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.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

More evidence of the harm done to children’s health due to use of building materials and other products in the home that outgas signficant amounts of formaldehyde. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ina.12024/abstract Formaldehyde concentrations in household air of asthma patients determined using colorimetric detector tubes Formaldehyde is a colorless, pungent gas commonly found in homes and is a respiratory irritant, sensitizer, carcinogen and asthma trigger. Typical household sources include plywood and particleboard, cleaners, cosmetics, pesticides, and others. Development of a fast and simple measurement technique could facilitate continued research on this important chemical. The goal of this research is to apply an inexpensive short-term measurement method to find correlations between formaldehyde sources and concentration, and formaldehyde concentration and asthma control. Formaldehyde was measured using 30-minute grab samples in length-of-stain detector tubes in homes (n=70) of asthmatics in the Boston, MA area. Clinical status and potential formaldehyde sources were determined. The geometric mean formaldehyde level was 35.1 ppb and ranged from 5-132 ppb. Based on one-way ANOVA, t-tests, and linear regression, predictors of log-transformed formaldehyde concentration included absolute humidity, season, and the presence of decorative laminates, fiberglass, or permanent press fabrics (p<0.05), as well as temperature and household cleaner use (p<0.10). The geometric mean formaldehyde concentration was 57% higher in homes of children with very poorly controlled asthma compared to homes of other asthmatic children (p=0.078). This study provides a simple method for measuring household formaldehyde and suggests that exposure is related to poorly controlled asthma. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd Get PDF (385K)

