FEMA provides toxic trailers for hurricane refugees


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

FEMA provides toxic trailers for hurricane refugees
By Guest Blogger
Posted on May 10, 2007, Printed on May 14, 2007
This is a guest post from Josh Dorner of the Sierra Club.

We know the Bush administration must just have a serious case of amnesia about 
Hurricane Katrina, right? I mean, the only other explanation for failing to keep
their promises to rebuild New Orleans would be sheer incompetence and a total 
lack of compassion for humanity in general. FEMA seems to have a particularly 
intractable case, as they keep sending their toxic trailers to disaster victims 
far and wide.

As air tests conducted by the Sierra Club found out over a year ago, the levels 
of the chemical formaldehyde in the air inside FEMA's toxic tin cans are through
the roof. In fact, levels were on average AT LEAST THREE TIMES higher than the 
levels the Environmental Protection Agency concedes will make people sick.

Subsequent tests by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found 
formaldehyde levels as much as FIFTY TIMES higher than the EPA's "elevated" 
limit. And wouldn't you know it, the storm-addled folks housed in these trailers
immediately began complaining of watery eyes, burning in the eyes and throat, 
sinus infections, nausea, and respiratory distress. Only FEMA could spend 
billions of dollars on brand new trailers for disaster victims that were unfit 
for human habitation.

And what did FEMA have to say at the time? No worries, they're safe!

Fast forward to this February -- despite continued warnings from the Sierra Club
and others, FEMA begins trying to sell off the toxic trailers on the cheap in 
Hope, Arkansas of all places.

And now this week, just in time for FEMA to ship its carcinogen-spewing boxes to
victims of the Kansas tornado, it released its own study on the trailers -- a 
study conducted due to Sierra Club pressure. While the study acknowledged the 
high levels of formaldehyde present in the trailers, its conclusion simply 
beggars belief. Did it call for getting trailers without high levels of toxic 
chemicals? NOPE! FEMA's suggestion for disaster victims: open a window!

Talk about the cure being worse than the disease. Who's going to save us from 
the folks trying to save us?

© 2007 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.

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