CDC Finds Toxic Air in FEMA Trailers
Air quality testing of trailers provided to Katrina victims by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has revealed that many of the trailers contain toxic levels of formaldehyde. According to the Centers for Disease Control, testing of a cross-section of FEMA-supplied travel trailers and mobile homes in Louisiana and Mississippi showed many trailers contained formaldehyde levels well above typical levels of indoor exposure, and these levels could increase in warmer weather. Formaldehyde is released as a gas from adhesives that are used to make products such as particle board, plywood, and hardwood paneling. These materials are used extensively in mobile homes and travel trailers. Formaldehyde can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, throat, sinuses, and lungs -- causing itching, coughing, skin rashes, and difficulty breathing in some cases.