wood products. But it is vindication for the families in FEMA trailers whose complaints about burning eyes, sore throats, headaches and respiratory problems from the formaldehyde were ignored for years.

This is not entire answer to formaldehyde exposure. Formaldehyde is also used in clothing, personal care products, in vaccines, in products put in RV holding tanks, etc. But wood products are one of the largest sources of formaldehyde. Without passage of this bill, it would have been several more years before EPA would have been able to regulate formaldehyde under the TSCA.

Next up, let's hope Congress improves and then passes the Safe Chemicals Act of 2010 reforming TSCA. Go to http://blog.saferchemicals.org/2010/06/tired-of-toxics-give-congress-a-jingle.html to take action.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Arizona woman need toxic's attorney!

I had a licensed roofer do shoddy work and my ceiling fell in during a huge rainstorm. They came in and took down the drywall and insulation, didn’t throw out the carpet or pad or furniture that was soaked and sprayed Microban all over the rafters that were exposed and had not sealed off the vents to the rest of the home. The overspray went everywhere. After 3 months I got sick with sinus congestion, headaches, ears that felt full and stuffy and after 3 ENT’s, my general practitioner, numerous cat scans and brain scans 2 allergists and 2 sinus and ear doctors at the Mayo Clinic (all didn’t know what was wrong), I moved out of the home and got better within 2 weeks. My shi-tzu came down with bone cancer and was paralyzed shortly after moving out. He later began to walk again after a course of prednisone and fluconasol. Whenever I would go back into the home, my symptoms would return. I had a lab test for VOC’s and formaldehyde is high, toluene and benzene is high, fluorinated hydro carbons are 10 times greater than normal and there isn’t a law firm in Phoenix that will take my case because they know nothing about toxic exposure. If you are familiar with this story, please help me.

Irene Renstrom
602-487-1871 (cell)

U.S. Senate passes Formaldehyde Act

HUGE HEARTFELT THANKS go out to U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) whose legislation, the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Act, has passed the full Senate, June 15. Because the EPA's regulation of toxics is so fundamentally flawed and biased in favor of polluters, the only way to get this problem addressed in anything like a timely manner is through federal legislation.

The bill had bipartisan support, and was co sponsored by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID). It will establish national health standards for formaldehyde in composite wood products, protecting consumers from potentially hazardous levels of the chemical. The new standards would apply to both domestic products and foreign imports.

Similar legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House, so contact your U.S. Representatives and ask them to support this bill.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

FEMA manipulates formaldehyde test for elderly couple

We have had a number of reports from people considering buying their FEMA trailers who were told by FEMA how to get low tests results (test when it is cold and well ventilated), but that isn't how people live! So people ended up being falsely assured their trailers were safe. Now they are sick, and FEMA couldn't care less.

Blog from couple in Picayune, Miss: My wife and I are still dealing with the Formaldehyde situation. We are both disabled and I am a senior citizen.(65) When we first moved into the FEMA mobile home we questioned the Formaldehyde Issue. FEMA set up a time for the home to be tested. They come out and tested the mobile home and it was 77ppm. When it come close to time for us to move out, we had no place to go. FEMA said they would sell us the mobile home. We again questioned the Formaldehyde Issue, they said they would have it tested again. The day before the test they called and told us to open all the windows and doors to air it out. At the time of the test it was 56* outside, with the house open it was also 56* inside. When the test results came back the reading was 17ppm. They told us it was safe and sold it to us.
My wife can still smell the formaldehyde. Last January I come down with a bad cough and my Dr. put me on steroids. The first of February I saw my Dr. again and he put me in the hospital with Pneumonia. I was in the hospital from Feb 1-5 2010. I stayed home 9 days and he put me back in the hospital on Feb 14-19. I was on steroids and antibotics from early Jan thru the last of Mar. After all this the infection is still here. I am now on 3 different antibotics and haven't kicked it yet. With all this we discovered Black mold in Aug of 2009. We called FEMA and they don't want anything to do with us.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Parade uses formaldehyde as example of failure to control unsafe chemicals

One of largest news magazines in the country, Parade, had a story this past weekend, Why Are So Few Chemicals Tested?:
"Under the TSCA, chemicals are presumed safe unless proven otherwise. However, the burden of proof is high, and the process can be influenced by politics. For example, although three major studies have shown that formaldehyde, a common ingredient in building materials, is linked to blood and lymphatic cancers and other illnesses, efforts by the EPA to restrict its use have failed thus far—because, some activists charge, of political and industry pressures."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

