Democrats on a House committee say the Federal Emergency Management Agency ignored good science in using travel trailers with dangerously high levels of formaldehyde as long-term housing for victims of Hurricane Katrina, CNN reports, adding that FEMA suppressed a report on formaldehyde risks. The emergency agency calls yesterday's accusations "unfounded and false" and "contrary to our mission."
About 40,000 families still live in the travel trailers; 150,000 households have occupied them for some time period since the 2005 hurricane. Medical experts believe formaldehyde, a preservative used in construction materials, to cause ailments from respiratory problems to cancer. The trailers were deemed safe for a few weeks' stay; but some people have been living in them for 18 months.