May 18, 2007
Reported by Associated Press
A Louisiana congressman today called for House hearings on the government's response to formaldehyde fumes that have cropped up in travel trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to storm victims.
Earlier this month, FEMA dismissed findings by environmentalists that the trailers pose serious health risks. FEMA says the fumes could be reduced by opening vents and windows. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.
U.S. Representative Bobby Jindal of Kenner sent a letter to the House leadership calling for congressional hearings on the issue. He says he's "astonished" by reports of dangerous levels of formaldehyde in the trailers.
Jindal says FEMA's advice on how to handle the problem is unacceptable, especially in the heat and humidity of the Gulf Coast.
FEMA has said that its trailers conform to industry standards and that the agency has found no reason to question the safety of the trailers.
FEMA stores thousands of its extra trailers at Hope, Arkansas.