FEMA travel trailers don't have warning notices

Channel 12 News reports there are no warning labels regarding former FEMA travel trailers at an auction of the travel trailers in North Augusta, S.C. "Augusta Auto Auction allowed our crew to enter and video all of the trailer units. We did find that several contained mold, rotten wood, and water damage on the interior walls. In an on-camera interview with News 12, auction Vice-President David Bynum says he has "no concerns" about the trailers for sale, and adds most of the formaldehyde concerns in previous models were eliminated by allowing the units to "air out". ...Our News 12 crew observed no warning labels posted on auction materials or inside the trailers themselves that disclosed the history of the trailers, or the housing restrictions." The warning labels were required by the government as was signing a contract agreeing not to advertise or use the travel trailers for permanent housing."

If this is being done right now, imagine what will happen as these trailers are sold and resold. Those warning stickers will disappear, just as formaldehyde warnings on mobile homes leaving the factory have routinely disappeared on sales lots for years.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

skin problems from formaldehyde?

Have others who have lived in travel trailers have a psoriasis-like eruptions on their skin? When I was in the FEMA travel trailer I had something like that and some type skin growths. I witnessed one lady in a FEMA travel trailer where I lived who had terrible crusty things all over her. I recently met a man here who started living in an older camper (Fleetwood) and he thinks these things on his arms and hands may have started since he's in this trailer. I would be interested to know how many others have had something like this. Jerrye

Monday, May 17, 2010

FEMA trailer sellers lying about formaldehyde

An article in the Courier Journal in Kentucky (http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20100514/NEWS01/5140402/Former+FEMA+trailers+not+health+concern++auction+s+organizers+say) this weekend quoted sellers of FEMA travel trailers and mobile homes as stating the trailers have NO FORMALDEHYDE AT ALL! So much for the government requiring warnings on the travel trailers that they should not be used as permanent housing. Once being assured by the seller there are no problems with formaldehyde, people will have a false sense of security. In fact, both government and private testing shows that formaldehyde levels continue to be high in these former FEMA trailers.
This recent email that is typical of ones being received by this website:
“My parents are currently living in a FEMA trailer. They have resided in it since December. Since moving into the trailer, they have had persistent illnesses. I couldn't figure out why because it is unlike them to stay sick so often for long periods of time. My brother told me that there have been reported cases of people becoming sick supposedly from these trailers or other kinds. What steps do I take to find out if this is the cause?
And here is a response from Harriett McFeely (profiled in the YouTube video linked above right re the impact of high formaldehyde levels on pets as well as people):
“Everytime I read these reports I get so damn mad all over again!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My 5 dogs are dead, our health is majorally affected, our eyes STILL BURN and are affected............our food tastes like tin foil, we still have muscle aches and weakness, we have a hard time "figuring thing out (putting a new bag in the vacuum cleaner), memory is shot. We have spent over $25,000 trying to get rid of the formaldehyde and that wiped out our savings. A good friend is dead after moving into a brand new modular, and nobody in their right mind would buy our house!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

American Cancer Society engages in "cancer chemical cover-up"

Excellent article in Natural News (http://www.naturalnews.com/028765_environmental_chemicals_cancer.html) says: The American Cancer Society, not surprisingly, was quick to bash the report (from the President's Cancer Panel). The ACS is one of the sick-care cancer industry front groups that reinforces consumer ignorance about both the causes and the solutions for cancer. The ACS has, for decades, engaged in what can only be called a "cancer chemical cover-up" with its denials that environmental chemicals cause cancer."

The American Cancer Society was not just unhelpful with a push to get EPA to adopt the California Air Resources Board (CARB) formaldehyde standards, but openly hostile to volunteers who tried to get the ACS on board. The ACS "expert" claimed there is little evidence that formaldehyde causes cancer.

Friday, May 7, 2010

President's Cancer Panel points to formaldehyde as leading cause of cancervironmental cancer

See articles under toxic trailer news re a President's Cancer Panel says the amount of environmentally induced cancer has been underestimated:

"Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, and experts at the National Cancer Institute say that at least two-thirds of cases are due to environmental factors. The President’s Cancer Panel believes this to be “grossly underestimated” and eradicating the threats should be a priority for President Obama," says an article in Examhealth.com.