Monday, December 3, 2012

I wish more reporters would pick up on the fact that FEMA is up to its old tricks spending millions on no bid contracts for emergency housing trailers that are pieces of crap AND no longer tested for formaldehyde. I’m getting e-mail from Hurricane Sandy victims who want to know if these are safe....probably not, knowing FEMA. FEMA told me they dropped formaldehyde testing because the same types of mobile homes are for sale all over the U.S. But that isn’t true. These are specially ordered by FEMA. ...Despite Gadwill's recommendation that TL Industries quality "just wouldn't be acceptable to the private sector and shouldn't be accepted by the government," FEMA continued doing business with the firm. http://washingtonexaminer.com/fema-buys-trailers-from-firm-despite-chronic-flaws/article/2514920 FEMA buys disaster trailers from firm despite chronic flaws December 3, 2012 | 7:52 am | Modified: December 3, 2012 at 7:55 am 2Comments Richard Pollock Reporter The Washington Examiner Federal officials have bought thousands of temporary housing trailers in recent years despite repeated warnings from government and private industry inspectors that hundreds of the units were shoddily built, The Washington Examiner has learned. Some of the flawed units could be headed to Hurricane Sandy victims in New Jersey and New York, but officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency stubbornly refuse to answer questions about the trailers or the companies building them. The trailers were built by TL Industries, one of two related Indiana firms from which FEMA officials have bought a large share of the government's supply of temporary housing units for disaster victims since 2007. Agency officials say they keep at least 2,000 trailers available at all times. The problems were so widespread that FEMA spent at least $1.3 million in October 2011 to fix warped exteriors on 581 TL trailers at FEMA's Selma, Ala., facility, according to the agency's public contracting records. Warped exteriors were only one of many problems identified by the inspectors, but a FEMA spokesman refused to discuss the Selma units, or whether repairs were needed on any of the other trailers in the inventory. TL Industries has been paid at least $189 million by FEMA since 2007 for an unspecified number of trailers. A $289 million contract was awarded in September 2012 to TL's sister company, Recreation by Design, of Elkhart, also for an unspecified number of units. Elkhart businessman Randall Rush owns both companies, according to Indiana corporation records. Rush did not return a reporter's multiple telephone calls seeking comment. A former TL manager who requested anonymity told the Examiner that the company specialized in wholesaling gray market Recreational Vehicles before going into the trailer construction business. Mike J. Gadwill, a former FEMA inspector, said he reviewed the company's Indiana production line in 2008. He reported to his superiors and other federal authorities that "during the construction of the additional units by TL, we observed repetitive poor workmanship in the construction and poor repairs to faults we found," according to a statement obtained by The Examiner. Despite Gadwill's recommendation that TL Industries quality "just wouldn't be acceptable to the private sector and shouldn't be accepted by the government," FEMA continued doing business with the firm. Gadwill said he resigned after FEMA officials did nothing about the problems he found with the TL Industries units. He has had federal whistleblower protection by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel ever since and said he was recently interviewed by criminal investigators. A spokesman for the OSC would neither confirm nor deny the investigation, but said it would not be unusual for a complaint filed in 2008 to still be open and unresolved. Janice L. Regalo, a FEMA employee assigned to New York City in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, drew similar conclusions about TL housing in 2008. "They were poorly put together," she told The Examiner. "Just cheap material, falling apart in transit. It wasn't a quality unit at all." Regalo also told the FEMA Inspector General and other federal authorities that "during my inspections of TL Industries units, it became apparent that the IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) testing procedures required by FEMA for formaldehyde were not being properly followed." She told the Examiner, "I was directly told to accept those units. The units were coming in and we could smell the formaldehyde." Regalo said a FEMA supervisor told her "to accept them anyway." Charles Saba, an environmental engineer then working for a private firm that provided inspection services, told The Examiner that he found the quality wanting during a 2010 examination. "It didn't look like it was built well. You could see parts of the wall paneling popping off. You could see that the windows weren't installed properly," he said. "It was a real sloppy job in my opinion." Jerry Brown, who worked for another private inspection firm providing services, said he would not live in the TL Industries units he inspected in 2009 at FEMA's Cumberland, Md., facility. "I would not want to live in one of them for a year, much less three or four after a major hurricane or flood," Brown told the Examiner. Forty TL units were recently shipped from the Cumberland facility for use by Hurricane Sandy victims, according to a FEMA announcement, but an agency spokesman would not say if any of them were among those repaired in Alabama. UPDATE: FEMA trailers sit idle in PA The Washington Free Beacon reports this morning that 92 FEMA temporary housing units sit unused in Pennsylvania only 145 miles from Hurricane Sandy victims suffering from cold and lack of help. Richard Pollock is a member of The Washington Examiner's special reporting team.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The AP reports today that the federal government is moving manufactured housing into areas in New York and New Jersey that were hit hardest by Sandy. AP said: FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said the disaster-relief agency has several hundred mobile homes in its inventory of emergency supplies and has started moving some of them to disaster zones. He said it is unclear yet if FEMA will need to order more of the temporary homes. "FEMA was widely criticized for using trailers after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated New Orleans and parts of the Gulf Coast in 2005 after many of those trailers were later found to contain toxic levels of formaldehyde. "Fugate said the mobile homes being sent to New York and New Jersey have been approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The mobile homes being used for this storm are not the same kind that were used after Katrina and Rita, FEMA said." People who get these FEMA trailers need to know that despite the tens of thousands of people poisoned by formaldehyde in FEMA trailers after Katrina, FEMA is no longer even testing the trailers it buys for formaldehyde. And the HUD standards have not been changed or improved from what they were before Katrina. The HUD standards are not only woefully inadequate, but there is no enforcement. FEMA's excuse for no longer requiring that the housing they purchase is low in formaldehyde is that "everybody does it." FEMA is only purchasing what is available in the marketplace to anyone. IF anyone gets one of the Sandy FEMA trailers, and could like a free test kit for formaldehyde, send an email to 4becky@cox.net.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Response to toxic RV post

