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.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hy-Line trailer has high formaldehyde levels

I have a Hy-Line trailer purchased in 2005 that has a terrible smell to it. Advanced Chemicals ran a vapor analysis and the results were 0.097 ppm for formaldehyde. We've contacted an attorney, so we'll see what happens. What I'd like to know is do you have any other documentation from other people who own Hy-line trailers? That may be helpful to us.

Monday, October 31, 2011

FEMA won't test because it KNOWS trailers are unsafe!

I lived in a FEMA trailer after Hurricane Katrina. My wife and I suffered physical symptoms from formaldehyde exposure and my pet cockatiel almost died from being in the trailer. 

My trailer tested over twice what the EPA says is safe and I later testified in front of Congress about these dangers and the utter contempt that FEMA showed us when we tried to bring this issue to their attention.

When asked how they intended to test the trailers of the 1+ million other victims living in these toxic tin cans, FEMA told me that they would not test any trailers and that I, and those similarly situated, should be glad that we have what they gave us.

Let me tell everyone first hand, formaldehyde is toxic and carcinogenic. It will kill you. You CANNOT trust the government to keep you and your family safe. They have proven that time and time again. All FEMA would need to do is agree to test a sampling of trailers to assure they are safe. Testing costs are not an issue as the test kits are inexpensive.

The reason that FEMA does not want to test these trailer is the same reason they chose not to test the trailers after Hurricane Katrina. They KNOW that the trailers are unsafe and once that is proven with testing, they will have no option but to resolve the issue and provide a safe housing alternative.

People, there are HUGE corporate interests lobbying against any testing. If FEMA ever shows through testing that the trailers they are buying off dealer lots, the same trailers that millions of Americans purchase every year, are not safe, the industry will be put in the position of fixing unsafe manufacturing processes and facing the wrath of the literally millions of victims all across this country.

Let’s be clear, this is ALL about money. Formaldehyde is cheap. There are safe alternatives. FEMA and the manufacturers do not want to use safe methods that eat into corporate profits. Manufacturers would rather have you and your loved ones get sick and risk death then use safe methods that cost them a little bit more.

It is time to force OUR government to do what is right for US and not do the bidding of the lobbyists and manufacturers. FEMA must test these trailers for the sake of the most recent disaster victims and for the sake of the millions more who unwittingly expose themselves to this dangerous carcinogen every day.

Paul Stewart

FEMA won

I lived in a FEMA trailer after Hurricane Katrina. My wife and I suffered physical symptoms from formaldehyde exposure and my pet cockatiel almost died from being in the trailer. 

My trailer tested over twice what the EPA says is safe and I later testified in front of Congress about these dangers and the utter contempt that FEMA showed us when we tried to bring this issue to their attention.

When asked how they intended to test the trailers of the 1+ million other victims living in these toxic tin cans, FEMA told me that they would not test any trailers and that I, and those similarly situated, should be glad that we have what they gave us.

Let me tell everyone first hand, formaldehyde is toxic and carcinogenic. It will kill you. You CANNOT trust the government to keep you and your family safe. They have proven that time and time again. All FEMA would need to do is agree to test a sampling of trailers to assure they are safe. Testing costs are not an issue as the test kits are inexpensive.

The reason that FEMA does not want to test these trailer is the same reason they chose not to test the trailers after Hurricane Katrina. They KNOW that the trailers are unsafe and once that is proven with testing, they will have no option but to resolve the issue and provide a safe housing alternative.

People, there are HUGE corporate interests lobbying against any testing. If FEMA ever shows through testing that the trailers they are buying off dealer lots, the same trailers that millions of Americans purchase every year, are not safe, the industry will be put in the position of fixing unsafe manufacturing processes and facing the wrath of the literally millions of victims all across this country.

Let’s be clear, this is ALL about money. Formaldehyde is cheap. There are safe alternatives. FEMA and the manufacturers do not want to use safe methods that eat into corporate profits. Manufacturers would rather have you and your loved ones get sick and risk death then use safe methods that cost them a little bit more.

It is time to force OUR government to do what is right for US and not do the bidding of the lobbyists and manufacturers. FEMA must test these trailers for the sake of the most recent disaster victims and for the sake of the millions more who unwittingly expose themselves to this dangerous carcinogen every day.

