After doing a very poor job to publicize the meeting (most residents found out about the meeting on the news yesterday morning) and announcing the time and location of the meeting to the community only the night before, there were only about 60 residents from four trailer parks in the area. There were, however, also about 5 news stations present, reporters from 5-6 newspapers and various attorneys who represent FEMA trailer residents in lawsuits on the formaldehyde issue.
Michael McGeehin, a medical doctor who works for the CDC, presented his findings on the testings and study that was conducted in December 2007 and January 2008 to assess levels of formaldehyde in travel trailers supplied by FEMA and possible health affects. The key findings he presented included:
• In many trailers, mobile homes, and park models tested, formaldehyde levels were elevated relative to typical levels of
• Average levels of formaldehyde in all units was about 77 parts per billion (ppb). This level is higher than
• These measured levels are likely to under-represent long-term exposures since formaldehyde levels tend to be higher in newer travel trailers and mobile homes and during warmer weather.
• Indoor temperature was a significant factor for formaldehyde levels in this study independent of trailer make or model.
• Formaldehyde levels varied by model (mobile homes, park homes, and travel trailers), but all types of trailers tested had some high levels.
• At the levels seen in many trailers, health could be affected.
The CDC presented the following recommendations for public health officials pursuant to its study:
• The conclusions support the need to move quickly to relocate trailer residents before the warmer weather of summer, placing highest priority on those who are symptomatic and/or especially vulnerable.
• Appropriate follow-up will require multi-agency collaboration including FEMA, HUD, CDC, and others, to achieve safe, healthy housing for people displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita who continue to live in FEMA-supplied travel trailers and mobile homes.
• FEMA should consider necessary assistance to
• FEMA should consider establishing a registry and long-term health monitoring of children and others who resided in FEMA-supplied travel trailers and mobile homes in the Gulf Coast Region.
The CDC and FEMA are holding several other similar meetings across
Tuesday, Feb. 26, noon to 2 p.m., St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church (
Tuesday, Feb. 26, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., St. Anna's Episcopal Church (
Wednesday, Feb. 27, noon to 2 p.m.,
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.,
Thursday, Feb. 28, noon to 2 p.m.,
Thursday, Feb. 28, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.,