A response to Sherry: I don't know if RV dealers are required by law to discuss and disclose formaldehyde risks or if just having the notice posted inside hidden behind the hot water heater or in vanity cabinet is considered adequate "consumer protection," but I would certainly look into that - can she get her money back because of lack of disclosure? ... as well as if there are laws that allow conditional or non-conditional returns within certain number of days or limited number of months ... They will likely argue that these vehicles are recreational and not meant for full-time or long-term habitation which was one of the manufacturers arguments regarding the travel trailers they sold to FEMA (while knowing full-well that's how FEMA intended to use them ...) Meanwhile, open all the windows (especially at night while sleeping), run the AC, try to stay outside as much as possible, use "green" septic tank cleaner because the usual septic tank cleaner is made with formaldehyde - avoid using bug spray inside, don't smoke inside ... some plants are supposed to be better at absorbing formaldehyde etc while others argue to avoid indoor plants cuz they increase indoor humidity ... Other culprits could be the chemicals that they use to make things fire retardant which can often make animals, people, sick. There are VOC's in carpets so maybe covering furniture with allergen proofing sheet or mattress cover might help. Remove any carpet that came with the vehicle ... Another thing to look at would be hydrogen sulfide off-gassing if their septic tank connection is not deep enough. Basically I would say start building alternative dwelling and get out of the there ... it might be ok for someone else but if she is sensitive to formaldehyde or other chemicals off-gassing, while the off-gassing may decrease as months pass, as we have seen even 10 year old trailers often still tested with significantly elevated formaldehyde levels, and chemical sensitivities tend to get worse not better ... Dr. Heidi Sinclair

New RV is making me sick

Hello..I would like some advise on what to do as a consumer that purchased a recreational vehicle. I planned on it being my main residence. We have had it a little over a month now..at first I was just sneezing and achy and not really thinking it was anything more than a cold. I went about my days. The other day out of the blue my nose started bleeding. I have never in my 52 years had a bloody nose. As I was cleaning the vanity sink I found a warning about the building materials in my RV. Who looks there to find out they just paid 30 grand for formaldehyde exposure? What am I to do now? This is my home. I am getting sicker by the day. I have no medical coverage and I blame the RV sales for not disclosing this and pushing us into this trailer. Please advise me on what I can do. I am not feeling well at all. I spend 24\7 here in my home. I rarely leave. I live on the lake. I will be awaiting your response and I am thanking you in advance. Sherry Dear Sherry, You could purchase a test kit to see what you are dealing with regarding formaldehyde levels. Some states have lemon laws that you can use to try to get your money back. You might contact your state attorney general. It does sound a lot like the kind of health problems people get when exposed to formaldehyde. So sorry you are experiencing this...it is shame after the Katrina trailer experiences identified this as a significant problem that still little is done to make sure indoor air is good in RVs and other structures.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Emily Willingham's says in a Forbes article responding to the Kristoff piece on formaldehyde in the New York Times that there is no "conspiracy" to suppress the info that formaldehyde is carcinogenic. See http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2012/10/10/is-industry-conspiring-to-suppress-that-formaldehyde-is-carcinogenic/ Kristoff's NYT piece: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/opinion/sunday/kristof-the-cancer-lobby.html Here is a response from Paul Stewart to Willingham's article. Paul is the former FEMA trailer resident who was the first to identify high formaldehyde levels in FEMA trailers when he tested after his wife woke up with a nose bleed gasping for air): Very interesting piece of literature!! I don't think that it's a conspiracy, just that the industry has used legal and legislative tactics to legalize the poisoning of millions of Americans. I actually think it would be better if this was a cover-up. At least under those conditions the criminal efforts used to cover-up the dangers would likely be limited to just a few corrupt individuals. In this case, it is an entire industry and government machine that have conspired to keep this inexpensive toxin in the stream of commerce. As we have trumpeted since the beginning of this campaign, the government and chemical industry have determined that the alleged benefits of formaldehyde outweigh the human costs. Why do we, as a people, allow our government, driven by industry, to place a monetary value on the lives of its citizens?? The real question is, if we are actually a country “by the people and for the people,” how could we allow this to happened to our loved ones, and why do we place such little value on our own lives? Have we really been so beaten down that we have willing given that responsibility over to an industry that is profit driven or a government that is run by the 1 percent? Have we really become so disenfranchised with the political process that we care more about birth certificates than we do about the health and safety of our families? This is the real tragedy and it goes much deeper than any conspiracy theory. The American people have given up on themselves and our challenge is turning that around and re-empowering the people to take back their health, their government, and their future!! Paul

