The Sierra Club is declaring a partial victory in its fight with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, over toxic formaldehyde found in some of the 120,000 mobile homes and travel trailers provided to hurricane survivors left homeless in 2005 by Katrina and Rita.
In response to a public outcry by the Sierra Club and others, FEMA has decided to re-evaluate its decision to continue distributing trailers known to have unsafe levels of formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde is a chemical used in paint and adhesives, and is classified as a "known carcinogen" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope said today, "Trailer residents and the Sierra Club have been pressing the agency to acknowledge the problem of formaldehyde outgassing in the trailers and to stop distributing the trailers until the agency could ensure that all trailers going out were safe."
"Dangerously high levels of formaldehyde found in many FEMA trailers have caused serious health problems for many trailer residents and are even suspected as the cause of several deaths," Pope said.