Monday, July 24, 2006

I Hope This Ain't True

I always view findings by agenda having interest groups to be suspect, but FEMA's nonchalant "nothing-to-see-here" response and doctors reports have me worried. After all we've heard about them, FEMA trailers' air may be poisonous to breathe. I wonder what Mominem, who lives in a FEMA trailer in New Orleans, thinks about this report.


Dante said...

Formaldehyde is used when making multi-sheet plywood and particle board. That 130 degree curing process mentioned in the article does not eliminate formaldehyde from the wood, it merely reduces it to relatively safe levels. In something like these FEMA trailers, formaldehyde fumes will collect inside after construction and the levels can be a little high. The average Joe buying a travel trailer doesn't typically notice because the prep work most dealers have to do to get a trailer ready is enough ventilation to get rid of the excess formaldehyde in most cases. If not, they go ahead and take the extra time to ventilate it properly since you don't really want to buy something that smells that bad. I imagine whatever FEMA did to get the trailers ready did not provide enough ventilation in the process. Furthermore, I'd wager the vapors are coming from the plastics in the trailer, not the wood. The plastic is more likely to leech vapors after construction than wood is, especially in hot temperatures.

I am really disappointed in this article because it starts off fairly interesting, but then it offers no real alternative explanations and on top of that shifts focus to a couple of complete morons. If there are stong fumes where you are staying then you need to leave. And if you just need to have a trailer to live in while rebuilding your home, don't buy a $50K 5th wheel. Get an $8k pop up. For $50k, you could buy a full-fledged mobile home and be done with it.

Oh, and they didn't even ventilate the camper themselves! They had someone else do it. I imagine a $30 investment in a few box fans and a $50 overnight stay at a Holiday Inn could've saved this couple about $50k.

Dante said...

"Oh, and they didn't even ventilate the camper themselves! They had someone else do it."

Due to lack of editing, upon further reading I did see that they continued to ventilate themselves. Oversight on my part since the sentece is lumped into a paragraph about replacing the particle board with "solid wood" which I'm assuming means plywood which is also constructed with formaldehyde. I guess it could mean 1x4 slats but somehow I doubt it.

mominem said...

I'm still very much alive and glad you noticed.

I think since people keep asking me about this kind of thing I'll probably write somethng eventually.