"The Panel was particularly concerned to find that the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated,” the authors Dr. LaSalle Leffall Jr of Howard University and Vivian Smith of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center write. "The panel urges you most strongly to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase health care costs, cripple our Nation's productivity, and devastate American lives.

"...The panel singled out three chemicals as dangerous and an immediate priority: formaldehyde, benzene and radon."

FEMA mobile homes don't come with warning?

It appears that the warnings and contract not to use former FEMA trailers as housing only applies to RVs and not mobile homes. This is despite extensive testing by CDC that showed formaldehyde is a problem in the mobile homes, too. We saw the judge in the FEMA trailers cases arbitrarily dismiss about 10,000 claims in the FEMA trailer litigation because their housing was mobile homes instead of RVs. Evidently the thinking is that since HUD ‘regulates’ formaldehyde in wood products used for manufactured housing, this gives manufacturers and the government a get-out- of-jail free card. Nevermind that HUD doesn’t enforce the regulations—there is no testing for compliance—and the HUD levels were set far, far, far too high in order to please the formaldehyde industry.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

FEMA trailers being used for housing despite contract

Yesterday a congressional committee held a hearing on the GSA sales of more than 100,000 former Katrina FEMA trailers. The GSA witness said the government is barred from selling unsafe or defective equipment. Yet FEMA had tons of evidence from several government studies about the problems with formaldehyde, mold, water leaks, etc. with these trailers. And they dumped them all on the market anyhow, claiming they are protecting people by requiring buyers of the trailers to sign a contract that the trailers will not be use or advertised for housing.

Yet one buyer of 15,000 of the FEMA trailers, Greenlawn Homes based in Ohio, told the Elkhart Truth newspaper that they intend to use the trailers as rental housing.

(http://www.etruth.com/know/news/story.aspx?ID=%20504689): "Some of the units from Hope will be put in Greenlawn's mobile home parks, while others will be retailed, but most will be moved in the wholesale market, Mortrud said."

GSA and FEMA have broken the law by selling unsafe and hazardous trailers that could end up being very hazardous to families who end up living in them even for short periods of time.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Vitter fights for formaldehyde

A recent ProPublica investigative article at http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0410/35834.html details how Louisiana Sen. David Vitter (who called the federal judge, Kurt Englehardt, overseeing the FEMA trailer trials his "very, very good friend" when Vitter was trying to get the judge appointed to the federal bench) has fought for the formaldehyde industry that has been lining Vitter's campaign coffers with contributions.

The article by Joaquin Sapien says: "The effects of formaldehyde are not an abstract problem in Louisiana, where thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims claim they suffered respiratory problems after being housed in government trailers contaminated with the chemical.

...Vitter’s ties to the formaldehyde industry are well-known. According to the website Talking Points Memo, his election campaign received about $20,500 last year from companies that produce large amounts of formaldehyde waste in Louisiana. But ProPublica found that Vitter actually took in nearly twice that amount if contributions from other companies, trade groups and lobbyists with interests in formaldehyde regulation are included.

...On the day the study came out, Charles Grizzle, one of the Formaldehyde Council’s Washington lobbyists and a former EPA assistant administrator, donated $2,400 to Vitter’s reelection campaign, the maximum an individual may give to a federal candidate in a single election cycle. Grizzle didn’t respond to phone calls and e-mails seeking comment for this story.

...This gives the appearance of another congressman being more interested in industry than the health of the public,” said Peter Infante, a former director of the Office of Carcinogen Identification and Classification at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Toxic Court stacks deck against formaldehyde victims

