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.

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