Paul Stewart

FEMA drops testing requirement for new trailers

Housing no longer safe for disaster victims
At the same time that the U.S. has experienced an unprecedented number of natural disasters, FEMA has rescinded its requirement that temporary housing units purchased for disaster victims be tested for formaldehyde to make sure the housing is safe.
“Folks using these trailers have faced one of the worst crises of their lives; the last thing they should have to worry about is the health and safety of their families. FEMA has developed a sort of selective amnesia, they’ve forgotten that after years of denying formaldehyde was a problem in the FEMA trailers, testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed formaldehyde levels in the housing was so high that FEMA relocated all residents of the temporary housing in early 2008,” said Becky Gillette, director of the Sierra Club Formaldehyde Campaign. “FEMA later adopted standards requiring disaster housing be testing and meet formaldehyde levels that were safe. Now FEMA has changed course and is ignoring the lessons of the Katrina\Rita FEMA trailers while once again spending taxpayer money to purchase housing for disaster victims without ensuring that the housing is safe.”
Gillette said she spoke with Mike Grimm, FEMA Director of Individual Systems Division, on Oct. 3rd and Grimm confirmed that FEMA dropped the requirement for air quality testing for manufactured housing units procured for disaster housing. Grimm said that FEMA is just requiring that manufactured housing purchased by FEMA meet HUD standards for manufactured housing. FEMA, he said, is only buying mobile homes regulated by HUD, and not travel trailers that are not regulated by HUD. But CDC testing showed high levels of formaldehyde in both types of housing.
Without testing the trailers, FEMA can never know whether or not it is not repeating the mistakes it made after Katrina and Rita when formaldehyde levels in FEMA housing were so high they caused problems like breathing difficulties, nosebleeds, headaches, asthma attacks and an increased risk of cancer.
“The fact is that HUD has failed to take proper steps to protect consumers from high levels of formaldehyde in manufactured housing doesn’t excuse FEMA from its responsibility to provide safe housing for disaster victims,” Gillette said. “HUD doesn’t require air quality testing for mobile homes, and the manufactured housing industry has been successful in preventing regulations that would make manufacturing housing safe. CDC testing showed that formaldehyde levels could vary widely depending on the manufacturer. While we would hope that formaldehyde levels in trailers are lower than five years ago, FEMA should not play Russian roulette with the health of disaster victims by failing to test for formaldehyde.”
For more information on the CDC study that showed high formaldehyde levels in the trailers, see the website: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehhe/trailerstudy/assessment.htm#final.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Free formaldehyde test kits for former FEMA trailers

The University of Oxford in collaboration with Prism Analytical Technologies and the National Science Foundation is offering 50 free indoor formaldehyde concentration tests to current inhabitants of FEMA trailers or mobile homes. The FEMA trailers and mobile homes that qualify for this study are those that were originally used in 2005/2006, in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. These trailers have since been sold to every corner of the United States. Current inhabitants of these trailers in any location are eligible. While trailers that have not previously been tested are preferred, those that were previously tested may still be eligible.

Participants will be asked to fill out a simple survey regarding their views on the air quality of their trailer and how it affects or doesn’t affect their health both before and after formaldehyde testing. All surveys will be conducted confidentially. All air quality tests will be analyzed by both chemists at Prism and a certified industrial hygienist. All participants will receive a written report on their formaldehyde level and if their test results indicate elevated levels they will be given a free consultation about ways to reduce indoor formaldehyde levels.

To enroll in the study please fill out the form available here . Only those 18 and older are eligible for ethical reasons.

For questions please contact the principal investigator, Nick Shapiro, by email. If possible please include the VIN number, make and model of your trailer (so that it can be verified as an eligible unit) and your phone number.

If you are unsure if your second hand trailer is a FEMA trailer please fill out the enrollment form with the trailer’s VIN number and we will consult our database of VIN Numbers.

Enrollment Form URL if hyper link is not working:
https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dG5mRU9uYl9IVDZqWWNlN0hmMGdJLWc6MQ

UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

Contact:

Nick Shapiro
708 Mandeville Street
New Orleans, LA 70117
nicholas.shapiro@anthro.ox.ac.uk
shapiro.nick@gmail.com
Study Tel: 678.369.3672

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Is it safe to buy used FEMA trailer?

Hello, I was thinking about buying a FEMA trailer because I thought it was a real bargain. Then while searching the Internet I came across your site. I could use some advice before I shell out my money on one of these trailers. Here is one site that advertises the trailers on Ebay. http://www.arkansasonlineliquidation.com/new-direct#!__new-direct. Here is the one I was planning on buying: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170658648828&viewitem=&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWAX%3AIT

Please let me know based on what you know if you think I would have problems with this trailer...Thanks, Lisa.