Monday, October 8, 2012

Good opinion column in the Times about efforts to continue to place the profits of chemical manufacturers over the health of Americans... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/opinion/sunday/kristof-the-cancer-lobby.html OP-ED COLUMNIST The Cancer Lobby By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF Published: October 6, 2012 WHO knew that carcinogens had their own lobby in Washington? Don’t believe me? Just consider formaldehyde, which is found in everything from nail polish to kitchen countertops, fabric softeners to carpets. Largely because of its use in building materials, we breathe formaldehyde fumes when we’re inside our homes. Just one other fact you should know: According to government scientists, it causes cancer. The chemical industry is working frantically to suppress that scientific consensus — because it fears “public confusion.” Big Chem apparently worries that you might be confused if you learned that formaldehyde caused cancer of the nose and throat, and perhaps leukemia as well. The industry’s strategy is to lobby Congress to cut off money for the Report on Carcinogens, a 500-page consensus document published every two years by the National Institutes of Health, containing the best information about what agents cause cancer. If that sounds like shooting the messenger, well, it is. “The way the free market is supposed to work is that you have information,” said Lynn Goldman, dean of the school of public health at George Washington University. “They’re trying to squelch that information.” The larger issue is whether the federal government should be a watchdog for public health, or a lap dog for industry. When Mitt Romney denounces President Obama for excessive regulation, these are the kinds of issues at stake. “Formaldehyde is known to be a human carcinogen,” declared the most recent Report on Carcinogens, published in 2011. Previous editions had listed it only as a suspected carcinogen, but the newer report, citing many studies of human and animal exposure to formaldehyde, made the case that it was time to stop equivocating. The chemical industry was outraged, because it sells lots of formaldehyde that ends up in people’s homes, often without their knowledge. “Nearly all homes had formaldehyde concentrations that exceeded guidelines for cancer and chronic irritation,” according to a 2009 survey by the California Energy Commission. ,,,

Friday, September 28, 2012

I and the other lawyers in this case spent thousands of hours and millions of dollars in this case. I don't anticipate that I will make a cent and my firm will probably not be reimbursed for all of its expenses. I was involved in several trials, mock trials, juror focus groups. Vast majority of people simply felt like that it was bad that people got sick, but that it just didn't rise to "a federal case" since people received these for free. Many said these trailers were pieces of junk but not neccesarily "unreasonable dangerous." Also, most plaintiffs smoked or had other health problems unrelated to their time in the trailer. It's not fun to be continually attacked by companies because we represent people and then get attacked by the other side too because we couldn't make miracles.
The largest mass poisoning of Americans by their government, the exposure to high levels of formaldehyde in FEMA trailers after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, has resulted in what one of the former FEMA trailer residents calls: AMERICAN JUSTICE The Katrina survivors who FEMA knowingly exposed to formaldehyde in FEMA trailers get $300 bucks and the lawyers get over $20 million. That $300 isn't likely to pay for even one emergency room visit. AP's MICHAEL KUNZELMAN reports that "A federal judge gave his final approval Thursday to a $42.6 million class-action settlement between companies that made and installed government-issued trailers after hurricanes in 2005 and Gulf Coast storm victims who claim they were exposed to hazardous fumes while living in the shelters. ...Gerald Meunier, a lead plaintiffs’ attorney, said the deal provides residents with ‘‘somewhat modest’’ compensation but allows both sides to avoid the expense and risks of protracted litigation. ‘‘Dollar amounts alone do not determine whether a settlement is fair and reasonable,’’ he said. Easy for for the plaintiff lawyers to say when get to bank millions compared to hundreds for the people who got sick or died as a result of formaldehyde exposure. Here is another quote from the AP story: Engelhardt noted he received a letter from a woman whose 66-year-old mother, Agnes Mauldin, of Mississippi, died of leukemia in 2008 after living in a FEMA trailer. Mauldin’s daughter, Lydia Greenlees, said the settlement offers “very little” for what her family considers to be a wrongful death case. “I am saddened about the settlement in that I feel like it makes a mockery of my mother’s life,” Greenlees wrote. “I don’t want anyone to think for one second that I view this settlement as a fair trade for my mother’s life. I do not.” THE FINAL INSULT? FEMA is back to no longer testing emergency housing for formaldehyde before purchasing it. FEMA says they are just buying what is available for purchase on any trailer sales lot in America. So since the American public at large is not being protected from housing with elevated levels of formaldehyde, why should disaster victims be treated any better? So the manufactured housing industry gets to continuing using cheap, formaldehyde emitting products instead of using the safer alternatives to formaldehyde binders that now exist like Soyad.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Starch could replace formaldehyde in wood products