TOXIC COURT rules Forest River Trailer did not cause Plaintiff's injury

The second TOXIC FEMA Trailer Trial is complete resulting in no award for the plaintiff. This trial, as was the first, was held with Federal Court Judge Kurt Engelhardt excusing FEMA even being a part of the action. The judge picked the cases to first heard, and selected weaker cases with black plaintiffs, and then allowed juries to be almost entirely white.
Hundreds of thousands American disaster survivors were exposed to dangers of formaldehyde in FEMA housing after Katrina and Rita. FEMA knew their victims were in danger and did nothing but protect themselves. The struggle to demand accountability for the US Government's actions and or in-actions is ongoing. Without FEMA being included in the trials the court appears to have managed to protect the defendants. The court's resistance to allow the victims to get their day in court with FEMA appears intentional is appalling. The government continues to ignore the fate of these victims.
Being a Katrina survivor, I see my community steadily recovering from the hurricanes, but continue witness the health effects and suffering of my neighbors caused by the governments profit over people policies and FEMA's lack of accountability.
The more I see of this litigation, I more I believe that there may be a "fox is in the hen house". On the day of the verdict of the first trial, Senator David Vitter , R (LA) announced his commitment to Formaldehyde Council's stand to block regulations for formaldehyde in building product. The lobby effort has been successful in blocking safe indoor air quality laws since the late 70s when EPA disclosed the dangers of formaldehyde in residential housing. The Senator has endorsed the Formaldehyde Council, building product industry and FEMA's "keep the victims ignorant" policy. The out come of these cases will have a direct effect to members of the formaldehyde Council and Vitter's cronies. With Vitter's hand in the pocket of the Formaldehyde Council; why is David Vitter's former campaign finance manager and very, very best friend the Judge Kurt Engelhardt orchestrating this litigation? Vitter helped Engelhardt get appointed to the bench.
The Plaintiff lawyers continue the long hard fight to protect the rights and the health of people that were fell victim to the flawed FEMA toxic housing plan. These trials are not over and you can get your chance to tell your story about FEMA's arrogant assault on you family and neighbors.
Many victims have moved and changed telephone numbers since they registered with lawyers. If you have filed legal actions against FEMA, it is suggested that you contact your lawyers to make sure that your contact information has been updated.
Jesse John Fineran

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Retired couple in RV has medical bills of $120,000 from formaldehyde exposure

A retired couple living in a privately purchased RV in Arizona asked me to test it last year after they got sick with symptoms of formaldehyde poisoning. Testing confirmed high formaldehyde levels. After reading the articles about the government dumping over 100,000 former FEMA on the market recently, the man called me and asked: Do people have any idea the medical costs from someone living in high formaldehyde levels? Since I tested them both have been hospitalized. The man has had $40,000 worth of medical costs, and the woman, $80,000. Not even counting the suffering and potential shortening of their lives, this is just an example of the cost of failing to protect Americans from excessive levels of formaldehyde.

Becky

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Washington Post slams FEMA trailers sales

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson today slammed the U.S. government dumping a hundred thousand FEMA trailers on the market. In an article headline "Tainted FEMA trailers should be destroyed, not sold" Robinson said just requiring the trailers contaminated with formaldehyde and mold to bear a warning that they aren't to be used as residences is not adequate.

The article states: "...the federal government is selling housing units that it knows are unsafe to live in....No warning sticker can absolve the government, the wholesalers and the eventual retailers of these trailers and mobile homes of their moral responsibility. Given the state of the economy -- especially the unabated national epidemic of foreclosures and evictions -- it is lunacy to pretend that families will not buy these units as primary residences.

Robinson said that officials told The Post that there would be little demand for the trailers because so many are in poor condition, having sat unoccupied and unattended for so long. But his guess is that if problems such as mold, mildew and propane-gas leaks drive retail prices even lower, the number of potential buyers is only likely to increase.

"Things are tough out there, and even a musty trailer -- with a warning sticker -- is a more comfortable place to sleep than the back seat of a car," Robinson said.

Monday, March 15, 2010

High formaldehyde products to US; low formaldehyde to Europe and Japan

http://blogs.edf.org/nanotechnology/2010/03/14/the-katrina-chronicles-formaldehyde-laced-trailers-set-to-claim-another-set-of-victims/

Richard Dennison, Ph.D., has the following blog about the recent sale of huge numbers of former FEMA trailers:

The Katrina chronicles: Formaldehyde-laced trailers set to claim another set of victims

The FEMA trailers were made using plywood imported from China. That plywood is made using adhesives that release high levels of formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen. China makes a low-formaldehyde product for export to Europe and Japan, and even for domestic use in China, because in those markets there are regulatory limits in place. But they have a ready market here in the U.S. for the cheaper, more dangerous plywood because we have no such restrictions. That plywood ended up in the FEMA trailers – and continues to be solid into countless other markets across the country.

