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, 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)