As John wrote last year, FEMA trailers seem to have been designed to optimize formaldehyde exposure. FEMA pooh-poohed the issue, saying that the trailers were safe if properly ventilated. Now congressional Democrats are saying that FEMA "manipulated scientific research in order to play down the danger posed by formaldehyde in trailers issued to hurricane victims."
FEMA "ignored, hid and manipulated government research on the potential impact of long-term exposure to formaldehyde" on Katrina and Rita victims now living in FEMA trailers, Democrats on a House Science and Technology subcommittee wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
FEMA took samples from unoccupied trailers that had been aired out for days and compared them with federal standards for short-term exposure, according to the lawmakers. FEMA officials instructed scientists at the health agency to leave out details about long-term exposure in its consultation.