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, 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