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, 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.