Lisa: It is a myth that just because these trailers are older the formaldehyde problem has disappeared. I get contacted regularly by people who have bought these who are sick. I wouldn’t recommend it. See one example of FEMA trailer buyers' regret at
http://www.fox6now.com/news/contact6/witi-20110713-contact6-fema-trailer-story,0,1712297.story


WITI-TV, MILWAUKEE—A West Bend family saved thousands on a travel trailer; one that was perfect for their camping lifestyle. But they soon found themselves exposed to a potential health hazard.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

FEMA trailer manufacturer's Haiti classrooms also have toxic formaldehyde levels

We were alarmed by reports that the used FEMA trailers would be sent to Haiti after the massive earthquake. Thankfully that didn't happen, but instead one manufacturer of the toxic FEMA trailers got the contract to build the same kind of crap for Haiti hurricane shelters that are being used as schools!

See http://www.thenation.com/article/161908/shelters-clinton-built

The reporters found very high formaldehyde levels in the classrooms and the sick teachers and children that would be expected from this exposure. The following quote reminded me so much of people in the Katrina FEMA trailers who moved out to live in sheds or tents because they were suffering so much from the formaldehyde exposure in the trailers:

Sitting in the sixth-grade classroom, student Mondialie Cineas, who dreams of becoming a nurse, said that three times a week the teacher gives her and her classmates painkillers so that they can make it through the school day. "At noon, the class gets so hot, kids get headaches," the 12-year-old said, wiping beads of sweat from her brow. She is worried because "the kids feel sick, can't work, can't advance to succeed."
....

Yet according to Maddalena, given the high rate of formaldehyde found in one of the classrooms, and the children's headaches, "they'd be better off studying outside under a tarp."



Formaldehyde outgassing increases with heat and humidity so putting these in a place where they wouldn't have air conditioning in a hot, humid climate was a recipe for disaster.

Ironically, Clayton Homes claims to have developed the first “Green” manufactured home.

http://essentialquality.com/thegreens/?tag=katrina-cottage

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Family sick in manufactured home

I have some concerns about my home. I have four children, three of whom are still under 18 and live at home. About two weeks after move in I saw a health notice on the side of the fridge. I was concerned and did some research. I was a little nervous about it but we had suffered from two house fires in two years and I just didn't want to believe that something could really be wrong. Stupid, I know, but we had suffered a lot.
Anyway, during this last winter my kids and I have been sick. Mostly upper respiratory illnesses but my boys have been sick also and they have always been healthy. My youngest son came down with pneumonia. We went on vacation this last March and I noticed that none of us had a runny stuffy nose, our eyes didn't water and my daughter’s persistent cough went away.
I bought a formaldehyde test and the results came back at 0.062 ppm. Some websites say that isn't that bad some say it can be. I am wondering if it is, especially since we had the windows open and fans blowing while we did the test. Can you please send me information as to what I should do and if I should be concerned.

Tonya: Your family has all the classic symptoms of formaldehyde poisoning—including getting better when you leave the home environment. Formaldehyde outgassing can go up dramatically with heat and humidity. So, you can test with the fans on and windows open at get a relatively low number. However, is that how your family normally lives? And did you do this during the hot weather?
I would be concerned about 0.062 especially with fans on and windows open. It is above what you should be exposed to for 1-14 days.
FORMALDEHYDE
GENERAL PUBLIC EXPOSURE (RECOMMENDATIONS):

Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) [US DHHS, CDC]
Minimal Risk Levels (MRL)
Acute MRL: 0.04 ppm (1-14 days exposure)
Intermediate duration MRL: 0.03 ppm (>14-364 days exposure)
Chronic duration MRL: 0.008 ppm (365 or more days exposure)

Health Canada
Residential Indoor Air Quality Guidelines
One hour exposure limit: 0.1 ppm
Eight hour exposure limit; 0.04 ppm

Friday, June 17, 2011

American Cancer Society runs away with the cure for cancer

The American Cancer Society is at it again making world safe for big polluters and the companies that profit off the cancer treatments that result from the deliberatefailure to properly regulate dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde. An ACS expert is quoted in a recent AP story as saying the average American has little cancer risk from exposure to formaldehyde.