As we can see by the number of manufactured houses and even conventional houses that test high for formaldehyde, what is needed isn't reducing the formaldehyde content of product but eliminating it in favor of a binder that is non toxic to humans. The Green Chemistry Journal in an article "Starch as a Replacement for Urea-Formaldehyde in Medium Density Fibreboard" published recently says: Medium density fibreboard (MDF) is a ubiquitous product formed from wood flour and a formaldehyde-based resin. The use of the latter component causes some health and environmental concerns and its use is restricted. The current study shows that thermoplastic starch can be used in place of the thermoset resin to produce materials of similar mechanical strength but with clear environmental benefits. All of the components are compostable and the resin being a thermoplastic allows the potential for remoulding and recycling which has clear environmental impact benefits.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Congressional corruption continues in blocking proper regulation of carcinogens

For decades Congressmen bought and paid for by the formaldehyde industry have prevented this chemical from being properly labeled as a carcinogen and properly regulated to protect human health. Now that tradition continues with a Congressman from Montana who has put a rider on legislation that would remove funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) biennial Report on Carcinogens, a report mandated report by Congress that compiles existing and new research on carcinogens and supplies a list of chemicals with known and suspected links to cancer.

Forbes reports that, "The report sources its information and list from peer reviewed studies and is independently audited in its entirety before being published every other year. It is not linked to regulation of chemicals in any way, but that’s a whole separate issue.

"The issue at hand today is funding for the report, which Representative Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) is attempting to block via a budget rider until the NIH complies with a 2012 congressional directive to have the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) conduct a review of formaldehyde and styrene and the Report on Carcinogens assessment of them. Environmental health advocates, and NIH staffers themselves, have argued that the report is already audited and comprised of peer-reviewed data, making an additional assessment unnecessary, but the directive stands. Now Rehberg wants to see funding for the Report on Carcinogens halted until the NAS assessment comes through, which could take as long as five years."

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Laws still lacking to protect people from formaldehyde

Recently I had a call from a woman whose son wanted to go stay with his grandfather in North Dakota who had just purchased a new Schult manufactured home. The woman was concerned because she and her son had lived in the Henness Flats Apartment complex in Truckee, CA, where they became ill from high formaldehyde levels. A formaldehyde test kit was sent to the grandfather, who has numerous health problems. The test results came back at .2 ppm, which is extremely high. It is twice the level that someone should be exposed to for even short periods of time. When told of the test results, the grandfather said, “Well, can’t do anything about it now. Guess I’m stuck with it.” That is a sad dilemma faced by people who buy a home and later find out it has high formaldehyde levels. What can they do? Manufacturers and sellers deny there is a problem, and the new CARB formaldehyde standards adopted by Congress are not yet being enforced except in California. EPA has not yet issued rulemaking on CARB, and you can bet are hearing a lot more from those who profit from making formaldehyde and buying cheap toxic wood products to put in furniture and homes than from the people who are getting poisoned by formaldehyde.

Note also that FEMA has stopped testing new trailers purchased for formaldehyde because "we are buying the same thing for sale across the country." FEMA seems to have learned nothing from the disaster after Katrina putting thousands of families in trailers with high formaldehyde levels. It is okay to expose people to toxic levels of formaldehyde because "everybody does it."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

High formaldehyde confirmed in new mobile home

Test results from the woman below who wrote about the new 2011 Southern Energy home have come back showing high formaldehyde levels. The trailer tested a .093 ppm. That is extremely close to the .1 ppm level that the EPA and American Lung Assn. recommend as the maximum that someone should be exposed to, and twice the .04 ppm level that the Agency for Toxic SUbstance and Disease Registry has recommended for one to 14 days exposure. This is the type of formaldehyde level that made so many people sick when they got FEMA trailers after Hurricane Katrina and Rita.

