There is an investigative story running tonight on the formaldehyde levels in FEMA trailers and what was known previous to the trailers distribution to Katrina victims. Should be good.
Here is the story:
So you've got two corporate whistle-blowers from Gulf Stream saying the company knew it was sending out unhealthy trailers. Here's what I don't get and I want to understand...is formaldehyde typically used in the manufacturing process of these trailers? Obviously Gulf Stream had a 55 million dollar contract sitting in their lap and they were happy as a pigs in poop to get it. They were determined to fulfill this contract in any way possible. So did they knowingly endanger people's health in order to meet the contract requirements? Does anyone know what the 411 is? Were FEMA officials aware of the formaldehyde issue during the manufacturing process?
Incidentally, have any of you ever driven up I-59 and seen the endless sea of FEMA trailers sitting in the field outside Purvis, Mississippi? It's pretty amazing...there are supposedly over 18,000 trailers in this field that were never delivered to Katrina victims. I wonder if those trailers are the Gulf Stream formaldehyde specials?
I saw those trailers in January or March of '06 on my way down. I had video of them on my old phone. I thought people were living in them. Of course, if the formaldehyde level was too high...
Don't know all the details of the manufacturing process, but sometimes formaldehyde is either used as an ingredient or as a byproduct of the manufacture of particle board. The particle board is the source of the fumes.
A topic of interest for me, as my family and I lived for a year and a half in a FEMA Cavalier parked in our front yard. Formaldehyde is used, as clay said, in the manufacture of particle board (as well as some plywood, I understand). I gather that cheaper imported (i.e., Chinese) "manufactured wood products" are created under laxer standards and contain a higher level of the preservative. It should also be kept in mind that in the rush to manufacture enough trailers to meet the FEMA order that the fresh, "raw" board was slapped into the structures as soon as it came in, rather than having a chance to sit in a warehouse "airing out".
I hear this morning that Congressional Republicans are pushing for no responsibility for the Formaldehyde to accrue to the travel home industry, rather for the fault to be placed at the feet of government agencies for their "faulty" testing procedures. What a shocker--Republicans pushing for immunity for corporations--and blaming government.
Just saw the field of trailers this weekend on my way up to, and back from, Dismals Canyon.
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