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FEMA To Test Trailers For Formaldehyde

Armen Hareyan's picture

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) agreed to test mobile homes and trailers for formaldehyde contamination that are provided to disaster sufferers.

FEMA is the biggest supplier of mobile homes and trailers to those who suffer from natural disasters, such as hurricane, flood and tornado. The Agency was told about trailer occupant concerns on formaldehyde after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but the measures were limited to advices to keep windows open and let some fresh air in.

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Formaldehyde is a colorless gas emitted from several material used in construction materials. High levels of formaldehyde exposure cause serious health problems such as skin diseases, breathing difficulties and even cancer. Children are especially vulnerable to its side effects.

Recently Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Bureau Veritas tested 516 mobile homes in Louisiana and Mississippi and found that formaldehyde levels are five times higher than in modern buildings. There are about FEMA 38000 in the mentioned states that may lead to high levels of formaldehyde

After having those trailers tested and registered annoying results, FEMA announced that any occupant may request mobile home test. The Agency will start testing next week and will have 200 trailers tested weekly. First trailers are those in Gulf Coast that have already filed 334 requests.

FEMA signed a contract with Bureau Veritas to handle formaldehyde contamination tests together. Bureau Veritas is a company specializing in quality assurance of public health, safety and environmental safety.