It is time to start a national campaign to require formaldehyde testing of every new home in the U.S.! Particularly manufacturers of modular or manufactured housing start need to disclosing more than just the current warning about containing formaldehyde. Millions of American, particularly low income Americans, are being poisoned as they have been poisoned for decades in these homes with high formaldehyde. THERE ARE BETTER ALTERNATIVES TO FORMALDEHYDE BASED GLUES IN COMPOSITE WOOD PRODUCTS!! It is past time for the industry to adopt them.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Woman constantly ill in new mobile home

I've been living in a new 2011 mobile home and for about a year now have been plagued with abnormal allergies, sinus drainage, and almost constant nausea. During that time I've had my gallbladder removed, and have done and am continuing to have medical tests done to see what is causing the nausea. I went out of town for about ten days and felt just fine, returned yesterday afternoon, went to bed as normal, woke up at 3:30 with severe nausea, sore throat, burning sensation on my skin and allergies again. The way I felt this morning, this house just might be the problem. I'm now starting to believe it is this mobile home. Can you please advise how I can go about determining if the home is the cause? Are there any tests that can be done and by whom? Should I get the insurance company involved or is that a lost cause?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Second round of FEMA trailer lawsuits

Marilyn Odendahl with the Elkhart Truth broke the story today of a second round of lawsuits over formaldehyde in FEMA trailers. Some excerpts below:


Just as the recreational vehicle industry appears to be nearing a resolution to formaldehyde lawsuits, another round of litigation may be brewing.

Ridgeland, Miss., attorney Tyler Kent confirmed he and other Gulf Coast lawyers are preparing a civil suit regarding FEMA trailers sold at auction by the U.S. General Services Administration. The plaintiffs are individuals who purchased the units second-hand but were not told the products were from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and are now suffering from a variety of medical ailments.

...He described the pending case as a significant lawsuit for the RV and manufactured housing industries.

...During the early stages of the first formaldehyde lawsuits originating from the Gulf, the court found FEMA not liable and removed the agency from the litigation. Kent declined to specify who would be named as defendants in this second round of legal action but he hinted the federal government could be included.

He explained FEMA had immunity in the initial formaldehyde case because it was acting in an emergency. But, that immunity does not apply to this case because there was no ongoing crisis when the units were auctioned.

Jerome Loftus, former general counsel for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, compared holding the government accountable to chasing a rabbit but he noted in this case, the argument does have some merit.

“I know the government certainly bares a big responsibility that they didn’t take any steps to prevent it from happening,” Loftus said of the formaldehyde contamination. “Then they didn’t take any steps to prevent the proliferation of (the RVs).”

Friday, June 22, 2012

Manufactured housing CEOs should stand trial for murder

Comment on Lindsay Huckabee: One Family's Formaldehyde Story:

I live in a mobile home that is not FEMA and am having the same problems. Nearly all mobile homes, FEMA or not, are made with toxic particle board. I am presently replacing the particle board with formaldehyde free plywood. What shocks me is they continue to make mobile homes out of this crap, even though the companies know it's killing people. I think the CEOs of these companies should be put on trial for murder and the government should ban the use of formaldehyde glue. Money root of all evil.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

AP reports that a class-action settlement agreement has been reached to resolve nearly all the remaining court claims over allegations that FEMA trailers exposed Gulf Coast residents to hazardous formaldehyde fumes after Hurricane Katrina. This is a sad ending to a shameful chapter in our nation's history where hundreds of thousands of Katrina and Rita victims were placed in unsafe housing that made them sick, and killed some of them. Since the lawyers get half of this settlement, and there are 60,000 plaintiffs, that works out to $123 per person--less than the cost of one emergency room visit. And many families had multiple ER visits in addition to other health care costs. Kids missed school. Adults missed work. The tragedy continues as these toxic trailers have been dumped on the open market despite the widespread testing that showed high formaldehyde levels. I get calls or emails a couple times a week from families who have moved into the FEMA trailers sold at auction who are now sick. These trailers have also been "given" to the Native Americans. To sum it up, FEMA took people at their most vulnerable and put them in housing that sickened and killed, denied the problems for years, delayed testing, and then even after testing confirmed high formaldehyde levels decided it was okay to sell over 100,000 of these to the general public. And now FEMA is back up to its old tricks buying FEMA trailers without testing for formaldehyde first. Meanwhile, the lawyers who mismanaged the cases are getting their money out of it, while the people get the shaft.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Settlement for some FEMA formaldehyde cases