Having worked with hundreds of families poisoned by formaldehyde in FEMA trailers, I find it shocking to see this whitewash of formaldehyde at the same time the government--20 years overdue--has properly accessed its cancer risk. In addition to cancer, formaldehyde exposure causes burning eyes, runny nose, breathing difficulties, asthma and a host of other problems. People are overexposed to formaldehyde not just in trailers but in homes that use cabinets with a lot of the pressed wood products that emit formaldehyde. They are overexposed in hair salons, and they even use a lot of formaldehyde in some clothing.

Just Google American Cancer Society bias towards big industry and you will get lots of hits like this one:

http://www.alternet.org/world/149925/bill_moyers%3A_america_can't_deal_with_reality_--_we_must_be_exposed_to_the_truth,_even_if_it_hurts/?page=entire

http://www.NaturalNews.com/030521_American_Cancer_Society_cure.html

"Instead of the cure we were promised 40 years ago, what we have gotten for all the billions of dollars spent is a bloated cancer industry, including charitable organizations and government agencies, whose continued existence, salaried positions and benefits depend on NOT finding a cure for cancer.

"A vivid illustration (of how companies that cause cancer and profit from cancer influence charitable organizations as well as cancer treatments and research) can be found in the in-depth article "Breast Cancer Deception - Hiding the Truth Beneath a Sea of Pink":

http://www.tbyil.com/breast-cancer-...

As detailed in the article, the Breast Cancer Awareness Movement (BCAM) was started and controlled by a chemical company whose toxic emissions were one of the largest cancer causers in the United States. To this very day, the BCAM continues to be controlled by companies, who seek to divert attention away from their toxic and unhealthy products and who direct research and treatment towards highly profitable products and services by companies who play large roles in BCAM.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/030521_American_Cancer_Society_cure.html#ixzz1PXKakJvn

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Government names formaldehyde as carcinogen!

Today the government released its 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC) - naming styrene and formaldehyde as among the chemicals that are known (formaldehyde) or reasonably anticipated (styrene) to cause cancer in humans (see the media announcement here). This is a really big deal, because the chemical industry has been fighting tooth-and-nail to prevent these assessments - actually to prevent the whole report - from being finalized. It’s been held up for four years by industry interference, but the public has a right to know about the chemical risks that are foisted upon us through air and water pollution, off-gassing from consumer products, inadequate or unenforced regulations, etc.

Jennifer Sass, NRDC (see link to longer blog by Sass plus New York Times article under Toxic Trailer News)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Retailers get to keep selling high formaldehyde products

Furniture Today reports that "California furniture retailers are among those that have been given more time to sell off product that doesn't comply with the state's stringent new composite panel regulations." The California Air Resources Board has extended two sell-through dates that affect enforcement of the first phase of new composite panel regulations for formaldehyde. The extension affects Phase 1 sell-through dates for distributors, importers, fabricators, and retailers of finished goods containing hardwood plywood with a veneer core, according to the advisory. The deadline to sell that product was extended from June 30 of this year to June 30, 2012.

It is too bad they just keep extending the dates for making people comply with the lower formaldehyde levels....they get a whole another year to continue to import bad products, and what do you want to bet that in a year they’lll cry “bad economy” and get to extend it again?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

FEMA trailers only housing option for many Native Americans

See this important story: http://newamericamedia.org/2011/05/as-housing-crisis-escalates-native-american-tribes-use-fema-mobile-homes.php, As Housing Shortage Worsens, Tribes Forced to Use FEMA Trailers

America's Wire, News Report, Kenneth J. Cooper, Posted: May 02, 2011

"Lack of adequate housing on Native American tribal lands has become so critical that tribes have been acquiring mobile homes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The shelters, meant to be utilized during disasters, are being converted into living quarters for Native American families."

Delvin Cree, Dunseith, North Dakota, who has worked in Native American country to get people to understand the hazards of living in the toxic FEMA trailers, says in response: "It's amazing to say that we are forced to stay in FEMA trailer homes. I hope tribes who are accepting these trailers educate our tribal members as to what their getting. Wow! it's amazing also with all the health issues we face in Indian Country, tribes are going to accept more of these trailers. We have treaty obligations folks! We need to keep fighting!"

This important story tells WHY there is a housing shortage on reservations---people usually can’t get mortgages on tribal lands because the govt. “owns” the land!! What a terrible tragedy to have these toxic trailers as the only housing option because the government has failed in its responsibility to do a timely lease for the lands to the people who really own the land so they can get mortgages for a home. Think how many other Americans wouldn’t be able to own homes if they were unable to obtain mortgages!

