Katrina Victims Exposed to
Toxic Gas

What does formaldehyde-FEMA have in common?

As reported previously, Katrina victims had to be displaced again because of reports of exposure to toxic formaldehyde in FEMA trailers and mobile homes being used as temporary housing.

MSNBC reported recently that formaldehyde levels in 519 FEMA trailers and mobile homes were averaging 77 parts per billion of formaldehyde to air. Newer homes average 10-17 PPB.

Some levels were found to be as high as 590 PPB!

According to the news report, an estimated 114,000 people are living in these mobile homes and trailers along the gulf coast following the destruction of their homes by Hurricane Katrina. 2 and 1/2 years have gone by - and now these individuals and families face more bad news - they have been living with chronic unsafe levels of formaldehyde in FEMA provided shelter - and now plans need to be made to move them to safe housing as soon as possible.


*** With the number of tornadoes we have seen this Spring, and other disasters on a national (and international) scale, keep in mind that FEMA trailers, or trailers of any kind, may have issues with formaldehyde toxicity. There are tests you can purchase to check for high levels of the gas; be sure also to read below for some signs of possible formaldehyde exposure issues.

What is Formaldehyde Gas?

Formaldehyde is a nearly colorless gas that is found in many manufactured wood products and glues. It has an irritating odor even at low levels of exposure.

Formaldehyde is a component of particleboard, OSB and plywood, and is found in numerous manufactured wood products - those products that are not made from solid wood alone.

Kitchen cabinets often emit formaldehyde, and many other household furnishings and products may outgas this toxin as well. Fiberglass insulation is also notorious for formaldehyde content.

Formaldehyde-FEMA Effects

According to news reports, numerous people have complained of health problems since moving into the trailers. Some specific health complaints included the following:







The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has concluded that levels of formaldehyde exposure in FEMA housing are about
5X higher then in regular houses - with some levels reaching nearly 40 times higher.

Formaldehyde is considered a human carcinogen by the
International Agency for Research on Cancer.

A spokeswoman on the news report urged speedy action to get these people moved to safer housing, particularly before the summer months. Heat will cause increased outgassing of the formaldehyde gas to occur.

The message is clear to these families:

Frustration and fear are are key emotions for these families who have endured not only Katrina, but now the toxic effects from their temporary homes as well.

Heed the warning signs and take action regarding your own exposure levels to this toxic gas.

We know formaldehyde is dangerous for adults - our children may be even that much more vulnerable.

Do you have a formaldehyde story?? If so, we'd love to hear it and share it with the world! Please go to this page and give voice to your own experience. Thank you!

Allergic Reaction: Formaldehyde Page

Go from Formaldehyde-FEMA to Formaldehyde Facts

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