You only need to know one thing to get past CDC's equivocating about the meaning of FEMA-trailer formaldehyde test results. You need the same information to understand FEMA's foot dragging in getting the testing underway: formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen. This issue goes far beyond wheezing, and rashes, and increased headaches or dizziness. It's about fear of getting the Big C; and, it's about the prospect of health care costs that will be a burden on society for decades because of poor choices in building material specification. In other words, it's about bad design. This is the epitome of "ungreen" building, wrought large.
A trailer-house of cards is about to come tumbling down.
In 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure (1). Since that time, some studies of industrial workers have suggested that formaldehyde exposure is associated with nasal cancer and nasopharyngeal cancer, and possibly with leukemia. In 1995, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that formaldehyde is a probable human carcinogen. However, in a reevaluation of existing data in June 2004, the IARC reclassified formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen (2).
Ripple effects of this lawsuit will be a huge market generator for green building materials.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which supplied about 120,000 travel trailers to hurricane victims in 2005, is expected to be named as a co-defendant in a massive lawsuit against manufacturers charging the units had dangerous levels of formaldehyde...
If the hurricane victims prevail, the formaldehyde suit could rival other huge product-liability lawsuits, including those filed against asbestos and tobacco manufacturers, in the scope and size of awards.
See also::FEMA Formaldehyde Fiasco Festers
Via::Clarion Ledger, "Hurricane victims expected to sue FEMA" AND National Cancer Institute, Formaldehyde and Cancer: Questions and Answers Image credit:: Molecular Structures and Charge Density, Formaldehyde