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 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.


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