FEMA isgoing to announce that they will urge Gulf Coast residents to move out of FEMA trailers due to dangerously high formaldehyde levels.
A day after federal health officials urged trailer residents to seek
“safer housing” because of dangerously high formaldehyde levels in the
government-provided trailer homes, FEMA representatives are scheduled
to discuss recent test results at a noon press conference today.
FEMA administrator David Paulison will outline actions the agency
plans to take based on the findings, as well as options trailer
residents have in light of the new information.
A study recently completed by the Centers for Disease Control found
that many trailers, mobile homes and park models had formaldehyde
levels that “were elevated relative to typical levels of U.S. indoor
exposure,” adding that ventilation, the trailer’s age and the
temperature in the area affected those levels.
The CDC study, which was conducted Dec. 21 to Jan. 23, focused on 520 of those types of homes in Louisiana and Mississippi.
While a summary of the study’s conclusions acquired by the
Times-Picayune didn’t elaborate on the precise health risks resulting
from temporary or prolonged exposure to formaldehyde, CDC director
Julie Gerberding urged residents into “safer housing as soon as
UPDATE: Keepthis info from a past FD post in mind because I just heard a CNN reporter say how come they didn’t know this sooner…
But here is a more detailed account on the OSHA testing from Jesse
Fineran, a former Hancock County Emergency Operations Center hazardous
material specialist who worked in conjunction with FEMA following
Katrina. From theSea Coast Echo…
Tests were done in trailers in November 2005 at a
staging lot in Kiln, Fineran said. The tests, conducted by the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, showed not only
above-normal levels in the trailers, but the background level around
the staging area was also elevated, Fineran said.
“They knew people were suffering,” Fineran said.
On December 14, 2005, a daily report of the meetings made by Fineran
stated an official with the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration found formaldehyde in FEMA trailers at a Kiln staging
area. The data was provided to Bechtel, the contractor responsible for
transporting and setup of trailers. Fineran said both Sid Melton, now
chief of operations in Mississippi, and Michael Andrews, chief of
mobile home operations in Mississippi, received the OSHA report in
FEMA knew. They were just hoping you would never know. They still hope for that.