Companies knew about high formaldehyde levels in FEMA trailers, Dems say
Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said RV trailer manufacturers knew that the trailers they sold to the government had excessively high levels of formaldehyde but didn’t disclose the information for fear of bad press. The trailers, which were used to house hurricane victims on the Gulf Coast, have been a touchy subject at FEMA ever since occupants began reporting headaches, nosebleeds, dizziness, and shortness of breath. The agency has since asked many families to move out of the trailers. One trailer-company chairman told the Oversight Committee he thought the results of tests showing high levels of formaldehyde were “irrelevant information” because the Federal Emergency Management Agency already knew about the high toxicity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month blamed much of the trailer fiasco on poor ventilation and lax government standards for formaldehyde in RVs, a view the Oversight Committee’s Republicans seized on in their defense of the companies. “The problem was and remains confusion among federal agencies, not some conspiracy among trailer-makers,” said Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.).