The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has confirmed that the trailers used to house Gulf Coast hurricane victims are tainted with high levels of formaldehyde. The Federal Emergency Management Agency urged residents of over 35,000 of the trailers to move out as soon as possible, especially families with kids, elderly folks, and those with chronic illnesses. Formaldehyde contamination of the trailers had been suspected for quite a while, but was just recently confirmed by the CDC. There is no federal standard for formaldehyde in homes, but the levels found in more than 500 trailers tested were four times the average amount usually found in new homes and in some cases was 40 times more. Formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen and has been known to cause respiratory problems. So it’s difficult to know who’s worse off, the trailer residents who have been living and breathing in their tainted trailers, or the residents who had been holding their breath waiting for FEMA to act.
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