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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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