The AP reports today that some of the manufacturers of the FEMA recreational vehicles trailers that poisoned residents with high levels of formaldehyde have agreed to a $14.8 million settlement. The settlement doesn't admit wrongdoing. The lawyers get half the cash. This isn't likely to go far to pay the health care costs of the residents, or in any way truly compensate people for being placed in housing that made them sick while they were trying to recover from Katrina and Rita. I'm thinking today of the many, many families whose health was robbed from them, families that lost mothers, fathers, grandparent and newborns. Families that rushed infants to the emergency room on an all-to-regular basis. And I'm thinking of the email yesterday from an elderly couple with multiple health problems who are still living in a FEMA trailer because they have no where else to go. They weren't part of the lawsuit, and so are left with no way to recover their health or health care costs.

From the Syries: We weren't part of the lawsuit... Not even contacted and our Health is getting worse and worse!!!!!!!! Pls see what you can do for us.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Columbia's PureBond panels a major breakthrough in formaldehyde-free building products

Safer Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) is available that is made with a soy alternative to formaldehyde binders, and it doesn't even cost more! We need to get the word out about this healthier alternative!! People don't have to choose between their health and cost.

Columbia Forest Products Introduces PureBond® Classic Core® Panels

Greensboro, N.C. (PRWEB) March 16, 2012

Columbia Forest Products, America’s largest maker of hardwood plywood and hardwood veneer products, introduces PureBond® Classic Core® panels. These panels are manufactured using voidless engineered MDF crossbands in combination with a veneer inner ply construction for superior product integrity, performance and beauty.
The ingenious design of PureBond Classic Core panels deliver a smooth, void-free surface quality that is comparable to composite core substrates, while also providing the lighter weight and increased strength of veneer core.
Since PureBond Classic Core panels are manufactured using no added urea formaldehyde, they are CARB Phase 2-compliant and also may contribute to LEED® IEQ 4.4 credits.
PureBond Classic Core panels are ideal for all applications such as furniture, cabinetry and fixtures, and enable fabricators to offer finished goods that are highly distinctive in design and quality. According to Todd Vogelsinger, Columbia Forest Products’ director of marketing, because the PureBond Classic Core panels are now a standard product offering at Columbia's Oregon plant, there are no special ordering requirements, no extended lead times for delivery and – best of all – no pricing upcharge. “It’s our goal to make these products easily available to all fabricators, and at a price that allows them to utilize the highest quality materials at a very competitive price,” he said.

The PureBond Classic Core product announcement is part of Columbia Forest Products’ continuing commitment to introduce quality building products that also promote healthy indoor air quality. The company’s proprietary PureBond technology represents a major breakthrough in formaldehyde-free building products.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Family sick in former FEMA trailer


Unfortunately, FEMA only said that former FEMA trailer trailers shouldn't be used for long-term occupancy. Even though FEMA mobile homes also tested high in formaldehyde, FEMA dumped them on the market to let them poison families like your's. However, you should seek legal advice about getting out of the lease as in most states, being able to show that the home you have leased is hazardous to your health is grounds for breaking a lease. There are non profit legal aid offices in most states.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I'm so scared our home is killing us

I live in North Carolina. I am 23 years old and I live with my parents and my 2 year old daughter in a modular home. I read on toxictrailers.com the following statement. "If you are having symptoms such as burning eyes, congestion, sore throat, coughing, breathing difficulties, frequent sinus infections or rashes, and difficulties concentrating, you may have a formaldehyde problem." My jaw dropped. My mom has COPD and the whole family has these symptoms. Please help us know what we can do and how to do it. I'm so lost on where to start and who to call. I'm so scared our home is killing us.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The toxic trailers that keep on killing

The last FEMA trailer has left New Orleans, but FEMA auctioned off more than 100,000 of these trailers even after widespread government testing confirmed the high formaldehyde levels Sierra Club found after people started getting sick in the trailers after Hurricane Katrina. Six years after the storm there are now people across the U.S. living in the old FEMA trailers, experiencing the same health problems reported by survivors and Katrina and Rita--headaches, nosebleeds, frequent sinus infections, rashes, breathing difficulties, worsening COPD. A number of people have died. FEMA is guilty of manslaughter, but was absolved of all responsibility by a Bush-appointed federal judge.