Remember that the government evacuated Katrina and Rita survivors from the FEMA trailers because of high formaldehyde levels. But they are the "solution" to the U.S. government contrived housing shortages on tribal lands?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Formaldehyde case study in EPA paralysis

"Formaldehyde is a case study in EPA paralysis. Despite being widely acknowledged as causing cancer, political meddling and endless review have stalled agency efforts to reduce consumer and worker exposures," said Environmental Working Group senior scientist David Andrews, Ph.D. "In 2008, the Government Accountability Office highlighted formaldehyde as one of three pressing examples of political interference hindering the Agency's efforts to "complete timely, credible assessments" for hazardous chemicals. Further delays in EPA's formaldehyde assessment mean more risk to consumers, and more cancer."

Saturday, April 9, 2011

National Academy of Sciences DID support EPA conclusions on formaldehyde!

An article published in the New York Times today is headlined: NAS Reviewers Slam EPA's Formaldehyde Assessment. An article yesterday in the Times Picayune had similar conclusions. See links under toxics trailer news for entire articles.

Here is an excerpt: Becky Gillette, the formaldehyde campaign director at the Sierra Club, said industry has wielded its considerable influence to stall EPA's assessment process.

"The strategy of 'we need more study' has been successful for decades in making big profits for companies that produce and use formaldehyde," Gillette said. "The problem is those profits have come at the expense of human lives. ... I hope that EPA will not let this delaying tactic keep it from doing its job."

"Chemical watchdogs point out that EPA currently lags behind other health organizations in how it characterizes formaldehyde. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said formaldehyde is a known carcinogen in 2006. The Department of Health and Human Services has also reached a similar conclusion.

"In May of 2009, the National Cancer Institute released study results linking formaldehyde exposure to leukemia. IARC and the U.S. National Toxicology Program released similar findings later that year.

"Until the ongoing EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessment is finalized, EPA will continue to list formaldehyde as a "probable" carcinogen and will not be able to set more stringent standards on the chemical."


HOWEVER, it is important to note that Mary DeVany, the industrial hygienist who has provided so much valuable assistance to our formaldehyde campaign, read the whole study and says the summary they sent out does not accurately reflect what the NAS panel said! Mary says:

"Of great significance is that the summary of the full NAS report is NOT an accurate summary of the NAS report. For whatever reason(s), it is carefully worded to lead the reader to the conclusion that the EPA report is not based on good science and it is overly protective. This is not what the 154-page NAS report states at all.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Skeptical about cheap FEMA trailers?

My wife and I have been on arduous quest looking for a travel trailer to replace our old pop-up. Recently we came across these FEMA trailers. Skeptical because of the prices, I did some research, and found your article. What I read scared me to death, and I wouldn’t want my wife or kids to set foot in one of these even if they were free.
But it has also set off some concerns. Some of the trailers I’ve seen on these lots are known brands that are also for sale on Craig’s list and local papers by private individuals.
Was there a particular brand of trailers with this problem? Are the levels of formaldehyde high on just these trailers or is this something I need to be concerned with this buying a used camper that is not one of FEMA’s.
Eloy J. Zayas
Dear Eloy:
You should be concerned as this is an industry wide problem. It is not just confined to old FEMA trailers, although those may be worse. According to government testing, Pilgrim, Keystone and Gulfstream were significantly higher that other travel trailers. Cavaliers were significantly higher than other types of mobile homes.
Part of the justification for poisoning the hurricane victims is that “everybody builds trailers this way.” We’ve tested trailers as much as 10 years old that still have toxic formaldehyde levels. The problem doesn’t always go away with time, as the industry would like you to believe.
There are new green trailers http://www.goevergreenrv.com/, but I think they are pretty expensive. The old pop up may still be your best bet as they are well ventilated.
Becky Gillette

Staying in travel trailer making worker sick

I bought a travel trailer probably 3 months age and since I have been staying in it for work, I have been feeling sick every time I'm in it. I have a sore throat, congestion, and have burning eyes every morning when I wake up. When I go home to stay at my house during the weekends, it goes away. There is also a kind of watery smell in the trailer. Do you think this is mold, and if so what can I do about it?
Shane

Dear Shane: Those symptoms are consistent with formaldehyde poisoning. I would get it tested. Depending on how old it is, and if it is a former FEMA trailer, mold is also likely. It is pretty clear when staying inside makes you sick, and you go somewhere else in weekend you get better, that something in that environment is making you sick.

