FEMA Housing Filled With Toxic Gas, Tests Show

Mobile homes yield readings up to 70 times higher than CDC guidelines
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2007 2:25 PM CST
Presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton D-NY.., right looks inside Helen Johnson's FEMA trailer as Clinton walks in the Broadmoor area of New Orleans Friday, May 18, 2007.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The mobile homes and trailers FEMA provided for displaced New Orleans residents are brimming with toxic formaldehyde gas, according to test results obtained by MSNBC. In 95% of cases, formaldehyde levels were at least twice the CDC’s maximum recommendations. The federal government has not followed through on promises to test the homes, some of which have been inhabited for 2 years.

FEMA did test trailers last October and has since stopped distributing them, but mobile homes were never tested and continue to be deployed. Internal e-mails show FEMA intentionally stalled for liability reasons. “[D]o not initiate any testing until we give the OK,” one lawyer advised. “Once you get results…the clock is running on our duty to respond to them.”