It is sad most people were harmed more by Hurricane FEMA than by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.


Last Katrina FEMA trailer leaves New Orleans

(AP) NEW ORLEANS — The last of the once-ubiquitous FEMA trailers has been removed from New Orleans more than six years after floodwalls and levees broke during Hurricane Katrina and caused the city to fill with floodwaters.

"That's an end of an era," said Becky Gillette, a Sierra Club activist who led efforts to expose problems with high-levels of formaldehyde in the FEMA trailers sent to the Gulf Coast. "Most of those people would have been better off living in a tent in terms of their health."

She added: "My job isn't done because FEMA dumped all those poisonous trailers on the market."

FEMA's trailers have ended up around the country, she said. "I'm getting calls from families all over the country now. Families are getting sick."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Family poisoned by double wide in 2000

EDITOR's NOTE: This experience years before Katrina shows the manufactured industry knew if was poisoning families and did nothing effective to change the way they manufacture trailers to solve the problem. Also note that we saw the same "blue babies" in families housed in FEMA trailers after Katrina.

I wanted to share our story with those out there that could also have or may be having this same experience. I am so glad to know that now there is a website devoted to formaldehyde exposure. I am telling our story because when we went thru this, we never knew nor were we ever informed of the risks of exposure to formaldehyde and how deadly this is to your health.
In 2000 we purchased a new double wide home from a dealer in our local town. We noticed upon entering the home our eyes burned and our throats became sore. We called our dealer and were told by our local dealer to keep the windows open and to let some of the "odor" out of the home. We left the windows open and let it air out as much as we could for over a week, and then moved our family in including a two-month-old baby boy, and a three-year- old daughter.
Within three days of moving into our home we noticed that our two month old started turning blue and our three year old was coughing continuously. We rushed our little boy and daughter to Children's Hospital. Upon admission to the hospital the ER physician ask us if anything had changed, and we immediately explained that we had moved into a new double wide. He told us then about the infamous formaldehyde exposures and how toxic it can be in manufactured homes.
We were shocked. He ordered us to move out of the home until something was done. Our son was hospitalized for formaldehyde poisoning. We contacted our mobile home dealer and explained what had happened and contacted out attorney. Our home was tested and according to the Federal Regulations for formaldehyde exposure was over the legal limit. Our attorney then began the process of contacting our dealer.
We live in Tennessee, and immediately someone was sent from Texas to come in and "neutralize" the formaldehyde. We knew upon their arrival something was wrong when they began putting on the "white suits" and oxygen masks with chemicals to neutralize the home. We asked, ‘Why are you having to wear the white suits?’ We were told that the chemicals they use to "neutralize" the formaldehyde were toxic as well. The neutralization process took over six weeks to cure and we were "homeless" for six weeks, but we thought it worked. We did notice that the odor was better and so we opted to move back in, not knowing the risks involved with continued exposure. We were told the air sampled within the limit.
We moved out of the home in 2005 because our children both developed asthma and continuous nosebleeds and upper respiratory infections. Our local physician advised us to move out of the home because he knew it must be from the formaldehyde exposure. But without the resources to pursue legal action, we never got to prove that it was from the exposure. In opting to move out, we had to sell the land that had been in my husband’s family for over 100 years.

Kristie Nipper

Monday, January 9, 2012

Lawsuits on behalf of FEMA workers?

Would like to know if there is any class action suits, etc concerning respiratory/health problems from cleanup, or, in my case, contract workers that signed people into the trailers immediately after the storm. I have had severe health problems - sarcoidosis, rashes, respiratory problems, heart problems - since doing the work. I am positive it is due to spending so much time in the trailers prepping them and signing people into them and following up with inspections in the trailers.