Washington Post details latest in sad tale of Katrina trailers

The Washington Post has published a comprehensive article about the latest chapter in the sad tale of the Katrina\Rita FEMA trailers. The government has sold over 100,000 of these formaldehyde and mold laden trailers for pennies on the dollar to middlemen who plan to profit ten fold off their investment by reselling them. The sellers of these trailers are supposed to put a sticker on the trailers saying they shouldn't be used for housing--like that will actually protect anyone!
"What if Toyota ordered a recall, then simply put a sticker on its vehicles saying they were unfit to drive before reselling them?" said Becky Gillette, a spokeswoman for the Sierra Club in Mississippi, which helped uncover the formaldehyde problem. "There's a double standard for the government."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Family without mother is legacy of FEMA trailer stay

My mom and dad were living in a FEMA trailer after Hurricane Katrina. Because of the formaldehyde, my mom broke out into rashes on her legs and feet. It turned out really bad and it caused her death. Now my family and I have no mother.

FEMA trailers still high in formaldehyde

With thousands of FEMA trailers now being dumped on the market, this e-mail is of interest because the person writing it has tested his FEMA trailers recently and found them still high in formaldehyde:

"I own several park models that were originally manufactured for FEMA. I have done extensive research into mitigating the formaldehyde contamination in the units. I have also tested numerous units on the FEMA lost for formaldehyde contamination—all have exceeded the FEMA standards for acceptable contamination by substantial levels."

James

European study shows high formaldehyde in babies' bedrooms

A new study in Europe has found that "Babies' bedrooms can be bad for their health" because of pollution from formaldehyde and VOCs causing increased risk of cancer, allergies, eczema, and even behavior problems. See link to WebMD article below under toxic trailer news on the lower right or copy this link: http://www.webmd.boots.com/children/news/20100310/babies-bedrooms-can-be-bad-for-their-health

It would be good to do a similar study in the U.S. as China and other Asian countries have been exporting low formaldehyde products to Europe—where there are standards for formaldehyde—and high formaldehyde products to the U.S.--where there have been no standards (California now has standards but not the rest of the U.S.) So likely levels in American bedrooms are higher than those found in Europe.

A European study on indoor air quality says newly decorated infants bedrooms can pose significant threats to health
By Nicky Broyd
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks
9th March 2010 – Babies and young children are being exposed to high doses of carcinogenic chemicals in their own bedrooms according to a Europe-wide study on the air quality inside our homes; and it seems newly decorated rooms may be the worst offenders.

The study was carried out by Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) and measured the levels of formaldehyde (a known carcinogen) and indoor pollutants known as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) in children’s bedrooms which had been newly renovated.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Government has different rules for Toyota than FEMA trailers

Unsafe Recall~~Let's compare the Toyota gas pedal & brake with the sale of tens of thousands of FEMA trailers:
FEMA has done nothing inside the trailers to fix the problem. Therefore, why should Toyota have to do anything either.
FEMA just has to stick a sticker on the outside saying "Not to be used for housing". So why not let Toyota just stick a sticker saying "Not fit for driving" [fair is fair].
FEMA requires that the new owner sign a waiver. So, Toyota should just have all the car owner sign a waiver also, and save all that money.
FEMA or GSA is putting these trailers back out on the market unfixed. Besides formaldehyde, many have problems with mold and LP gas lines leaks that can cause fires and explosions.
Why do we have one standard for car companies and another for the government???
Why is a recall not the same for everyone?

Dan

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Arkansas AG warning about FEMA trailer sales

There is a good article today linked under the Toxic Trailers New on the lower right of this page about the Arkansas Attorney General (AG) warning people about the flood of former FEMA trailers that are coming on the market. The AG warns that there may be very low prices, but also problems such as mold, LP gas line leaks, and formaldehyde.

“A discounted price does not necessarily mean the buyer is getting a good deal, and buyers interested in acquiring a surplus manufactured home or travel trailer need to proceed with caution,” said AG Dustin McDaniel. “Proceed with caution, extreme caution, if you are tempted to respond to what appears to be an attractive offer for a travel trailer or manufactured home,” McDaniel said.

Monday, February 1, 2010

buyer beware of FEMA trailers flooding the market

It appears that the sale of 15,000 FEMA trailers last Friday in Hope ends the talk about sending FEMA trailers to Haiti--which was being pushed by the RV industry as a way to prevent these trailers from flooding the market in the U.S. Although there are still more large lots of the trailers that are likely to be sold, there apparently is no real interest and logistical problems to sending these to Haiti.

