The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is trying to relocate some
35,000 families out of the trailers and mobile homes that the agency had
provided after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Results from tests by the Center
for Disease Control and Prevention confirm that there are dangerous levels
of formaldehyde fumes in many of the trailers.
Formaldehyde is an airborne chemical and a preservative commonly found in construction materials. Exposure to too much formaldehyde can lead to breathing problems and possibly even cancer. The toxin can be found in construction materials, such as composite wood and plywood panels, which were used in the thousands of FEMA trailers.
The CDC test results is not the first time that there has been an indication that the FEMA trailers and mobile homes may have been causing health problems for its residents. A number of people living in the homes have complained of different health issues, such as headaches, asthma, sinus problems, respiratory distress, nosebleeds, and runny noses.
As early as last April, the Sierra Club tested FEMA trailers and found formaldehyde concentrations up to .34 parts per million in many of them—an excessively high amount. Even after these test results, FEMA maintained that the toxic problem was isolated to only a handful of trailers and that the mobile homes were generally safe for use. FEMA had suggested that improving ventilation by airing out the trailers would help.
There are over 35,000 FEMA trailers and mobile homes in Louisiana, Mississippi, and other states. Over 144,000 mobile homes and trailers have housed Katrina victims at some point.
The CDC says it has not found a direct connection between the toxin and the different illnesses and symptoms that the occupants in the trailers have reported, but it is recommending that trailer residents move out as soon as possible.
The trailers were manufactured quickly to accommodate all the Katrina victims. Residents have also complained that the trailers and homes are cramped and poorly made.
Toxic FEMA Trailer Cases
Our products liability law firm has successfully dealt with many injury cases throughout the United States involving all kinds of defective motor vehicles, as well as injury and death cases brought about from exposure to hazardous toxins and wastes. One of our Toxic FEMA Trailer Lawyers would be happy to speak with you during a free consultation.
FEMA slammed for using toxic trailers, MercuryNews.com, February 15, 2008
FEMA to step up efforts to move hurricane victims from toxic trailers, Baltimore Sun/Associated Press, February 14, 2008
Related Web Resources:
FEMA Trailer Study, CDC
Sierra Club Action Confirms FEMA Inaction On Gulf Coast, Sierra Club, July 23, 2007
Contact Gilbert & Ollanik P.C. today.