Formaldehyde Trailers Passed Along to Gulf Workers

The thousands of toxic, formaldehyde-laced travel trailers first intended for people who lost their homes during Hurricane Katrina could now be endangering the health of emergency response personnel assisting with the Gulf Coast oil spill.

In an article on the HS Today website, Mickey McCarter says the trailers are now being used as temporary housing units for the responders, as first reported by The New York Times in June. When the trailers were found to contain unhealthy levels of formaldehyde in a February 2008 report by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FEMA then asked the General Services Administration (GSA) to sell them to the public. The US government has also considered using them for the victims of the January earthquake in Haiti. All of these ideas have met with resistance, especially from Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, who has repeatedly warned of the risks to public health.

In a letter dated July 1st of this year, Thompson “slammed” FEMA, the GSA and the Justice Department for now compromising the health of Gulf spill responders, says the article.

“Once again, these trailers are endangering the lives and health of Gulf Coast residents,” he wrote.

To read the article, click here: http://www.hstoday.us/content/view/13855/128/