If you have no option of anywhere else to stay, keep the trailers as well ventilated as possible: windows open, vent fans on, especially vent any moisture. But I can’t say even then that you will be safe as the govt. testing of these trailers showed the best ventilation and air filters on the market didn’t reduce formaldehyde levels enough to be safe.

Becky

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Formaldehyde combined with hydrogen sulfide "can come together" to create health problems

An AP report today on the Consumer Product Safety Comm and CDC studies into Chinese drywall says that 11 deaths of people in homes contaminated by Chinese drywall were caused by pre existing conditions and not the toxic drywall. Who really thinks you can put someone with cancer and lung or heart disease in a toxic home, and it not work to hasten their death even if it was a "pre existing condition" to start with?

It is interesting, though, that these govt. agencies recognized that the toxic drywall combined with formaldehyde emissions could mix together to make people sick:

Scott Wolfson, a spokesman for the safety commission, said “hundreds, if not thousands” of homeowners have reported nosebleeds, respiratory problems and other symptoms that could be linked to Chinese drywall, the AP article said. "Investigators have found a possible “synergistic effect” between hydrogen sulfide emitted from the Chinese boards and the typical traces of formaldehyde found in many homes that “can come together” to cause problems, Wolfson said."

Read more: http://www.sunherald.com/2011/01/31/2822568/cdc-finds-no-link-between-deaths.html#ixzz1Cium5LUN

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Formaldehyde precursors in cosmetics pose cancer risk to most of the U.S. population

This is an except from an article in Natural Health News (see link to whole story on lower right under news) about the failure of the U.S. to ban formaldehyde use in clothing.
"Disturbingly," observes Dr. Epstein, "none of the dermatologists quoted in the New York Times appear aware of longstanding evidence that most cosmetics and personal care products, commonly used daily by most women, besides on their infants and children, and to a lesser extent men, contain up to eight ingredients which are precursors of formaldehyde."
These include diazolidinyl urea, metheneamine, and quaterniums, each of which readily breaks down on the skin to release formaldehyde, Dr. Epstein explains, warning, "This is then readily absorbed through the skin, and poses unknowing risks of cancer to most of the U.S. population."

Monday, January 24, 2011

FEMA mobile home lawsuits settled

It is very disappointing that a $2.6 million settlement has been reached regarding FEMA mobile homes that poisoned people who lost their homes in Katrina and Rita. (See link to this story under Toxic Trailer news). This settlement seems to benefit the lawyers, who get half of it, but if there are 5,000 plaintiffs, that amounts to about $260 per family--not enough to pay for even one visit to the emergency room for a child or adult having difficulty breathing because of the formaldehyde poisoning. At one point I read there were 10,000 mobile home plaintiffs out of the 40,000 total plaintiffs, but I haven't been able to determine the current number for certain.

The justification given for the award is that the thousands of families who lived in the mobile homes were unlikely to prevail in litigation because the federal court judge had removed the mobile home cases from the FEMA litigation because the mobile homes were supposedly regulated by HUD. Never mind that the mobile homes, while not testing quite as high as the travel trailers, were overwhelming proven to have toxic levels of formaldehyde. Never mind that HUD regulations were far to lax and even the lax standards were not enforced. Never mind the many families who experienced thousands and thousands of dollars in medical expenses.

Also, the three bellwether trials were decided in favor of the companies that poisoned the hurricane victims. These were not fair trails, and were presided over by a pro business Bush appointed Republican judge with close ties to the Formaldehyde Senator David Vitter.

Anyone under the delusion that we have a fair judiciary should looking at the consolidated FEMA trailer litigation in New Orleans.
FEMA got off scot free even when congressional testimony nailed the agency for ignoring and covering up the formaldehyde problems.

Chinese consumers avoid formaldehyde

It is interesting in light of the fact that the exceptionally high levels of formaldehyde in Katrina FEMA trailers have been blamed by some on use of high formaldehyde pressed wood products from China. Yet it appears the Chinese are becoming wise to the issue of formaldehyde.

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90778/90860/7269905.html

A customer examines samples of various laminate floor products at a shop in Shanghai. As many floor products contain formaldehyde, a chemical that can release a strong and pungent odor and cause skin, eye and respiratory damage, Chinese customers have become very picky when buying them for their homes. Bao Xinguo / for China Daily