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 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.