The government is requiring a sticker be placed on these surplus trailers auctioned off saying they aren't supposed to be used for housing. But these trailers will be sold again and again, and the stickers are likely to be removed or placed where they can't be easily seen. That is what happens to the HUD formaldehyde warning labels that are supposed to be on all manufactured housing. We have had calls from people who unwittingly earlier bought FEMA trailers, and they weren't warned of the problems and are now stuck with them--sometimes still owing a mortgage on them.

Buyers should also be aware that when the CDC tested FEMA trailers in Miss. and Louisiana for formaldehyde, they also checked for mold. Half the trailers also had mold, which can also be very toxic and harmful to health. Fires and explosions are also a potential threat because these trailers were not set up or maintained properly. I have reposted Matt Robinson's Gambit article on that under Toxic Trailer News and here:

http://bestofneworleans.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A39789

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Trailers too toxic for Haiti being sold in U.S. instead

There is an AP article out that is carried on a website below under Toxic Trailers news called "Trailers-to-Haiti sparks backlash." There are comments in there from Paul Nelson, whose mother who never had previous respiratory problem died from the same after living in a FEMA trailer. And there is a comment from a MS State Senator that, "If these trailers were good enough for Mississippians, they should be good enough for Haitians."

Here is a response from someone who has personal experience being poisoned by formaldehyde:

I Love This!
Too much a "HEALTH risk for Haiti" but OK to put back out on the open market for the homeless here in the US? Does this make any sense? They are willing to let us DIE, but not the Haiti people.

Yesterday 15,000 FEMA trailers were auctioned off in Hope, AR for a fraction of what the U.S. taxpayers paid for them. These are likely to be resold for ten times what the middleman paid for them. While the sellers are supposed to tell buyers that these aren't to be used for housing, it will be impossible to follow the large amount of trailers as they are sold and resold. And the information provided by FEMA about the formaldehyde risk is very misleading and says trailers that test at 100 (parts per billion) ppb are "safe" when, in fact, that is a higher than the average level of 77 ppb tested in FEMA trailers in 2008 that led FEMA to moving everyone to safer housing.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has these recommended exposure limits for the general public:

40 ppb (1-14 days exposure)
30 ppb (>14-364 days exposure)
8 ppb (365 or more days exposure)

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends an exposure limit of 16 ppb.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

CDC Director Howard Frumkin reassigned

Propublica (see under news links) has reported "Howard Frumkin, the embattled director of a little-known but important division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been reassigned to a position with less authority, a smaller staff and a lower budget.
"Frumkin had led the CDC's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the National Center for Environmental Health since 2005. For the past two years he had endured scathing criticism from Congress and the media for ATSDR's poor handling of public health problems created by the formaldehyde-contaminated trailers that the government provided to Hurricane Katrina victims. The agency, which assesses public health risks posed by environmental hazards, also was criticized for understating the health risks of several other, less-publicized cases."

One of the people poisoned by the FEMA trailers has this response:

If Frumkin lied about formaldehyde, what makes anyone think he won't lie again? This man is a disgrace. He was a diesase expert and now he is climate expert at the same pay. Why does he even have a job with CDC? If he had to stay because of legal reasons, send his ass to the North Pole to study the climate. It is outrageous. He sure is being treated better than the tens of thousands of families poisoned by formaldehyde and then denied fair treatment in the FEMA trailer lawsuits that are headed by a federal judge appointed by George Bush at the behest of his "very, very good friend," the Formaldehyde Senator, David Vitter from LA. This judge has shown huge bias in favor of the manufacturer defendants in the FEMA trial who made millions selling formaldehyde laden death traps to the government.

Friday, January 15, 2010

selloff of FEMA trailers unfair

FEMA|GSA are now auctioning off 100,000 FEMA trailers in large lots for an average of $100 for units the government paid tens of thousands for. Many of these trailers tested high in formaldehyde, and FEMA is putting a sticker on the trailers saying they shouldn't be used for housing. But guess what? Unscrupulous middle men are going to pick up these trailers for a song, remove the stickers (just like mobile home dealers have routinely for years removed the HUD formaldehyde warning stickers) and then they will sell these mobile homes and travel trailers at a huge profit.

It is one thing for people to choose to live in these if they are informed of the hazards and take steps to minimize them. It is another for them to go into debt to buy housing without knowing it could make them sick. A number of people have already unknowingly purchased FEMA trailers from dealers. When they have gotten sick or found they couldn't stay in them because of the stink from formaldehyde, they can't get their money back.

Once again FEMA has betrayed the taxpayers and the people who will end up living in these trailers.

Becky Gillette