Friday, May 19, 2006

Formaldehyde fears in FEMA trailers

By Sean Gardiner
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted May 18 2006

Using air-monitoring badges supplied by a Boca Raton company, a national environmental organization found high levels of formaldehyde in trailers supplied by FEMA for those stranded after hurricanes in Mississippi and Louisiana.

The Sierra Club announced Wednesday that only two of the 31 FEMA trailers tested in those states were below the formaldehyde air safety limit recommended by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the American Lung Association, said Chris Smith of the Sierra Club.

Smith said he expects further formaldehyde tests will be conducted on FEMA-issued trailers in Mississippi and New Orleans but wasn't sure if any testing will be done in Florida.

Currently there are more than 1,500 FEMA trailers and mobile homes housing Florida hurricane refugees, according to FEMA statistics.

In a news release issued on Wednesday about the testing, the Sierra Club stated that formaldehyde -- a colorless, strong smelling gas that is a carcinogen -- usually comes from pressed particleboard or glue.