Hope, Arkansas (AHN) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that there were high levels of formaldehyde in travel trailers and mobile homes that were used by victims of hurricane Katrina and Rita as emergency housing.
FEMA officials said that the residents of these trailers will be transferred as quickly as possible into hotels and apartments because exposing them to formaldehyde makes them sick. They said that transferring them will be beneficial for those who already have symptoms of respiratory illnesses such as the children, elderly persons or occupants.
Formaldehyde is a gas at room temperature. When exposed to this, it can cause burning eyes and/or nose, coughing and difficulty breathing. It is also shown to be carcinogenic - causing nasal and nasopharyngeal cancer and possibly leukemia also.
CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding said that higher temperatures may cause formaldehyde levels to go up. She also added that the high levels were found in December and January and that the people should be relocated before summer.
crossposted at Rants from the Rookery.